A Fellow of Infinite Jest?

Dave Stukas movie End of the Tour

A few months ago, I picked up David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest because I felt that I had to read it. I was late getting on the bandwagon, but I was intrigued from what I had heard about it–both good and bad.

I jumped in, struggled and gave up after 250 pages.

Today, I went to see The End of the Tour at the Hollywood Arclight theater. Terrific movie. Great performances. Not a dry eye in the house at the ending. Based on actual recorded interviews, the person of Mr. Wallace comes across as funny, deeply moral, inquisitive, observant, shy and in the end, disarmingly everyday. A regular Joe.

I wanted to know more.

Apparently, the trust established after Mr. Wallace’s suicide didn’t want the movie to be made. Probably because the reclusive author would’ve hated being in the limelight. But what the movie did was make a lot of people want to read more of his work, whether it’s his doorstopper Infinite Jest, or his various essays. That alone would make the movie a huge success.

I’ve already listened to several podcasts either recapping the author’s life and work or featuring previously recorded interviews and I was struck by some of the insights this man had about culture, human behavior, and the absurdity of life.

When I go on vacation in October, I will pick up the book again. And give it another try. I might just learn something.

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