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Infinite Jest [Anglais] [Broché]

David Foster Wallace
4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
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Description de l'ouvrage

5 juin 1997
A gargantuan, mind-altering comedy about the Pursuit of Happiness in America set in an addicts' halfway house and a tennis academy, and featuring the most endearingly screwed-up family to come along in recent fiction, Infinite Jest explores essential questions about what entertainment is and why it has come to so dominate our lives; about how our desire for entertainment affects our need to connect with other people; and about what the pleasures we choose say about who we are. Equal parts philosophical quest and screwball comedy, Infinite Jest bends every rule of fiction without sacrificing for a moment its own entertainment value. It is an exuberant, uniquely American exploration of the passions that make us human - and one of those rare books that renew the idea of what a novel can do.

--Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.

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Biographie de l'auteur

David Foster Wallace was born in Ithaca, New York, in 1962 and raised in Illinois, where he was a regionally ranked junior tennis player. He received bachelor of arts degrees in philosophy and English from Amherst College and wrote what would become his first novel, The Broom of the System, as his senior English thesis. He received a masters of fine arts from University of Arizona in 1987 and briefly pursued graduate work in philosophy at Harvard University. His second novel, Infinite Jest, was published in 1996. Wallace taught creative writing at Emerson College, Illinois State University, and Pomona College, and published the story collections Girl with Curious Hair, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, Oblivion, the essay collections A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, and Consider the Lobster. He was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Award, and a Whiting Writers' Award, and was appointed to the Usage Panel for The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. He died in 2008. His last novel, The Pale King, was published in 2011. --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.

Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 1104 pages
  • Editeur : Abacus (5 juin 1997)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0349121087
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349121086
  • Dimensions du produit: 13,2 x 19,7 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 521 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Par Mr G.
Format:Format Kindle|Achat authentifié par Amazon
A long journey into Wallace's mind, a bizarre landscape that merges a sharp taste for details (sort of Perec's "Life A User's Manual") and the darkest corners of human addiction (it sometimes reminded me of "Naked Lunch").

