June 19, 2009

nerd alert.

My wrists were never the same after reading the behemoth of capital L Literature otherwise known as Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. I also came to mistrust footnotes. Don’t get me wrong--I was just as sad as you were when DFW’s unfortunate death abruptly punctuated his contribution to literature with a resounding period. I, too, have considered the lobster.

But I still waiver between thinking this book is a work of unparalleled genius (well paralleled by like, Ulysses) and a monumental waste of time strung together with cleverness. Upon finishing Infinite Jest, I was known to grumblingly complain that someone should write David Foster Wallace a mean letter demanding recompense for time spent flipping back and forth from footnotes to text. What kind of (non-science) genius needs that many footnotes to prove a point?
The smarty folks over at The Morning News have organized Infinite Summer, a web-wide community reading of Infinite Jest scheduled to begin on June 21st (yes, this Sunday (we're reading slowly, so you'll have time to catch up if you start later)). I’ve signed on to see if another reading, with guidance from the passel of qualified book nerds assembled to read it with me, will help me draw new and definitive conclusions.

So, um, read it with me. No one should have to do this alone.

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