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Fiction

Honors Theses

American

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What's "Really Real": David Foster Wallace And The Pursuit Of Sincerity In Infinite Jest, Henry Clayton Jun 2015

What's "Really Real": David Foster Wallace And The Pursuit Of Sincerity In Infinite Jest, Henry Clayton

Honors Theses

Throughout his literary career, David Foster Wallace articulated the problems associated with the profusion of irony in contemporary society. In this thesis I assert that his novel Infinite Jest promotes a shift from the reliance on irony and subversion to a celebration of the principles of sincerity. The emphasis on sincerity makes Infinite Jest a landmark novel in the canon of American fiction, as Wallace employs postmodern formal techniques, such as irony, metafiction, fragmentation, and maximalism, in the interest of promoting traditional, non-ironic values of emotion, community, and spirituality. I draw from works of postmodern theory and criticism to bolster ...