The book is long and heavy (had to buy a kindle to finish it), not all parts are equally interesting, but it left this reader amazed at the hyper-acuity of Wallace mind, his talent for dark humour, and his ability to distill the absurdities of the modern world into characters and situations that are at the same time completely beyond belief, and yet still resonate with our daily experiences ....
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Genius rewards the patient 12 décembre 2001
Par Stephen R. Laniel - Publié sur
David Foster Wallace is a genius, and he knows it. But unlike other geniuses that you might know, he never tries to make you feel dumb. He just wants you to understand the same things that he does, so occasionally you'll feel out of your depth. But he's also a gifted writer, so odds are that you *will* come out understanding him. And what he's saying is brilliant, so you'll feel like a better person for it.
Wallace has been described as ``postmodern", a word that seems to get smacked onto anything written after World War II. I don't see it. To me, postmodernism involves a few things: 1) irony, in liberal doses (e.g., DeLillo's _White Noise_); 2) a continuous awareness that we're *reading a book* and that there's an author talking to us, and that the characters are under his control (e.g., anything by Kurt Vonnegut); 3) self-reference, sometimes to the point of disorienting involution (e.g., Wallace's story ``Westward The Course Of Empire Makes Its Way" from his book _Girl With Curious Hair_ - and that story is, notably, a spoof of postmodernism). This may be an overly conservative definition of postmodernism, but the word's overapplication justifies some conservatism.
_Infinite Jest_ is not postmodern; it's just a great story with beautifully constructed characters. It is a book about a movie that is so addictive that anyone who starts watching it has no choice but to keep watching it forever - foregoing food, water, and sleep, and suffering as much pain as is necessary to keep watching. The movie itself is, to paraphrase a friend, an uber-McGuffin (I'm never sure whether I've spelled that right) - an object that never gets clearly explained, but around which the plot coheres.
The movie itself is not the main point of the book. _Infinite Jest_ is a novel about American addictions: television, drugs, sex, fame, and indeed the American need to be addicted to something. An addiction to addictions. Wallace summarizes the book's mood well when he says,
``There's something particularly sad about it, something that doesn't have very much to do with physical circumstances, or the economy, or any of the stuff that gets talked about in the news. It's more like a stomach-level sadness. I see it in myself and my friends in different ways. It manifests itself as a kind of lostness. Whether it's unique to our generation I really don't know."
The main sign of Wallace's genius - and yes, I mean that word with all it entails, content in the knowledge that it is overused but that it fits here - is that he can make us feel this gut-level sadness without even appearing to work at it. Heavy use of irony can make you feel that there's some deeper, unseen, lurking gloominess about the world, and for that reason it's the easy way out. Ditto self-reference, which after a while is dizzying and confusing. Wallace is too brilliant a writer to take any of the easy postmodern routes. He's just written a great story with an unpleasant underlying mood. It's been a long time since I've read a book of such masterful subtlety.
It has all the classic aspects of a great novel: characters whom the reader *understands*, a compelling story that edges inexorably toward an uncertain ending, a gut-level mood, and a habit of dispensing brilliant toss-offs so suddenly that the reader can't help but gasp. For instance, see the attached text file containing Wallace's future-retrospective explanation of why videophones failed.
My first inclination was that this book - weighing in at over a thousand pages, including hundreds of footnotes (some of which have their own footnotes) - needed an editor. And it may, at points. But there's very little chaff amongst the wheat: the book's heft serves at least three purposes:
1) To build characters, slowly and methodically. One of Wallace's flaws is that his characters' dialogue - particularly that of his youthful protagonist and tennis prodigy, Hal Incandenza - doesn't sound genuine. It sounds like Wallace talking through 17-year-olds, not 17-year-olds who've been transcribed. I think Wallace realizes this, which is why most of his character development comes through narration.
2) To dump out the contents of Wallace's swirling brain. He has so much to say, and he seems to want to get it all down on paper in this one book. Less profound thoughts from a less talented author might have left me screaming for an editor, but they didn't do so here.
3) To structure the book as a conversation. Reading this book, one feels as though one is talking directly with Wallace. More often than not, his sentences will contain heavy Latinate words like ``epicanthic" just a short distance from the conversational stammerings ``like" and ``and so but". Again, had a lesser writer written these words, I would have edited the book myself, filling the margins with red pen.
The book's length will discourage all but a few readers, but it handsomely rewards the patient.
231 internautes sur 247 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Pure genius 4 mars 2004
Par Jeffrey Leach - Publié sur
