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Hidden Gems

Unexpectedly Poetic Lines Easily Overlooked (?) in Infinite Jest’s Voluminous Flow

Mary Shapiro    Truman State University, USA    

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abstract

Although readers are more likely to dwell upon particularly funny, surprising, or disturbing moments in David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, the novel contains many instances of breathtaking poeticism. A close reading of a few such lines, hidden gems that could easily be overlooked in the voluminous flow of the novel, demonstrates the array of linguistic variables that Wallace skilfully manipulated to create iconic reminders that moments of beauty and pleasure can be found in the most mundane, ridiculous, and/or depressing of contexts.

Published
March 16, 2022
Accepted
Nov. 21, 2021
Submitted
Sept. 12, 2021
Language
EN

Keywords: Linguistic criticismDavid Foster WallacePoetic languageStylisticsInfinite Jest

Copyright: © 2021 Mary Shapiro. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.