The Infinite Jest Challenge

Day 17 – Sunday reading blues

Posted in Aaron's Postings by aaronjoseph on February 4, 2008

Things I have read this weekend besides Infinite Jest:

1. Diary of a Bad Year by J. M. Coetzee. Each page of this novel is split into two or more narratives which continue side by side. The first section consists solely of the main character’s polemical observations of politics, literature, and culture. The second and third sections feature the voices of the writer and the woman who he hires to type the writings that make up the first section. They vaguely correspond to the first section in their underlying concerns. Unsurprisingly all this was much less confusing than Infinite Jest.

2. I finally caught up on my Facebook wall messages. There were messages from my birthday in November that I still hadn’t responded to. There were actually people I still hadn’t told I was back from Kyrgyzstan. Oops.

3. The really annoying scroll at the bottom of the Super Bowl. My sister put it best when she said that the only people who care about player stats already know all the numbers. We firmly belonged to a second category of Super Bowl viewership that consisted of people (a) who work in advertising for a living, (b) plan their 3rd grade lessons while watching TV, and (c) like to take naps in front of TV. On the bright side, I totally called the Giants win. Barring any personal investment, I choose the underdog at all costs.

I have to admit that I’m hitting a plateau over my excitement with this book. I’m finally caught up with the schedule, but I’m still trudging through certain chapters. I think we now realize that everything is quite artfully placed in this novel and there is a meaning behind its organization; it’s just not within my capabilities during this first time through to grasp those hidden easter eggs. I find myself longing for a straightforward narrative and I even read through a few chapters of a Tobias Wolff I had sitting on my night stand (In Pharaoh’s Army, if you must know) just to remember what clarity sounded like.

Anyway, I was thinking about writing a letter in the voice of one of David Foster Wallace’s girlfriends or old classmates, but, like all my good ideas in life, it was already executed by The Onion in this article.

DFW's Dear John letter DFW's girlfriend

DFW’s imaginary Dear John letter and ex-girlfriend from The Onion

Please, please give me a reason to go on. You must give me a challenge.

P.S. Make Me A Supermodel is meaningless eye candy when compared to the brilliance of Project Runway. Set your TiVo accordingly.


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