Say farewell, at least for a month or so, to your family, friends, and other hobbies. Figure out a way to fortify your fingers, wrists, and arms so you can hold this book up for hours at a time over a period of weeks. Reconfigure the lighting arrangement in your reading area for maximum glow. Find two sturdy bookmarks. Take a deep breath, let it out real slow, and you are ready to begin the monumental task of reading David Foster Wallace's "Infinite Jest." It took me three solid weeks to navigate a path through the byzantine structures of Wallace's magnum opus, three weeks of reading at least twenty pages a day (often more than that, of course) to get through the nearly 1,000 pages of text and the ninety plus pages of endnotes that make up this novel. If you have heard of Wallace before, and you probably have if you are checking out reviews for the book, you know "Infinite Jest" has quite a reputation in the literary world. You will see stuffed shirts tossing around words like "post post-modernism" and other academic jargon while referring to Wallace's oeuvre. Don't let these old fogies get you down; "Infinite Jest" is an immensely readable, hypnotically fascinating novel chock full of great humor, great sadness, and thought provoking themes.
The novel takes place in Enfield, Massachusetts in the near future. In the story, Canada, the United States, and Mexico formed a federation called the Organization of North American Nations (known as O.N.A.N.). The citizens of this confederation spend their time watching entertainment cartridges playable on their "teleputers," devices that came about when broadcast television went bankrupt. Advertisers predictably had a cow over the loss of television, so the government allowed companies to purchase calendar years and rename them. Hence, we have years called "The Year of Glad," and "The Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment." Not everyone is happy with the O.N.A.N. arrangement; Quebecois revolutionaries continue to seek an independent homeland from their Canadian masters, only now they have to deal with the United States as well. In a devious bid for independence, a group of terrorists known as "The Wheelchair Assassins" (!) are seeking a film cartridge that supposedly kills anyone who watches it by turning them into pleasure seeking zombies. Moreover, a new energy system called annular fusion requires the confederation to dump its toxic waste into a place called "The Great Concavity," an abandoned area encompassing most of Maine and other northeastern regions. The concavity borders Quebec, and the toxins flung there with giant catapults (!!) have leeched into surrounding areas, thus causing thousands of people to develop life-threatening deformities.
Wallace introduces dozens of oddball characters in the course of his narrative, with special emphasis placed on the students at the Enfield Tennis Academy and the addicts populating a drug rehab right down the hill called Ennet House. The primary character at Enfield is one Hal Incandenza, a genius and a tennis star with a growing addiction to marijuana. Living with Hal are his horribly disfigured brother Mario, his promiscuous but hyper intelligent mother Avril, and several fellow students who redefine our conceptions of the bizarre. Hal has difficulties dealing with his family due to, among other issues, the horrific suicide via microwave oven of his father James. Dad was a scientist who helped develop annular fusion before going into experimental filmmaking. It was, in fact, James Incandenza who made the fatal entertainment cartridge that is causing so many headaches. In opposition to the madhouse that is Enfield is the madhouse that is Ennet House, where drug addict Don Gately attempts to take things one day at a time. Gately lived a life of desperate abandon, burglarizing homes in order to pay for his addictions. The only thing harder than living on drugs is kicking the habit, and Wallace describes in minute detail the hard sought sobriety of Don Gately and his fellow addicts. I know this summary stinks, I know I'm leaving tons of stuff out, but place the blame on Wallace for constructing such a complex novel.
Several themes thread their way through the novel. The most notable is the theme of addiction and recovery represented by Hal Incandenza and Don Gately. Another theme is the role of entertainment in American society, something Wallace sees as a calamity of epic proportions that will only end in death. If you tire of looking for deeper meaning in "Infinite Jest," don't worry. You can laugh yourself sick over the humorous aspects of the book or stare in open-mouthed awe at the numerous digressions from the main story. Wallace is a powerful writer, capable of infusing seemingly banal situations like filmmaking and sports with amazing energy. Check out the story about Hal's brother Orin punting in his first football game, or the Eschaton disaster at the academy, or James Incandenza's filmography in one of the endnotes for proof of this assertion. I especially loved the filmography and the endnote explaining the origins of the Wheelchair Assassins, two of the funniest, most wildly inventive things I have ever read. Most of the book is as equally brilliant even as it veers off in a dozen different directions.
"Infinite Jest" is intricate, with its multitude of subplots, OED inspired vocabulary, and tragic characters, yet the book still entertains because Wallace knows how to drape a compelling, easily understood story over all of the complexities. I'm under no illusions that I picked up on more than a fraction of the many things Wallace was attempting to say, but who cares? I had a heckuva a ride through this book, and hopefully you will too. Remember, take your time, breathe easy, and don't worry too much about carpal tunnel syndrome.
P.S. Allston Rules.
67 internautes sur 69 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Here's What You Need to Know... 19 septembre 2012
Par T. A. Daniel - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat authentifié par Amazon
I feel like there's been so much written about this book, that it almost seems impossible to try to add anything new to this discussion. However, I will try to lay out reasons to buy/not buy this book as well as a few things people might want to know before jumping into this kind of commitment. INFINITE JEST isn't for everyone, and I don't mean that in a condescending or patronizing way: it will certainly appeal to some people's sensibilities much more than others.

