If your copy of Infinite Jest is gathering dust on a bookshelf, there's good news: now you can just look at the Lego version. 11-year-old Sebastian Griffith – with the help of his literature professor dad – has created Brickjest, a hundred different Lego scenes that act out the events in David Foster Wallace's gargantuan 1,079 page book.
The father and son pair say they were inspired by The Brick Bible, Brendan Powell's Lego version of the New Testament. "Wallace's novel is probably the only contemporary text to offer a similar challenge to artists working in the medium of Lego," the two write on the Brickjest website.
Each Lego scene illustrates a pivotal scene from the book and is accompanied by a quote. It's fair to say that Sebastian has done some sterling work, considering that some of the prompts are oblique captions such as "Video telephony rendered the fantasy insupportable", or "Poor Tony is hiheeling rickytick over C zipping up saying he screams sweety C but and stuffing the feather snake from his necks' head in Cs' mouth to shut him up from hipitch screaming". He's definitely understood what was going on better than I did.
Sebastian's father Kevin Griffith explained to the Guardianhow the creative process worked: "I had taught the novel for three years in an introductory critical theory class at Capital University, so I kind of had some sense of which scenes were important thematically. We did, however, go through the novel page-by-page to also find scenes that would accommodate the kinds of Lego we had. For instance, we had a Lego safari helmet, so we picked a scene in which a character, Randy Lenz, has a dream in which he is wearing one."
Sebastian took all the photos himself using a Kodak digital camera, but his father was quick to maintain that his 11-year old kid had not actually read the book in full. "Let me be clear – Infinite Jest is not a novel for children," he said.