And now to address the big, shiny, somewhat phallic V-2 rocket in the room.
Wallace wrote a big, funny post-modern book that skewers American civilization. So did Thomas Pynchon (c.f. Gravity's Rainbow). Aside from frequent parabola references, that's pretty much where the similarity ends. Gravity's Rainbow is basically a pilgrimage. Pynchon's characters move from Point A to Point B.
Infinite Jest is static. Wallace's characters are locked in their own skulls, islands unto themselves. Gravity's Rainbow had some long strange trips, baby. When faced with evil Nazi rocket scientists and the death cult techno-conspiracy of Western Civilization, why not get high?
Gravity's Rainbow thundered with the voice of the paranoid Author God. Infinite Jest doesn't.
Anthony Burgess (1917-1993) was a novelist, poet,
playwright, composer, linguist, translator and critic. He is best known for his
novel A Clockwork Orange, but altogether he wrote thirty-three novels,
twenty-five works of non-fiction, two volumes of autobiography, three
symphonies, more than 150 other musical works, reams of journalism and much
more. He was born in Manchester, England and grew up in Harpurhey
and Moss Side, went to school in Rusholme, and studied at Manchester University.
He lived in Malaya, Malta, Monaco, Italy and the US among other places, and
is still widely read all over the world.
In addition to cooking up the Indo-European tongue of Quest for Fire and the nadsat slang of A Clockwork Orange, this wordy wordsmith peppered his books with near-forgotten slovos. For example ...
Said word pops up in his Malthusian SF novel, The Wanting Seed. To look it up, you used to have to crack open the unabridged Oxford English Dictionary or pay to use their website.It ain't in thecollegiate dictionaries. But it is on Wiktionary.
There's a bloody essay out there somewhere chock full of Burgess' words. But I couldn't find it. Bathykolpian will have to do.