Posts Tagged ‘Infinite Summer’

Monday Medley

What we read while shoving tennis balls down people’s throats in “non-threatening” ways:

  • The only thing that could make us more excited for this is if it were called The Memento Matrix. ‘Cuz it sure looks like it’s that anyway.

The Point of No Reproach

I am, in general, a big fan of criticism, iconoclasm and contrarianism. I use some variation of the phrase “thinking critically” pretty much everyday. Whenever conventional wisdom forms about a certain subject, I instinctively take the opposite point of view.

Some people view these characteristics as flaws, but I consider them a point of pride.

In spite of this inclination towards criticism, there a few subjects on which I am downright dogmatic.

I noticed this most recently while reading Infinite Summer, the online book club for David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, probably my favorite novel of all-time. There was a discussion of the novel’s inclusion of endnotes and whether or not this aligned with the book’s themes, or was simply a stylistic pretense. My gut instinct, however, was to dismiss those who were anti-endnotes as morons who couldn’t possibly understand the book. Continue reading

Plagiarism Symposium Part I: Whose Own Words?

A scandal has broken out over at I should stress that this scandal is entirely personal—everyone else has known about this for years.

Last December, I read David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest for the first time, and it instantly became one of my favorite novels of all-time, if not my outright favorite.

When I read it, however, I was not aware of something Kevin Guilfoile points out at the Infinite Summer website. At one point early in the novel (actually, it’s page 139,but that’s early when the book is over 1,000 pages long) Wallace includes a transcript of an insurance claim made by a bricklayer after an unfortunate accident. The story is quite humorously told. Apparently, though, not only is the story not original to the book, but it’s practically folklore. Continue reading