From: "Kristine L. Haugen" (14)
Subject: Computer fiction
David Foster Wallace's *Infinite Jest* (NY 1996) doesn't feature computers
in its plot, except in a charming set-piece about the likely future of
video phone technology and some other odds and ends. But--as I think most
of its reviewers have pointed out--the book's astounding length and
extensive discursive endnotes (100+ pages) seem to owe a lot to online
composition and editing, in a way that other very big books (Gibbon,
Proust, Musil) do not. (That said, I do like Wallace's work very much.)
It seems to me many literary writers still use form in a way that was
a necessary economy when one had to handwrite or manually type
every word and syntax needed to be planned far in advance.
Of course, I'd welcome contradiction.
Department of English