If you read Infinite Jest all the way through, I don’t know how you did it! Obviously I’m no intellectual!

It’s the birthday of David Foster Wallace (books by this author), born in Ithaca, New York (1962). He wrote Infinite Jest (1996), which was 1,079 pages long with 388 footnotes. It was dense and intellectual, a futurist novel about addiction, tennis, and separatist groups, among many other subjects. But it was a best-seller, and it propelled Wallace into the literary spotlight.

He said: “Postmodern irony and cynicism’s become an end in itself, a measure of hip sophistication and literary savvy. Few artists dare to try to talk about ways of working toward redeeming what’s wrong, because they’ll look sentimental and naive to all the weary ironists. Irony’s gone from liberating to enslaving.The postmodern founders’ patricidal work was great, but patricide produces orphans, and no amount of revelry can make up for the fact that writers my age have been literary orphans throughout our formative years.”

Reposted from Writer’s Almanac.