Infinite Jest’s Voice(s)
Notes for an (Audible) Map
We often refer to a book as having a voice that sounds uniquely distinctive, a voice that stays with us after a book is over. Voice is a key narratological term; together with its twin partner – focalization – it constitutes the skeleton of a given storyworld. The first – experiential – conception of voice is difficult to grasp and articulate and has something to do with a specific tonality we perceive in a direct, almost visceral way. The second – scholarly – produces a host of definitional moves, which tend to crystallize it in a dominant mode of articulating a story. “Infinite Jest’s Voice(s)” aims to bridge the two conceptions of voice just sketched, trying to give the sense of the book’s having a distinctive, unforgettable, voice as far as the reader’s experience is concerned.