It is truly “the strangest, most distinctive, and most involved work of fiction”!
With the help of the Infinite Jest Wiki, I spent one year and five months to read this heavy book. Not necessarily read it every day, yet the more I read it, the more it fascinates me. Especially this part which describe complicated mental experiences of drug addicts:
--fun with the Substance, then very gradually less fun, then significantly less fun because of like blackouts you suddenly come out of on the highway going 145 kph with companions you do not know, nights you awake from in unfamiliar bedding next to somebody who doesn’t even resemble any known sort of mammal
--then at some point suddenly just very little fun at all, combined with terrible daily hand-trembling need, then dread, anxiety, irrational phobias, dim siren-like memories of fun, trouble with assorted authorities, knee-buckling headaches, mild seizures
--then more Losses, with the Substance seeming like the only consolation against the pain of the mounting Losses, and of course you’re in Denial about it being the Substance that’s causing the very Losses it’s consoling you about
--then less mild seizures and fist-at-the-sky, as-God-is-my-witness vows to buckle down and like this thing for good, to quit for all time, then maybe a few white-knuckled days of initial success, then a slip, then more pledges, clock-watching, baroque self-regulations, repeated slops back into the Substance’s relief after like two days’ abstinence
--then unbelievably psychic pain, eventual domestic Losses
--then vocational ultimatums, unemployability, financial ruin, pancreatitis, overwhelming guilt; finally it’s impossible to get high enough to freeze what you feel like, being this way; the Substance, you find you finally want to stop more than anything on earth and it’s no fun doing it anymore and you can’t believe you ever liked doing it and but you still can’t stop, it’s like you’re totally fucking bats
--then you’re in serious trouble, and you know it, finally, deadly serous trouble, because this Substance you thought was your one true friend, that you gave up all for, gladly, that for so long gave you relief from the pain of the Losses your love of relief caused, your mother and lover and god and compadre, has finally removed its smily-face mask to reveal centerless eyes and a ravening maw, and canines down to here, it’s the Face In The Floor, the grinning root-white face of your worst nightmares, and the face is your own face in the mirror, now, it’s you, the Substance has devoured or replaced and become you.
The more I immersed myself into the contexts, I am vowed by the author and begin to understand why nobody translate the book into Chinese. It is such a difficult job! For example, Wallace incorporated math concept to describe the states of tennis plays in one sentence: “they all in here existed basically as Fourier Transforms of postures and little routines” (page 966), as explained in Infinite Jest Wiki:
A Fourier transform is a mathematical operation that transforms one function into another. This type of transform is named in honour of Joseph Fourier. To exist basically as Fourier Transforms of postures and routines is to exist as an abstraction where a student is trained in postures and routines is transformed into tennis player capable of executing a variation of those postures and routines.
It is also worth noting that the Fourier transform converts a signal from the time domain (that is, that the signal is a function of time) to the frequency domain (no longer a function of time but of frequency, the function being composed of wave functions). The implication being that all the "postures and little routines" are composed of repeated actions (analogous to the waves that make up a Fourier series) and can be expressed in a time independent manner.