A footnote to Infinite Jest

Is it possible that David Foster Wallace was reading The Martyrdom of Polycarp while writing Infinite Jest? For the sake of avoiding spoilers, I won’t mention the specific scene I have in mind, but everyone who’s read it will recognize what I mean:

When he had pronounced this amen, and so finished his prayer, those who were appointed for the purpose kindled the fire. And as the flame blazed forth in great fury, we, to whom it was given to witness it, beheld a great miracle, and have been preserved that we might report to others what then took place. For the fire, shaping itself into the form of an arch, like the sail of a ship when filled with the wind, encompassed as by a circle the body of the martyr. And he appeared within not like flesh which is burnt, but as bread that is baked, or as gold and silver glowing in a furnace. Moreover, we perceived such a sweet odour, as if frankincense or some such precious spices had been smoking there. [emphasis added because people seem not to get what I’m talking about]


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