Monday, January 25, 2010

Infinitely Long

I've decided to read Infinite Jest, by David Foster Wallace. I've heard things about it from That Guy and the Internet, and am interested. It is the story of...well, a lot of things.
Equal parts philosophical quest and screwball comedy, Infinite Jest bends every rule of fiction, features a huge cast and multilevel narrative, and questions essential elements of American culture - our entertainments, our addictions, our relationships, our pleasures, our abilities to define ourselves. -
Today I picked up a copy from the good ole library. From the outside, it looks normal enough.
Then, you look at it from the side.

Here it is next to my largest book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which clocks in at a paltry 870 pages. Infinite Jest is 1079. It is my Everest (currently).

Crazy part is, a lot of it is footnotes (beginning on page 893). This book is so full of long-winded, tiny-fonted footnotes that there are guides to reading it. I'm following's basic instructions. He also has a nice introduction to the whole process here.

There is also Infinite Summer for more tips, one of which is "keep notes." What? Seems strange now, but I think I'm in for a lot of characters and plot twists.

I don't even know how to read this. I have to prop it up in front of me somehow so as not to tire myself out. But I am determined, and the will of man supercedes all else (see, I'm already talking in philosophical terms!) I also have no idea if I will enjoy it. It looks like one of those deep satirical, philosophical novels that I don't "get." But my promise to you, my dear reader, is that I will plow through, and update you on my progress. If anyone has any information or insight that will help along the way, feel free to comment or email!

One thing I do know: I'm in for a world of hurt; but hopefully, in a good way.

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