The Iron Bars of Freedom: David Foster Wallace and the Postmodern Self by Stefan HirtThe Iron Bars of Freedom: David Foster Wallace and the Postmodern Self by Stefan Hirt

The Iron Bars of Freedom: David Foster Wallace and the Postmodern Self

byStefan Hirt

Paperback | March 11, 2008

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David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest is one of the most ambitious American novels of the last decade. Its huge scope, its immense array of characters, and Wallace's artful mastery of language make it a complex and sometimes difficult text that has frequently been compared with other works of magnitude such as Ulysses and Gravity's Rainbow. This book aims to provide the reader of Wallace's novel with one (of many) possible thread(s) which might lead him through the textual labyrinth of Infinite Jest. It is concerned with the issues of narcissism, addiction, depression, and despair and interprets the novel within an Existentialist framework drawn from the philosophical works of Jean-Paul Sartre and Søren Kierkegaard. Hirt analyzes Wallace's portrayal of contemporary existence inside a society that, paradoxically, entraps the individual self exactly by exposing it to an unprecedented state of freedom. Furthermore, Hirt discusses the counter-proposals which Wallace weighs against postmodern culture. Infinite Jest is thus set in relation to postmodern literature, and the similarities as well as the differences between this literary period and Infinite Jest are illuminated.

Stefan Hirt studied American Literature, Rhetorics, and History at the University of Tuebingen, Germany, where he is currently working on a project about American cultural icons.
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Title:The Iron Bars of Freedom: David Foster Wallace and the Postmodern SelfFormat:PaperbackDimensions:166 pagesPublished:March 11, 2008Publisher:ibidem PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:3898219542

ISBN - 13:9783898219549

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Table of Contents

IntroductionI. David Foster Wallace and PostmodernismII. An Existentialist Reading of Infinite JestIII. Wallace's Aesthetics in Infinite JestSummaryList of Works Cited