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Does anyone else hate the works of David Foster Wallace?

Discussion in 'Movies, Music & Television' started by BrokenBoy, Jan 24, 2021.

  1. BrokenBoy

    BrokenBoy 戯言使い(Nonsense User)

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    I tried reading Infinite Jest and it sucks. I couldn't get past the 1st chapter because of how horribly and incomprehensibly written it is. DFW just comes off as really pretentious as keeps using really big words to describe really boring things. Plus I heard the themes are exactly the same as in Evangelion (Escapism is bad) so I can just rewatch that since it handles it message better.

    I'm trying to read the short story collection "Girl with Curious Hair" instead and it's more readable.

    Does anyone else dislike this author?
     
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  2. Greatshield17

    Greatshield17 Catholic Nerd V.I.P Member

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    I do like his "This is Water" speech... precisely because it's not that.
     
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  3. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    Why are you putting an effort into liking his works?
     
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  4. Markness

    Markness Young God

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    I didn’t know about him until I took a college course that had an audio recording of him reading This is Water and I fell asleep during it. It wasn’t the story itself but the fact the room lights were turned off, the video projector light zombified me, and I was already tired from work. I also found out later he had killed himself in 2008.

    Before that, I once thought he was Alan Dean Foster. I read an old article of Wallace’s critique of Clive Barker’s The Great and Secret Show and thought it was Alan Dean Foster.
     
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  5. BrokenBoy

    BrokenBoy 戯言使い(Nonsense User)

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    I wouldn't say I'm doing that, it's just I hear people say that Infinite Jest is not necessarily a good place to start with his works.
     
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  6. Trophonius

    Trophonius Well-Known Member

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    No, not at all. I find Infinite Jest to be an amazing book.

    DFW writes mostly literary fiction, the kind of fiction that goes beyond simply telling a story and grounds a narrative in an idea (social, philosophical, literary) while sometimes pushing the known limit of style — something DFW very much did with Infinite Jest.

    If you're not used to reading narrative, or if your reading experience is mostly limited to genre fiction, DFW is definitely not the best place to start (he is fairly recent in the history of literature and some familiarity with the preceding literary movements is advised), and especially you shouldn't start with his magnum opus Infinite Jest. It's an amazing book, but it's long and complex and can easily feel overwhelming to young readers.
     
  7. Markness

    Markness Young God

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    I do find it sad that he died. He couldn’t overcome being clinically depressed and took his own life. Goes to show that even people who make a living out of what they love doing aren’t safe from inner demons.
     
  8. BrokenBoy

    BrokenBoy 戯言使い(Nonsense User)

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    I don't even read that much genre fiction.
     
  9. Trophonius

    Trophonius Well-Known Member

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    There is a prevalence of mental illness among artists, especially writers seem to be susceptible to suffer this kind of disorders. I think this doesn't reflect the existence of some inherent trait that links mental illness and artistic endeavors, but the dark (and depressing) life that some artists need to undergo if they wish to be prolific. The struggle to produce art can, if people don't find early success, take a heavy toll on one's mind, which is unlikely to be erased by future success.