Infinite Jest

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Infinite Jest (1996) by David Foster Wallace, American novel.

  • I am in here.
  • "Kiss me where it smells," she said so I took her to Allston.
  • Te Occidere Possunt Sed Te Edere Non Possunt Nefas Est (they can kill you, but the legalities of eating you are quite a bit dicier)
  • Hal Incandenza has an almost obsessive dislike for deLint, whom he tells Mario he sometimes cannot quite believe is even real, and tries to get to the side of, to see whether deLint has a true z coordinate or is just a cutout or projection.
  • The difference between homicide and suicide is mostly a matter of where you perceive the door top to the cage to be.
  • 'Boo, I think I no longer believe in monsters as faces in the floor or feral infants or vampires or whatever. I think at seventeen now I believe the only real monsters might be the type of liar where there's simply no way to tell. The ones who give nothing away.'
    'But then how do you know they're monsters, then?'
    'That's the monstrosity right there, Boo, I'm starting to think.'
  • That 'acceptance' is usually more a matter of fatigue than anything else.
  • Unless you're Charlton Heston — or unhinged — God speaks and acts entirely through the medium of human beings.
  • It is often more fun to want something than to have it.
  • The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you.
  • What metro Boston AAs are trite but correct about is that both destiny's kisses and its dope-slaps illustrate an individual person's basic personal powerlessness over the really meaningful events in his life: i.e. almost nothing important that ever happens to you happens because you engineer it. Destiny has no beeper; destiny always leans trenchcoated out of an alley with some sort of Psst that you usually can't even hear because you're in such a rush to or from something important you've tried to engineer.
  • Molly Notkin often confides on the phone to Joelle van Dyne about the one tormented love of Notkin's life thus far, an erotically circumscribed G. W. Pabst scholar at New York University tortured by the neurotic conviction that there are only a finite number of erections possible in the world at any one time and that his tumescence means e.g. the detumescence of some perhaps more deserving or tortured Third World sorghum farmer or something, so that whenever he tumefies he’ll suffer the same order of guilt that your less eccentrically tortured Ph.D-type person will suffer at the idea of, say, wearing baby-seal fur.

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