“When I was younger,” said David Foster Wallace in an interview, “I saw my relationship with the reader as a sort of sexual one. But now it seems more like a late night conversation with really good friends when the bullshit stops and the masks come off.” Oddly, my relationship with Infinite Jest borders on the sexual. For me, its charm goes beyond its ingenious volubility and originality and rests on the shoulders of its doomed cast of characters. Its troupe of addicts and depressives – from Madame Psychosis to each of the Incandenzas to Gately to the smaller Tinys and Kates – is so grotesque and provocative that I want to reach out and touch one of them. Wallace said that he wanted to write something that would make somebody say, “Holy, shit, I’ve got to read this,” and then seduce them into doing some work. But the work that they have to do is like sex. It’s pleasurable to a fault.

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