Friday, November 5, 2010

TCoE Reads Infinite Jest - #3

(Note: this entry was composed after yesterday's readings. Another entry will be written tonight for today's readings.)

Currently on page: 66

Footnote read today: 23

A slog today. Not without rewards. I have now passed the point where I seem to have abandoned the book; or at least the point where I abandoned it in spirit. The footnotes come fast and thick; the discussions of Hal's drug regimen and those of his classmates have some spectacularly good ones, discussions of drugs that put me in mind of Carleton University's magnificent psychologist Brian Little whose work on personality affects me deeply. Brian's discussion of personality types, basal neurochemistry, and drugs tends towards coffee/wine/beer examples but Wallace's typologies are essentially parallel.

I know that I am past the point where I checked out last time because there are insights that are coming thick and fast that I know I didn't have before; the work definitely takes place in the nearish future (nearish, within a generation anyway, to 1996) because the discussions of chronology in the (yes, interminable) filmography footnote indicate it quite clearly. Now, of course, the ruminations on the shape of future tech are only going to irritate me. It is ever thus with the near future.

Wallace is topping himself now with the Wallacery, writing in the second person which is something I always find vein-bustingly annoying. However, I am much more in tune with the comedy of the book than I thought I would be. That filmography is interminable, but it's a send-up with real bile and spirit. I enjoyed it immensely. The self-poke, also, I appreciate.

I'm glad Orin is back, at the end of today's reading.

One final housekeeping note. Godd Till (way to bork your site, by the way) suggests that I rename this series "A Jesty Questy". This is a name so transcendently awful, and yet totally cheese-platter irresistible. I shall adopt it as the label for the series though not as the title for the posts. But I am likely to refer to the "Jesty Questy" during the posts themselves. I already think of it thus.