Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Infinite Jest? Ah, no. After a month of getting but halfway I'm crying not laughing thank you very much.

I'm reading David Foster Wallace's magnum opus  "Infinite Jest" and I'm not having fun. 524 pages in with still 457 pages to go, not including footnotes. There are 96 pages of footnotes.

I'm not kidding.

I'm in hell.

Not a fast reader at the Murakami/Salinger best of times this is gonna take me forever. Also, as with most overlong tomes I've read, the publishers, to keep the thing very large instead of gynormous, use the smallest possible print so that one page of "Infinite Jest" equals about twelve pages of "Twilight."

Probably it's that I just don't get it. Actually it's that I just don't give a crap. The footnotes should tell all. Too many characters, way too many unnecessary details and a whole boat load too much clever. I don't care if you're David Foster Wallace this book is a few hundred pages too long. In the foreword to the paperback edition I have Dave Eggers ("A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius," "Zeitoun," and publisher of McSweeney's) goes on about how brilliant the book is, that there isn't an unnecessary line.

I beg to differ, Dave.

So why the hell am I plodding on with it? Some (many) readers feel the need to finish whatever they start. I'm not like that. Eleven pages of "Ulysses" was enough for me. (This time round anyway.)

So why finish this? Cause I'm an elitist. Cause I don't drive a better car than you (I don't own a car), my clothes are usually from the Gap and worse, but shit, at least I could finish "Infinite Jest."

Wait. What? Just for the dumb notch on the belt?
Yup. Just for the dumb-ass notch.

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