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David Foster Wallace’s INFINITE JEST Told Through LEGO

David Foster Wallace’s INFINITE JEST Told Through LEGO

David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest is a hefty tome of fiction that hits you in the guts – in a mostly good way. Even though it was published just 18 years ago, many already dub it a classic. And what do we do with classic literature? We turn it into other works, including LEGO dioramas. English professor Kevin Griffith and his 11-year-old son Sebastian saw The Brick Bible by Brendan Powell Smith – a LEGO depiction of stories in the Bible – and were inspired to do the same with Infinite Jest.

The dioramas are funny and made more amusing when you learn how the system works: Kevin describes various pages to Sebastian who then creates the LEGO scenes. I’d call this project parenting done right. Sure, Infinite Jest is full of adult themes, but Kevin is filtering that stuff out and passing on key sentences. Each LEGO scene is posted to Brickjest with the caption that inspired it. For example:

infinite jest lego 1

“P. 11. ‘I ate this,’ was what I was saying. I held the patch out to the Moms . . .”

infinite jest lego 2

“P. 11. ‘God!’ she calls out.”

That covers a scene in the book in which Mom is gardening and Hal eats a patch of mold, tells her about it, and she freaks out. Even without knowing the context, the LEGO versions of the interaction tell the story. Guys, an 11-year-old put this together. I’m impressed and maybe feeling a little unaccomplished.

Here are a couple more fantastic examples from the series:

infinite jest lego 3

“p. 64. The tall, ungainly, socially challenged and hard-drinking Dr. Incandenza’s May-December marriage to one of the few bona-fide bombshell-type females in North American Academia, the extremely tall and high-strung . . . Avril Mondragon . . .”

infinite jest lego 4

“p. 177. ‘So I’m sitting there waiting for my meatloaf to cool and suddenly there’s a simply sphincter-loosening shriek and here’s Nell in the air with a steak-fork . . .”

I admit that half the fun is seeing which minifigs end up in the shots. An elf from The Hobbit is perfectly cast in that last image, and characters from The Simpsons and the Lord of the Rings show up. While I recommend reading Infinite Jest, this LEGO notes version is a fine way to dive in.

See the entire story at Brickjest.

Head to the comments and tell us: if you could tell the story of any book with LEGO bricks, which book would it be?

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