Rendering numerous English Literature theses lacking, an 11-year-old has been recreating scenes from David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest using Lego figures. Wallace’s magnum opus, an extraordinarily long postmodern tome about pop culture addictions, drug addictions, tennis, Canadian terrorists, and a whole host of things further explained in its copious footnotes, seems like an odd choice for inspiration to 11-year-old Sebastian Griffith. The whole exercise makes more sense once you learn that Sebastian’s father, Kevin, is collaborating with his son on the project.
The elder Griffith is an English professor at Columbus, Ohio’s Capital University and was inspired by Brendan Powell Smith’s The Brick Bible, a retelling of the New Testament using the versatile building blocks. Kevin finds passages from Wallace’s dense deconstruction of American obsessions that Sebastian can recreate as one still with his toys. There are some recurring pieces in the cast, most notably The Simpsons’ Nelson Muntz as recovering drug addict Don Gately. While the Griffiths haven’t recreated the scene where players for the Arizona Cardinals dress like giant birds and descend from the rafters of the stadium (yet), they have wisely chosen to include the feral hamsters terrorizing the Great Concavity (it makes somewhat more sense in context of the book).
A father and son working on interpreting an engrossing piece of pop culture by using popular mediums easily derided as childish? There should be a book about that or something. In the mean time, check out a few highlights from the Griffiths below and check out more of their work at their website, Brickjest.
(H/T: The Daily Dot)