About

Infinite Zombies is a group blog that spun off of the Infinite Summer project. We started out by reading and blogging about Infinite Jest, but now we’re moving forward with the expanded scope of the initial project. Dracula sort of fizzled out, but we have high hopes for 2666. Here’s the list of reads:
  1. Anne Brock
    August 18, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    just stumbled on your site; I’m almost done with Infinite Jest. One thing I’ve been curious about, thought you all might have an opinion on – in 3 November Y.D.A.U., around page 138 in my copy (paperback, novel is 981 pages not counting footnotes) he references the story about an insurance claim – an accident reported as being due to “trying to do the job alone” – a pail of bricks lands on the person’s head and inflicts other damage based on them holding or letting go of a rope over a pulley. I’ve read this story before many times with the author always “unknown” or “anonymous”. Was Wallace the original author of this story/urban legend? Do you all happen to know?

    Thaks, Anne

  2. August 18, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    Wallace definitely didn’t originate the story. Kevin Guilfoile over at Infinite Summer wrote a thought- and comment-provoking post about this very story here, complete with some detective work on the origins of the story.

    • Anne Brock
      August 19, 2009 at 9:05 am

      thank you so much for the fast reply and the pointer to the Infinite Summer discussion. I’m on the side of those who think this didn’t really add anything to the book and could have been left out. But it doesn’t take very long to read so guess it doesn’t matter that he included it.

  3. August 19, 2009 at 9:42 am

    Glad to help. I think this and other urban-legend-type things that come up in the book may be part of Wallace’s broader project of providing a mediated reading experience as a way of keeping you from reading passively (what’s more mediated than one permutation of an urban legend that has been passed around for decades?), so I like it, but I agree that if this one had been left out, the book probably wouldn’t be noticeably worse or anything. :)

  4. Mary Libertin
    September 26, 2010 at 10:59 am

    Please send me info on Infinite Zombies and Ulysses. Will a new group begin at the end of September? I’m ready.

  5. September 27, 2010 at 9:05 am

    Mary, the Ulysses read finished up a few weeks ago, and there are no plans for any future reads. I’m sort of on hiatus for the time being, though I imagine I’ll be back at some point.

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