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Infinite fest: Foster Wallace fan club a supposedly fun thing they plan to do again • Brooklyn Paper

Infinite fest: Foster Wallace fan club a supposedly fun thing they plan to do again

Jenn Northington helped organize The David Foster Wallace Appreciation Society — a new book group for loyal fans of the late author behind “The Pale King” and “Infinite Jest.”
Photo by Melanie Fidler

Self-proclaimed book geeks are celebrating all things David Foster Wallace with a new meet-up group that promises to be as quirky, obsessive, and self-deprecating as the hipster lit icon himself.

The David Foster Wallace Appreciation Society — dubbed TDFWAS to pay homage to the insightful and humorous writer’s occasional use of intentionally long and awkward acronyms — will meet for readings, discussions, and maybe even David Foster Wallace-themed field trips, organizers say.

Co-creator Emily Pullen, a manager at Greenpoint’s Word bookstore, said the idea struck after dozens of patrons bought the bandana-sporting author’s books — then couldn’t wait to talk about them.

“We’re creating a space where people can geek-out,” Pullen said, adding that an “Infinite Jest”-inspired tennis game might be in order.

Wallace’s unique style — which features the use of footnotes, plenty of parenthesis and “a controlled lack of control” — hits a nerve with Brooklynites of a certain generation and mind-set, creators say.

“His voice really resonates with 20-and-30-somethings,” Pullen said. “It’s intellectual and snarky but also funny and emotionally touching.”

The group’s Oct. 24 kick-off meeting coincides with the release of D.T. Max’s “Every Love Story is a Ghost Story,” a biography chronicling the Wallace’s life and tragic suicide.

Max and Gerry Howard, a Doubleday editor-at-large, will discuss the acclaimed author of “Consider the Lobster” and “The Pale King,” among other works.

The club hasn’t yet set a date for a second meeting but co-creator Jenn Northington said there’s a Wallace fan club-style niche to fill, partly because finishing his sometimes long and dense books is worth celebrating.

“When you finish it, you so badly want to talk about it,” said Northington.

The David Foster Wallace Appreciation Society at Word [126 Franklin St. at the corner of Milton Street in Greenpoint, (718) 383–0096, www.wordbrooklyn.com].Oct. 24 at 7 pm. Free.

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

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