David Foster Wallace

Those shrinks are all crazy

I notice that Wallace constantly (in my interpretation) shows the medical (specifically psychiatric) field as relatively useless and foolish. I find it highly amusing, even on a personal level, but at the same time I silently ask the author "why do you dislike counselors so much?" Not only are tons of characters addicted, they also can't seem to get any decent professional mental help. I'll list the things that make me think of this as a theme:

-Hal's father had that whole "professional conversationalist" stunt that sort of set up a lack of faith in the title "professional".


Everyone should read the acknowlegements on the copyright page in the front of Infinite Jest. It especially pertains to this block of reading and the long explanations of the AA meetings.
"Besides Closed Meetings for alcoholics only, Alcoholics Anonymous in Boston, Massachusetts, also has Open Meetings, where pretty much anybody who's interested can come and listen, take notes, pester people with questions, etc. A lot of people at these Open Meetings spoke with me and were extremely patient and garrulous and generous and helpful. The best way I can think of to show my appreciations to these men and women is to decline to thank them by name."


We spoke a bit about DeLillo's stereotypes and how they are maybe problematic. I wonder how everyone feels about Wallace's use of stereotypes--is it beyond just being humorous? If the "typical" arab doesn't catch one's eye, the section about Wardine does. The dialect and the sometimes practically unintelligible grammar seem almost excessive. Plus, it's the ultimate "typical low class" minority: sexual abuse, incest (?), physical abuse, general dysfunction--isn't this a little bit over the limit, perhaps? I'm not totally sure how I feel about it all, what does everyone else think?

everything is connected!

So "Infinite Jest" is written by a professor at Pomona. Wikipedia lists a literary criticism written by Professor Cioffi, who teaches at Scripps. Does this amuse anyone else?

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