###Here's What You Need to Know###
David Foster Wallace's INFINITE JEST is a postmodern novel with a premodern message. Wallace, who railed against irony, wanted to be sincere in his writing. So while this book does contain many postmodern conventions, its ideas about humanity aren't postmodern at all. I think many people were disappointed that the book is "about addiction, and that's all you need to know," but there is much more to this book, and there's much more that Wallace has to say. Some of these messages are delivered with a heavy hand, and that's fine: Wallace wanted to be sincere, and he wouldn't want to dull his insights by distancing himself from them via irony or whatever else.

This book is indeed incredibly long. INFINITE JEST is notoriously known for being a long book - it's just shy of 1100 pages. Stephen King's THE STAND (uncut edition) and George R.R. Martin's STORM OF SWORDS are longer this, but I was able to clear those books much quicker than David Foster Wallace's second novel. I'm a very slow reader, and I was able to read INFINITE JEST in about two months, without taking into account the time I spent reading two shorter novels by different authors.

This book is indeed incredibly verbose. As a way to rage against the rising popularity of minimalist writing in the 1980's, Wallace found himself moving towards a brand of writing that captured everything: every thought, every action, every detail. His maximalist writing can be hard to get through at time: there's an extended passage detailing a tennis academy's design that seems to go on forever. The discussion of an invented game that involves intermediate calculus to keep score reaches across dozens of pages. Wallace sought to capture everything.

Everything you heard about the endnotes is true. The narration of the book is frequented interrupted with endnotes (different from footnotes), some of which span a dozen pages and contain their own endnotes. These asides are not optional: plot details are frequently hinted at or exposed in these interludes.

READ THIS ON KINDLE IF YOU CAN. I want to stress this point: reading INFINITE JEST is much easier on an eReader for a few reasons. With Kindle, the hassle of flipping back to the endnotes is a burden made much lighter. Each note is hyperlinked to its corresponding section to the back. It's also really easy to highlight, bookmark, make notes of certain areas to revisit if you need. Some important plot elements are given only once in passing, so marking these areas is helpful, and Kindle makes the task really simple. The weight of this mammoth book is also erased with the electronic copy. There are two complaints about the Kindle version however: 1) it's not a real book, and I prefer handling most books (I think we all kind of do, right?) and 2) if you close the eReader while you are in the endnotes, your Kindle will recognize that page as being the further point you've read to. Remedying this situation isn't hard; you'll just need to log onto Amazon and clear your furthest-page-read, but it is a bit annoying.

###Here's Why You Should Buy This Book###
Some of the passages in this novel rank among my favorite all-time sections of writing. While Wallace can be verbose, it can lead to some of the most inventive and poetic turns of phrase. I found myself going back and re-reading many moments as soon as I finished them and highlighting them for later use (I rarely ever do this).

This book is funny, sad, smart, and silly. INFINITE JEST really runs the gamut in terms of emotions that it evokes. I've seen many readers talk about how funny it is, and others that focus on how tragic it is. There are moments in this book that I still reflect on and laugh out loud. There are moments that, when I think about them, make me want to cry. There are even moments in this that give me the goosebumps imagining how horrifying they would be.

INFINITE JEST is filled with tons of ideas and tons of characters. Readers will spend a lot of time with the characters here, and almost all of them are interesting. Some of them are fun, and some of them are despicable. Mario Incandenza ranks among one of my favorite characters in literature. Additionally, this book is full of ideas about addiction, entertainment, society, family, imperialism, Quebec separatism, and tennis. There's a lot of great insight spread out across the novel's length. There's not a ton of plotting to INFINITE JEST, but it's alright: these characters are often compelling enough that readers will want to spend their time with them.

It seems that half of the reason to read INFINITE JEST lies merely in the act of doing it. Most people bail on the book midway through, so finishing the novel is seen as a sort of accomplishment in some circles.

###Here's Why You Should Pass on This Book###
This book is too long. It surprised me to learn that INFINITE JEST had an editor and that sections of the book were excised. There are some stretches where not much seems to happen and no new insights are made. Most books leave me wanting the ending to go on and on forever, but there were times where I was just ready for this novel to be over (strangely enough, not at the ending though).

INFINITE JEST is wildly inconsistent. It probably comes with the territory of maximalist writing, but while some passages of writing are fantastic, some passages are equally dull. While I loved the book, I think it would be hard to argue that this novel is a solid, consistent work. Additionally, the novel frequently jumps (apropos of nothing) to different characters and different times and different settings. The narrative might be dealing with Hal Incandenza at a Boston tennis academy in the future only to suddenly (with, granted a line break) focus on a glimpse of his father in the 1970's. Even more additionally, the writing style changes frequently.

The use of styles can be jarring. I ended up liking this point, but I feel that I may be in the minority on this. Early in the book, an essay written by one of the characters (in high school) is recounted in full. Later, we are treated to stream-of-consciousness via a character we are not familiar with. Later, there are dozens of pages with nothing but dialog (literally, not figuratively), and some passages that are completely without dialog.

