Andre Agassi: The Most Important Minor Character from Infinite Jest

Playing tennis with a loaded gun pressed to the side of his head, Clipperton, is a memorable, sad character which causes readers to laugh at his outrageous acts even though they end so tragically.  While Andre Agassi hasn’t had nearly such a tragic ending as his story comes closer to the end, the recent revelations about his past seem like something out of Inifinite Jest.

High on crystal meth, freaking out over getting his wig bobby-pinned the night before the match, he’d be an instructive example to Hal Incandenza of what can happen to those who make it to the Show, but can’t deal with the stress.  I’ve been reading this novel for a few months, and it’s been rewarding on many levels, one being my renewed interest in playing tennis; however, it has changed how I view professional athletes.  No longer do I see them as the in control people we watch performing on a field, who seem barely contained on television screens.  Now, I seem them as more human and of being plagued with issues regarding performance, aging, lack of confidence, and anxiety.  Andre Agassi seems to feed into that view as well.  I don’t know too much about his story besides the snippets that appear on every news source this week, and I don’t really care to know anything more.  All that struck me was how unreal the news seemed and how closely it mirrored the depictions in Infinite Jest.  In many ways, he’s changed the way I read the novel.  If one bizarre element can happen, how unbelievable are the rest?

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