Wednesday, August 26, 2009


In this post at Infinite Summer, Wallace honcho Matt Bucher delves into influences on Infinite Jest.

His first two examples are well-documented but not surprising: Mary Karr, sure—she dated DFW; Don DeLillo—no surprise there.

But then things get interesting: Thomas Harris! And Bucher backs it up with a passage-to-passage comparison between Red Dragon and IJ that is simply stunning. One might even be tempted to call DFW a plagiarist (if not for the fact that he re-writes Harris with such idiosyncratic brilliance).

For the sockdolager, though, Bucher draws a parallel to the oldest of old-school Nintendo games. And, I have to admit, it makes sense.

(He also argues, persuasively, that DFW was sincere in this list he submitted for a book that compiled the top ten favorite books of various writers. I always figured it was a joke, and a rather snarky one at that.)

Good stuff.

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