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This chapter examines the relationship between Wallace’s writing and works of visual art. Beginning with the many moments of ekphrasis that punctuate the writing, ranging from myths of tapestry-weaving to Leutze’s mural of Manifest Destiny, encompassing Bernini and Escher in Infinite Jest alone, this chapter explores the ways in which Wallace makes use of the language of images in his writing, situating narrative in conversation with visual culture and reaching beyond language to image, color and texture. Reflecting on prior scholarly attention to art positioned in Wallace’s writing, the chapter explores the connections between attention and aesthetic. The chapter also examines the ways in which visual cues appear in other ways in Wallace’s work, from the defecatory art of Brint Moltke in “The Suffering Channel” to the incidence of color as a motif throughout the work, specifically Wallace’s insistent references to clothing. The chapter highlights the materiality of these instances, attending to both the visual and the haptic elements of his narrative deployment of art in fictional worlds. This chapter works in concert with the next, delineating the intermediate nature of Wallace’s writing, poised between language, sense and image, and how his inclusion and occlusion of art recalibrate and reflect the relationships between author and reader.
The chapter gives several examples of sexual serial killers who incorporated fetishes or partialisms into their killings. Glen Rogers was pushed under water by his red-headed mother. When killing, he targeted red-headed women and their bodies tended to be left in water. Volker Eckert had a fetish linked to women’s hair, and the assaulting of women while touching their hair formed a gateway activity to killing. Jerry Brudos developed a shoe fetish after being punished by his mother for wearing women’s high-heel shoes. This exemplifies high incentive salience being attributed to shoes. Salience then extended to women’s feet, a partialism. Charles Albright developed a fetish for eyes, having had early experience with eyes in the course of taxidermy. Yuri Tsiuman obtained an orgasm while choking a woman wearing black tights. Subsequently, he targeted women wearing black tights. H. H. Holmes shows some characteristics of having a fetish acquired to a skeleton.