David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest

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Infinite Jest: A Failed Entertainment - The primary failed entertainment of Infinite Jest is The Entertainment that James O. Incandenza made for Hal. On p. 839 Wallace writes: “” The most obvious way that Infinite Jest is a failed entertainment could be that well, in the common sense of the word, it just isn’t that entertaining. Given the colossal length, the frequency of foot notes, the almost nauseatingly non-linear storytelling, Infinite Jest is many things, but entertaining it is not. --- A failed entertainment signifies something that aimed to entertain and then didn’t. Yet, because Wallace called Infinite Jest, A Failed Entertainment. If it’s ostensible goal was to fail to entertain then hasn’t Wallace succeeded by not entertaining us? Doesn’t this perfectly fit Wallace’s description of the way in which television seeks to entertain? Are the endless fractals and circular structures meant only to mimic the way in which television doesn’t end unless we shut it off? By going over Infinite Jest time and time again with a fine-toothed comb are falling into a meta-trap of Wallace’s? Allowing Infinite Jest the book to become Infinite Jest the video cartridge, a thing so entertaining it is not only addicting but infinitely entertaining? Is it possible that whatever “answers” we seek in reading Infinite Jest weren’t elusively hidden by Wallace in the text, but were left out of the text to prove a point? Until we’re so weighed down by the existential malaise That every second we spend pouring over this failed entertainment is a wasted second we could have spent beyond it, experiencing real, unmediated life? If this is the lesson the book instills how often are we allowed to obsess over it before we’re missing the point? Can we only fully unserstand the scopem of the text and its message if we give ourselves over entirely to the text and become just like
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