A Supposedly Fun Blog

July 16, 2009

The Truth About Enfield

Filed under: Uncategorized — myglesias @ 5:28 am

By Matthew Yglesias


Julian’s act below is tough to follow, but I’ve been meaning for a while to post on the curious case of Enfield, the setting of most of the book. As best I can tell based on four years of college in the area, Wallace is pretty scrupulously accurate with the geographical details of Greater Boston area. And sufficiently detailed that you can really pinpoint where the Enfield Tennis Academy must be—east of Boston College and abutting Commonwealth Avenue along the Green Line of the T west of Allston. Which would be, basically, where the Chestnut Hill Reservoir is in real life.

Whether or not you accept that pinpoint location of ETA, the larger point is clear enough that “Enfield” is located where in the real world the neighborhood of Brighton is. And a reference to the BPD being on the scene after Himself’s suicide further reenforces the idea that Enfield, like Brighton, is in fact a part of the City of Boston despite functioning to an extent like a separate town.

Of further interest, there used to be a real town of Enfield, MA but it’s now underwater as part of the creation of the Quabbin Reservoir.


  1. DON’T CLICK THAT LINK! SPOILERS EVERYWHERE!!!!!!! Thanks, lindsay sg

    Comment by mj — July 17, 2009 @ 5:23 pm | Reply

  2. SORRY! I forgot to tag it spoilers. My bad. Don’t click that link, people.

    Comment by lindsay sg — July 17, 2009 @ 6:42 pm | Reply

  3. I’m not sure about that. There is a reference to Warren Street amongst the location of Enfield and the Ennet House. I was guessing it was in that whole area with St. Elizabeth’s, the Brighton Marine Health Center and a high school (don’t remember the name).

    A large chunk of land between Commonwealth and Cambridge Street, with Warren and Washington the borders.

    Comment by Dave — July 18, 2009 @ 12:03 am | Reply

  4. I concur with Dave…I think it would be in that area. But, I’m bias, as that’s where I live (right across the street from St. Elizabeth’s on Cambridge Street. So, that’s pretty cool!

    Comment by Bryan — July 29, 2009 @ 1:17 am | Reply

  5. hi – I’m on page 192, so no spoilers for me… but a few pages back, DFW references going “past” the reservoir and the school being just west of the Marathon’s “hills of heartbreak” and the tennis academy being on top of a hill that was leveled… i should get in the car and track it… something about the book encourages obsessive decoding… (which, I guess, is another addictive escape)

    Comment by Bill Lattanzi — January 28, 2010 @ 6:00 pm | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: