NEW YORK — Author Jennifer Gilmore is reading a biography of the late David Foster Wallace. She’s curious about his most famous book, the novel “Infinite Jest,” and wants to poke around on the Internet to learn more. Her destination is Small Demons, http://www.smalldemons.com , an encyclopedia and “Storyverse” that catalogues names, places, songs, products and other categories for thousands of books. Officially launched in August, Small Demons is the book world’s latest mind game and guilty pleasure and a proving ground that everything really is connected. You can find out how many books mention the Beatles or the Pacific Ocean or Rice Krispies. You can find answers to questions you never meant to ask, like whether writers favor Marlboros or Camels (Camels have the edge, 85-65), or which brands of cold medicine are cited in EL James’ “Fifty Shades of Grey” (NyQuil, Advil, Tylenol). “I was sure they featured `Infinite Jest,’ which of course they have,” Gilmore, whose novels include “Something Red” and “Golden Country,” wrote in a recent email. “I can get deep(er) into the Wallace brain there and as I do so, learn about the context, the ether around the book. I can relent and buy Wittgenstein… Read full this story
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