Book//mark – Infinite Jest | David Foster Wallace, 1996

Infinite Jest, 1996                                                David Foster Wallace


“It’s always the same sort of grim windy Northeast November day where if you were at home you’d be eating earth-tone soups in a warm kitchen, listening to the wind and glad of home and hearth.”

“He was unsure what the thing inside him was and was unprepared to commit himself to the course of action that would be required to explore the question.”

“He just sits there. I want to be like that. Able to just sit all quiet and pull life toward me, one forehead at a time. His name is supposedly Lyle.”

“That concentrating intently on anything is very hard work.”

“He looks mean in a kind of distant way.”

“There’s sun on the wall with the hanging viewer and poster of the paranoid king and an enormous hand-drawn Sierpinski gasket.”

“Right before he’d mailed her child an expensive toy and then had his phone number changed, he’d awakened from a night of horror-show”

“Troeltsch’s so dumb he thinks a manila folder’s a Filipino contortionist.”

“Sipping hazelnut espresso and watching, on the cartridge-viewing system that occupied half the bedroom’s south wall.”

“The only other room up there is Avril’s personal study, with a big color Xerox of M. Hamilton as Oz’s West Witch on the door and custom fiber-wiring for a tri-modem TP console.”

“A large head is all The Darkness knows.”

“Talent is its own expectation,”

“The big hair was red-gold and the skin peachy-tinged pale and arms freckled and zy-gomatics indescribable and her eyes an extra-natural HD green.”

“The worstfeeling thing that happened today was at lunch when Michael Pemulis told Mario he had an idea for setting up a Dial-a-Prayer telephone service for atheists in which the atheist dials the number and the line just rings and rings and no one answers. It was a joke and a good one, and Mario got it; what was unpleasant was that Mario was the only one at the big table whose laugh was a happy laugh; everybody else sort of looked down like they were laughing at somebody with a disability. ”

“Good-Looking Men in Small Clever Rooms That Utilize Every Centimeter of Available Space With Mind-Boggling Efficiency.”

“You can be shaped, or you can be broken.”

“What is unfair can be a stern but invaluable teacher.”

“Die for one person? This is a craziness. Persons change, leave, die, become ill. They leave, lie, go mad, have sickness, betray you, die. Your nation outlives you. A cause outlives you.”

“I discovered the latent rage in followers, the fate of the leader who falls from the mob’s esteem.”

“Try to learn to let what is unfair teach you.”

“My silent response to the expectant silence begins to affect the air of the room, the bits of dust and sportcoat-lint stirred around by the AC’s vents dancing jaggedly in the slanted plane of windowlight, the air over the table like the sparkling space just above a fresh-poured seltzer.”

“Boo, I think I no longer believe in monsters as faces in the floor or feral infants or vampires or whatever. I think at seventeen now I believe the only real monsters might be the type of liar where there’s simply no way to tell.”

“And his dreams late that night, after the Braintree-Bob Death Commitment, seem to set him under a sort of sea, at terrific depths, the water all around him silent and dim and the same temperature he is.”

“We’re all lonely for something we don’t know we’re lonely for. How else to explain the curious feeling that goes around feeling like missing somebody we’ve never even met?”

“To try and forget, rasa the tabula, wipe the memory totally out, numb it with opiates.”

“The other nice thing about the Pump Room is the way it’s connected by tunnel to the prorectors’ rows of housing units, which means men’s rooms, which means Hal can crawl, hunch, and tiptoe into”

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

“They attain the goal, thus, and put as much equal passion into celebrating their attainment as they had put into pursuing the attainment. This is called here the Syndrome of the Endless Party. The celebrity, money, sexual behaviors, drugs and substances. The glitter. They become celebrities instead of players, and because they are celebrities only as long as they feed the culture-of-goal’s hunger for the make-it, the winning, they are doomed, because you cannot both celebrate and suffer, and play is always suffering, just so.”

“Then in such a case your temple is self and sentiment. Then in such an instance you are a fanatic of desire, a slave to your individual subjective narrow self’s sentiments; a citizen of nothing. You become a citizen of nothing. You are by yourself and alone, kneeling to yourself.”

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

David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest, 1996

D. F. Wallace hated Infinite Jest’s original cover, he wanted a specific photograph
of Fritz Lang directing the cast of Metropolis to be used as Infinite Jest’s cover.
David2BFoster2BWallaceFritz2BLang2Bdirecting2Bthe2Bcast2Bof2BMetropolis2B 1927
 Fritz Lang directing the cast of Metropolis, 1927

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