Tag: InfiniteJest

DAvid Foster Wallace

10 Quotes From ‘Infinite Jest’ so You Don’t Have to Read the Whole Thing

David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest has become less a book and more of a baton used to whack lesser intellectuals with. “Oh,” smart people say, “you haven’t read Infinite Jest?” No, I have not and, frankly, I don’t want to. I have other books I want to read, including ones about cowboys, and ones that contain jokes.


I have neither the time nor interest to take on Wallace’s behemoth magnum opus, and that is a knock against it. I’m sure it’s a wonderful book deserving of its renown. Still, not going to read it. What I have read, however, are these quotes from it. They’re must more manageable, and very enjoyable.


1. You will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do.


2. Try to learn to let what is unfair teach you.


3. …logical validity is not a guarantee of truth.


4. I do things like get in a taxi and say, “The library, and step on it.


5. That there is such a thing as raw, unalloyed, agendaless kindness. That it is possible to fall asleep during an anxiety attack. That concentrating on anything is very hard work.


6. …almost nothing important that ever happens to you happens because you engineer it. Destiny has no beeper; destiny always leans trenchcoated out of an alley with some sort of ‘psst’ that you usually can’t even hear because you’re in such a rush to or from something important you’ve tried to engineer.


7. Everybody is identical in their secret unspoken belief that way deep down they are different from everyone else.


8. Sarcasm and jokes were often the bottle in which clinical depressives sent out their most plangent screams for someone to care and help them.


9. God seems to have a kind of laid-back management style I’m not crazy about.


10. The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you.


Infinite Jest

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Feature Image Via GQ


The Guardian Wants You to Help Name the Greatest English-Language Novels

Have you seen The Guardian’s list of the 100 Best Novels Written in English? Put together by writer Robert McCrum, the list is pretty comprehensive; but, if you ask The Guardian‘s readers–it has its flaws.

The Guardian’s avid readers were quick to critique every aspect of McCrum’s list, including his methodology (McCrum limited himself to one book per author) and the list’s diversity (readers noted a lack of women authors, authors of color, Irish authors, Nigerian authors, Indian authors, and even Canadian authors.) Individual authors omitted include David Foster Wallace and Kurt Vonnegut. The angry readers have a point; looking at the list, it’s hard not to notice the prevalence of white, British, male authors.

The Guardian has taken all of this criticism in stride, and they’ve come up with a pretty charming way to appease their readers: the publication is inviting all of its critics and fans to contribute their own nominations.

You can write up your own nomination on the Guardian’s website. The Guardian is asking for the book title, author, and an explanation as to why it deserves to be included. The publication is also asking for the name of the book you’d boot from the list to make room, so you’ll have to make some tough choices if you want to nominate a novel!

You can play puppeteer with the Guardian’s list here, and you can view the original list of 100 novels here. What will you be adding to the list? 

Image courtesy of The Guardian