Writing Machines is the course website for English 170L at Pomona College in Claremont, California.
More thoughts on Infinite Jest and the like--
I have read both Infinite Jest and Gravity's Rainbow (though "read" is a bit of a stretch for what happened with Gravity's Rainbow, I'd say it was more like a desperate run to the finish). And I'm definitely not arguing that these books have some neat conclusions. However, when I read Infinite Jest, I feel like I'm not getting something due to my own idiocy. I feel like all the clues are there, and I just can't figure it out because I'm not well-versed enough in philosophy, literature, and history. BUT if I try hard enough, and keep on reading it, I'll figure it out. Now, I guess this isn't true, Infinite Jest won't ever resolve itself, no matter how smart you are. But that was still the emotional reaction I had reading it.
I had a really different experience reading Afternoon. In that story, I felt like something was being deliberately held from me, and that Joyce was trying to provoke frustration and anger from me. I was being manipulated. Basically, I blamed Joyce for my problems, while Infinite Jest made me blame only myself. Of course, I love Infinite Jest, which also explains why I am willing to cut it more slack for being elusiveâ€¦
I guess this has more to do with the gift of the writer (or your preference for a style of writing), rather then the medium. Perhaps DFW could pull off the same confusion, paranoia, and re-reading on hypertext, but I'm not so sure that Joyce could do the same in print.