Saturday, June 4, 2011

Infinite Summer

Infinite Jest 
Twitter recently alerted me to a project called Infinite Summer, which is a blog project that guides individuals through David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest during the summer. I think that the idea is that Infinite Jest is a "hard" novel, by virtue of it's length and plethora of endnotes, and that people need guidance. I need guidance, rather, because I often find it difficult to stick with fiction because I often find non-fiction much more interesting. At least four of my friends have recommended Infinite Jest to me, so I thought I should try it. I have read just over the 1% required to start (I am using the % because I do not have page numbers in the kindle edition) and I am following the Index of Guiding Posts. I am going to try to stick with it.

Initial Thoughts: I am not a huge fan thus far. To me, the book reminds me of a combination between Kurt Vonnegut, Dave Berry, and mild nausea. To be fair, the last one may change tomorrow-- I happened to spend a large portion of today moderately nauseated. Actually, the closest thing to Infinite Jest that I have read was a series of three short stories my best friend from elementary wrote called Oy, the Dogfish Series, which was impossibly clever. I know this is going to sound like it's stretching credulity but I have a feeling that this friend may have read a portion of Infinite Jest because of the similarities in the style. This is the same person who, in fifth grade, goaded me into following his path reading Animal Farm, 1984, Lord of the Flies, Lord of the Rings, and various other novels usually over the head of kids that age (many of which I did not understand until years later). What may seem even more absurd is that I actually like "The Dogfish that Swallowed the Universe" and it's sequels significantly better thus far because voice of the narrator was more charming even with the same verbal gestures that I have observed thus far in Infinite Jest. This may be part of why I was not an English major.

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