Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
It is currently Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:32 am

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]


Forum rules


There are NO spoiler restrictions in this forum. Caveat emptor.



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 4 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Infinite Jest vs. DFW's Non-Fiction
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 8:57 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 7:50 am
Posts: 6
Sorry about posting another new topic but this one is really bugging me. Since DFW's passing, I've read a lot of analyses of his work that basically states something along the lines of "he was a talented fiction writer but his real talent was non-fiction/reportage/essays."

I think this is the right group to ask: Are those people on crack?

Seriously, are people just saying that because they haven't read IJ? Now I really like Consider the Lobster & Supposedly Fun Thing (although no one seems to talk about the American Usage essay, which is my fave by far) but I can't wrap my mind around someone honestly thinking those are better than IJ. If Infinite Summer makes people stop saying that the "cruise ship" essay or the "lobster" essay is Foster Wallace's masterwork, it will have provided a valuable service, IMO.

-D


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Infinite Jest vs. DFW's Non-Fiction
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:20 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 6:47 am
Posts: 63
Location: Brooklyn, NY
I'd be willing to bet that anyone who says "the lobster essay" is DFW's masterwork probably hasn't read IJ. But they may be right to say that his nonfiction is his most successful work, if by "successful" they mean "clearly and entertainingly imparts the intended message to the widest possible audience."

I think a lot of people are turned off by the fiction (especially IJ) because it looks less accessible. Now that we've all gotten at least a quarter of the way through the book we'd probably all say that it's way less difficult than it is challenging. Challenging in every sense of the word. I love the essays but they didn't exactly keep me up nights or anything.

So I guess what someone considers to be DFW's masterwork depends on what they're looking for when they pick a book up. Which isn't exactly a shattering insight. So far my pick is IJ. And I'm willing to debate anyone on Oblivion v. Brief Interviews, etc. Because I pick Oblivion.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Infinite Jest vs. DFW's Non-Fiction
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:52 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:48 am
Posts: 59
Location: Orlando, FL
I'm a complete newbie when it comes to DFW - IS is what prompted me to finally dive into IJ. I'm loving it so much that I have now requested a couple of the essay collections from my library and intend to dip into them as we move along. So, I can't speak yet to which I will find better/more powerful although I am fully expecting it to be the fiction. What really does impress me though, and I believe it was mentioned in some comment either in the forums or a reply to a column post, is his obvious facilty with both mediums. It is truly rare to find an author who can write wonderfully in both fiction and non-fiction. Yet another reason to mourn his loss.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Infinite Jest vs. DFW's Non-Fiction
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 1:58 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:48 am
Posts: 61
Having read everything by DFW with the exception of Everything and More his non-fiction talent surpasses anything else I've read with one exception..... Infinite Jest.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 4 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
Translated by MaĆ«l Soucaze © 2009 phpBB.fr