There's not much plot here. I haven't talked much about the plot in the above content because there's just not that much to talk about. The premise is: a filmmaker created a video that is so enjoyable, people can't turn away from it or think about anything else. Most of this book focuses in on its settings and characters to make its points.

###Overall... ###
Overall, I gotta say, even for all of its flaws, I really enjoyed INFINITE JEST. Some of the reviewers that rated this book poorly have good points to make, and I would recommend reading these reviews before making the plunge on buying this book. At the end of the day though, if you enjoy postmodern fiction, INFINITE JEST is definitely an experience worth trying.
132 internautes sur 146 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Addicting 1 juin 2000
Par Jefferson Turner - Publié sur
When I picked up this book, I intended to read just the first few pages to see what it was about, and maybe finish some other time. 1100 pages later, I finally put it down. OK, I didn't read it all in one sitting, but the single mindedness you could call an addiction. Which is appropriate, because this book is about addiction in all sorts of forms: drugs, alcohol, athletics, entertainment, and so forth. The scope DFW attempts (and succeeds) is amazing: every page, every chapter is a constant surpise. DFW sets up his own kind of reality, and then stretches that reality to the breaking point. To try to summarize or encapsulate in a 1000 words is impossible. INFINITE JEST is comic and tragic, science fiction and mystery, socio-political commentary and literary fiction. Now for the bad news. Sometimes, the writing is....pretentious. The footnotes get to be a little much. It is as if DFW is showing off his virtuosity at wordplay for the sake of showing off. He actually addresses this criticism in a very good interview ................. INFINITE JEST is not an "easy read," but it is well worth the effort.
100 internautes sur 114 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Infinitely Entertaining 21 février 2003
Par IRA Ross - Publié sur
It is a daunting task to review this novel. The text is 981 pages long and the end notes close to 100 pages long. The book is also quite heavy. My almost continuous need to check these notes kept interrupting the flow of the novel, but necessarily filled in lots of the details of its characters' family backgrounds, historical facts and fictions, and Mr. Wallace's infinite knowledge of myriad pharmaceutical products mentioned in the novel. _Infinite Jest_ is as complex and dense as it is entertaining, funny, horrifying, painful, bizarre, and at times graphically nauseating and hallucinatory.
It is the Year of the Depends Adult Undergarment. By the beginning of the 21st century time ceased to be designated chronologically, but began being named for well-known products on the market, e.g. Trial Size Dove Bar, etc. The setting is the Organization of North American Nations (O.N.A.N. [ha, ha, ha]), no longer the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The big annual holiday celebration is Interdependence Day. From time to time the book is populated by wheelchair bound, legless Quebecois terrorists who want Quebec to break away from O.N.A.N. Their story, told in some detail, is extremely odd and mind boggling to say the least.
The cornerstone of the novel concerns the characters associated with Enfield Tennis Academy, a training school for young tennis prodigies. The head was formerly the late James O. Incandenza (called "Himself" and "The Stork" by his sons), who also dabbled in experimental film making, his wife Avril (called "The Moms" by her sons), and their three sons, Orin (football star), Mario (a gentle dwarf and like his father, a film maker), and Hal (the youngest, but extraordinarily brilliant and drug addicted). Some of Hal's descriptions of his late father's story are bizarre but incredibly funny!
In my opinion the hero of _Infinite Jest_ is Don Gately. He is a formerly heavily drug addicted, but currently seriously sober staff counselor at Ennet House, a residential home, near Boston, for individuals suffering from drug and alcohol problems. Here is a man who formerly financed his habit through robbery, burglary, and other illegal money making schemes, who is justly beloved by Ennet House occupants. Gately is the "Christ figure" of the book who suffers for the various transgressions of others. Toward the end of the book a "victim" of one of Gately's past shennanigans pays tribute to him.
_Infinite Jest_ can be a slow read (it took me several months to complete the book) because in addition to its length it is rarely told in a conventional narrative form. I also found myself at times zipping through all the strange, but delightfully recited situations and characterizations. To be enjoyed one must be patient with it and allow oneself to go with its relentless flow. If it is not already, _Infinite Jest_ is destined to become one of the world's great classics.
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