He never finished a novel.
The Broom of the System
>ends in midsentence
The Pale King
>died before finishing
Why did he do this?
I think in all fairness, I should explain to you exactly what it is that we do here on /lit/. We post pictures of David Foster Wallace. 'Cause we're fuckin' stupid. We don't give a fuck about discussion. That's our business. That's what we do.
This was a deliberate part of Wallace's technique: leading up to a climactic moment, but leaving it unsaid/implied/up to the reader to fill in. He did it a lot in his short fiction too, like in 'Mr. Squishy' and 'Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way'.
Infinite Jest doesn't just stop, it begins after a climactic moment in the story, and by the end it brings the reader back around toward he events that preceded the opening chapter. The Pale King was left in unfinished form, but its intention in the first place was to lead up to something but not get there.
Wallace did things like this in order to urge greater participation and engagement on the part of his reader. When he was younger he was maybe more smug/smart-alecky/know-it-all-ish in how he went about his writing, but as he progressed he mellowed in that regard. (The Pale King is fairly accessible, despite its unfinished state.)
Urging participation is right, but you risk giving the impression that he was asking his readers to 'solve' some plot or ironic po-mo riddle. It was more about getting readers to consider that those things pose dead ends.
can we let this whole "dfw was autistic hurhur" meme go. he wasn't.