Awesome read, Deirdre. I finally skimmed my way through Infinite Jest on attempt number 4 a little over a year ago. Your characterization of Wallace’s work as the overwrought genius of a man in need of a good editor feels about right. There was some pages in IJ that moved me deeply, but Wallace makes you pay a steep price for them in terms of esoteric verbosity and sheer human filth. A man who I am very close to actually had to put the book down once DFW’s graphic references to sexual abuse, substance abuse, and depression started hitting too close to home.
Why do you think men dig DFW so much? I really don’t know — I struggled to get through IJ.