Tuesday, November 2, 2010

TCoE Reads Infinite Jest - #1

I am reading Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace and blogging my reflections here. Expect to see me once a day for the next month or two. I am sworn to finish by December 25th.

Page read to: 24.

Footnotes read today: 1.

In addition to the first 23 pages, I also read the blurbs, the foreword by Dave Eggers (which I enjoyed although perhaps it was a bit too Eggersly ravely for my taste) and even the publishing information page which has a great little nugget for those who have read the book (or not) but missed that page.

The book begins with a very good, near exceptional, set piece about tennis prodigy (and otherwise prodigy) Hal Incandenza. It is marvelous. Even if you have absolutely no intention of ever reading the entire book - and I will stop here and note that Infinite Jest is 1,079 pages long, inspiring awe and derision in equal measure - you should read the first 17 pages. There is no sense talking about this, other than suggesting that you read it. Right away, you can tell you are dealing with a heavy hitter of an author, because he words real damn good.

From there, I am halfway through the story of the (to now still unnamed) man preparing for his marijuana vacation and his doom. It's obsessive and self-absorbed in what I have come to know from his other writing as Wallacery. I think I am supposed to feel uncomfortable although I do not.

More tomorrow, and indeed every day until sometime in December.