Dominik Steinhilber
Search for other papers by Dominik Steinhilber in
Current site
Google Scholar
Infinite Jest’s ‘trinity of You and I into We’
Wallace’s ‘click’ between Joyce’s literary consubstantiality and Wittgenstein’s family resemblance
in Reading David Foster Wallace between philosophy and literature
Abstract only
Log-in for full text

Reading David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest in the tradition of Joyce’s Ulysses, this chapter argues that Infinite Jest reinterprets Joyce’s use of a secular trinity, a model of community through the recognition of a shared human substance, by means of Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations. Joyce’s trinity is thus transformed into a collaboration of author, reader, and text in the production of meaning, the novel thereby proposing a literary public language game as an alternative to solipsizing, endless deconstruction. This ghostly return of the dead author as dialogic, effaced yet present, allows for sincere communication between author and reader without recourse to a form of biographical reading reprimanded by post-structuralist philosophers. Philosophy and literature cross-fertilizing each other, Infinite Jest picks up narrative strategies of Ulysses and philosophically examines and literarily modifies them through ordinary language philosophy in order to make them applicable to the postmodern solipsism the novel perceives as its general human condition.

  • Collapse
  • Expand


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 78 78 3
Full Text Views 1 1 0
PDF Downloads 2 2 0