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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Into the womb of Infinite Jest: The Entertainment as speculum
by Ely, Danielle S., M.A., The College of Saint Rose, 2011, 75; 1527189
Abstract (Summary)

Many consider David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, an overtly masculine novel, in that most of it centers on or around male characters. Though one may locate powerful, influential, and even relatable female characters, it’s difficult to pair them with a positive image or representation of the feminine. I argue that this lack of a positive representation is due to the novel’s primary symbol and plot device, the deadly Entertainment. Using Luce Irigaray’s Spéculum de l’autre femme (‘Speculum of the Other Woman,’ 1974) as a model, I examine The Entertainment as the key tool and target of my feminist critique. This ultimately sheds light on a fundamental “blind-spot” within Infinite Jest , as well as many scholarly readings of it.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Middleton, Kim
Commitee: Rice, David, Shavers, Rone
School: The College of Saint Rose
Department: English
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: MAI 54/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Modern literature, American literature, Gender studies
Keywords: Feminism, Infinite Jest, Irigaray, Luce, Speculum, Wallace, David Foster
Publication Number: 1527189
ISBN: 978-1-321-45901-2
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