Fiction Advocate of the Day

In another example of the internet making it easier to read Infinite Jest, we get “Infinite Boston,” a photographic tour of the real-life locations in the novel and our latest Fiction Advocate of the Day.

In July of what might have been Year of Glad, one year ago this week, I traveled to Boston, Massachusetts with the express purpose of visiting as many of the landmarks and lesser known precincts that appear in, or provide inspiration for, the late David Foster Wallace’s 1996 novel Infinite Jest as I could manage on a Thursday–Sunday trip. My reasons for doing so will become apparent at a later date, but for now I am pleased to present what I am calling “Infinite Boston”: a ruminative travelogue and photographic tour of some fifty or so of these locations, comprising one entry each non-holiday weekday, from now until sometime in early autumn.

“Infinite Boston” has already covered — with commentary to help us remember what happened in each place — the Enfield Marine Public Health Center, Ennet House (IRL the Granada House where Wallace is said to have done a recovery stint), Commonwealth Avenue, Enfield Tennis Academy, St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center and other locations in the book.

It’s a bit strange to see these sites photographed in the clear light of day, looking normal and not nearly so grimy as pictured in the novel (and missing, as anyone who has lived in the Metro-Boston area can tell you, the usual ominous gray skies behind them). IB acknowledges that it follows in the footsteps of other mappings and visual guides to IJ, but is shaping up to be among the most comprehensive of the sources already out there.

– Michael Moats

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