• Contact Information

    Dr. Kim Middleton

    Office: 423 Western Ave. #7

    email: kmiddleton_at_strose.edu

    phone: 518 485-3647

    hours: MTW 5-6, and by appt.
  • RSS infinite summer

    • Infinite Index
      Here is a calendar and index of IS posts, for those who jolietta online casino wish to tackle the novel in the summers to come.
    • Acknowledgements
      Back in April, when I set out to recruit three more Guides, I decided to start with the folks I thought would be best suited for the role and then move down the list as I accumulated rejections (of which I expected plenty). Instead, to my great fortune, the first three people I asked accepted. […]
    • Summer’s End Roundtable, Part IV
      This is the last of a four-part roundtable discussion with the Infinite Summer Guides. Infinite Summer: Did Infinite Jest change your life? Avery Edison: It’s definitely got me reading books again, which is marvelous. I hadn’t realized how much the internet had affected my ability to just sit down and read a book, and — […]
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DFW Interviews

Newly added to the sidebar under resources: the David Foster Wallace Audio Project, a clearing house of audio interviews.  In addition to being a great resource, it handily marks many of them with the subject matter (note two under “Infinite Jest”).


Speaking of the Buddha…

Since this came up in conversation last night, I thought I’d draw your attention to Matt Baldwin’s recent post on Infinite Summer, which features this quote:

I am no scholar of Eastern religions (or Western, for that matter), but I get a distinctively Buddhist vibe from Infinite Jest. That “attachment to a permanent self in this world of change is the cause of suffering and the main obstacle to liberation”.

The comments on that post also lead to a link that further this connection, notably Infinitedetox’s post on Schacht, in addition to a back and forth between commenters Alice and Infinitedetox that goes like this:


I also see buddhist or at least eastern infulence on IJ. Perhaps the Entertainment can be understood as a kind of metaphor for samsara (the cycle of craving, karma and rebirth–only to be escaped through enlightenment–and symbolized in buddhism as the endless knot). But how is the endless distraction and suffering found in samsara/the entertainment solved by this “zen” attitude different from not caring about anything? Isn’t that nihilism? And what can possibly be “heroic” about nihilistic passivity?…


Zen philosophy has always had a real thin line to tread between “detachment”, understood in some quarters as a dispassionate attitude toward the self and the world, and “nihilism,” which is basically not giving a shit about much of anything.

I think a Zen practitioner (which I am not) would tell you that ridding yourself of attachments doesn’t mean that you can or should rid yourself of compassion toward others. Compassion is the flipside of Zen (and more generally Buddhist) philosophy that’s easy to overlook in all this talk about self-transcendence…

Quebec Separatists

I don’t want people to miss the link that Louis has posted about the QS in the comments below.  Here it is again.  Thanks, Louis!


Welcome to the hub for our three week adventure in Infinite Jest.  Your first assignment (in addition to reading, reading, reading, that is), is to set up a blog and write your first post.  If you haven’t set up a blog on WordPress before, there are specific instructions here.  Please remember to send me the url for your blog (ie., the address you type in to get there—it should look like this:  http://myblogname.wordpress.com) ASAP so that I can add it to this site and people can reap the benefits of your brilliance!!

For your first post, please include two parts: something that introduces you a bit to the group (what you do, the things you like to read, why you signed on for this class, the names of your pets—whatever information would tell us something that helps us get to know you a bit better), AND some initial ideas about the reading for Tuesday’s class.  Please post by 4 p.m. so that we have a chance to read your post!!