RSVP Thread for Infinite Jest, Opening the First Page on 01.01.2013
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16> The Broom is rollicking fun. If Pynchon is so freaking awesome (as the mysterious Mister D. asserted in another thread) then how come he didn't think up the name, Candy Mandible, first?
It's interesting seeing how some of the ideas DFW further evolved in IJ had their genesis in The Broom. I'm thinking of The Great Ohio Desert as an example, and what he ultimately transformed that concept into, in IJ.
Justice$$, are you able to do word searches on your kindle? I'm still in the dark ages, solely reliant upon pulp and cloth (I was way late to those newfangled cell phones too), so I don't know for sure, though I've heard maybe you can? If you can you're going to have a distinct advantage in more easily keeping track of themes, timelines, and characters and such.
Votar: Mister Ds. repeated referencing of Barnes & Noble Booksellers as "Barny Noble" is far more egregious an offense than Enrique's and others' insistence in abbreviating the name of David Foster Wallace to "DFW"?
20> Happy you're here, Florence. Lurkers are welcome.
I humbly submit my review of IJ here, in the hope that it might usefully provide some directions:
26> & that's really all we can ask for; may your willingness become contagious; and welcome. I do hope IJ will stretch you in the best ways possible.
27> a classic in the rarified air of literary errata! Am greatly anticipating the release of Master Abraham’s Magic Lense: The Infinite Prescience of Hoffmann.
I have ordered my copy and I am just waiting to see the postlady struggling up the drive........
Glad you're here, semckibbin. Wasn't sure if you were still around. How was Everything and More: A Compact History of Infinity? Haven't attempted it myself.
Wallace gives you a sense of the mindbending toil and real genius necessary to dream up mathematical theories and proofs in order to solve real problems. His story starts with the Greeks (they dont believe infinity and irrational numbers exist), moves through the wild success of the Calculus to calculus's masochistic foundational crisis (how can we simultaneously have n = 0 and n ≠ 0?) and culminates in Cantor's invention of set theory. It's a story of great scope and allows Wallace to indulge in his metaphysical interests and explore different expository techniques.
A lot of reviewers think the book is a failure and find fault with Wallace's grasp of the subject and with his baroque style, its curlicues and flourishes. But I dig his style (and I know you do too); and I think he does a super job explaining how the different concepts work, as well as the historical and metaphysical background. Still,you have had some college math courses it would help you appreciate the book without eliding great chunks of the text.
What's more, any book that has Aristotle as a villain is aight
Hell, I think I'll just post this as a review.
I find your comments doubly terrific because I did once attempt this book and made it exactly one page, immediately aware that my limited knowledge of advanced mathematics essentially made the book a foreign language to me. I've read some of that criticism of the book you mention, much of it smug and condescending, and am glad to see that as one informed in the discipline you really appreciated what Wallace brought to the table on the subject.
However, it is my intention to purchase both IJ and The Man in the High Castle and read them (or at least start them) concurrently.
And Friday was a dark day.
Conversations with David Foster Wallace,
Consider David Foster Wallace: Critical Essays,
The Eschatological Imagination: Mediating David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest by John Timothy Jacobs,
Flexion of Upraised Fingers to Signify Tone Quotes: Cultural Self-consciousness and Self-referential Methodologies in the Short Fiction of David Foster Wallace by David Andrews,
Signifying Rappers: Rap and Race in the Urban Present -- to be reissued in 2013
For me it depends on what kind of condition the copy is in whether or not I'll mark it up. I foolishly marked up the original pb ed. of IJ (the one w/the orange spine that's selling for high double-digits used these days, assuming it isn't ravaged w/water stains or foolish markings) but now I've got notebooks galore w/IJ jottings like the one in the link.
Btw, if you ever decide to give Wallace another try (and I sure hope you will at some point) I'm pretty positive you'd enjoy his first novel, The Broom of the System, all the way through. It has absolutely none of the grimness that can weigh IJ down -- and that despite it's knowing nod to Wittgenstein. It's pure playfulness, nerdiness, and smarts.
IJ and TMITHC arrived together in the post today! Read first chapter of TMITHC already. Bring it on.
62> Yes, welcome to the group & to LT, Maria. You made it farther than most people do who don't make it the whole way. We'll see if we can't help you get past the halfway mark this time.
66> To the library, Jesse, and step on it! Hey we'll still be here. I plan on taking it slow all year, in order to read other things and focus maybe on some of IJs minutia more in depth here or there....
And happy New Year,
and the long
which express my sentiments be they ever so ...mumble...mumble...humble
Which is to say, with so many other works of literature out there:
HAD we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, Lady, were no crime
We would sit down and think which way
To walk and pass our long love's day.
Not having participated in a group read before (absent a list serve for Against the Day when it was published), and mostly a lurker here who cannot help but read multiple books at once, I'm hesitant to declare intent to begin something so potentially all-consuming. But I do love a nice, thick, juicy encyclopedic doorstop of a book....
Also, if memory serves, I can second Ganeshaka's recommendation of Ross and Tom.
Oh look! Two bookmarks and some sticky-note page markers have arranged themselves quite noticeably nearby.
Okay. I'm in.
' LOVED the short one.
'Got tired of reading the long one.
Uh oh, now that doesn't bode well, now does it?
I have started!
87> Yes, about five or six of us have started our own reading threads and will post as we please at our own pace. There's so much information in the book, so many different narrative threads, so much non-linearity, I think it's darn near impossible to say something that will spoil it for anybody else. I've already mentioned that the first 17 pages of the book are the end of the book in my own thread, but that won't really mean anything to anyone unless they first read the entire book first, so have at it, however you want: comment on others' threads or start your own thread or do both....
I read Dave Eggers's preface. It seemed insubstantial.
I read the first or last (riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay) 17 pages. Hal Incandenza interests me.
Not to the library... I seem to be fifth in queue for the one copy in the LA county library system. As it is, I'm not sure how much I'm looking forward to this. Might be blasphemy to say, but I'm not so big on DFW's fiction as I am on the NF.
Not since Augustine of Hippo ripped off some pears in an orchard, has there been such a sin.
Whoopy-do. I glimpsed ahead at page 223. It is of no crucial help what-so-ever. I'm very structured, but the chronology so far, is fairly straightforward.
The sound of meanings wafting over the noob's head...
Break-time today, time to watch the Patriots.
97> Oh hey, me too. What a great game yesterday, double-overtime, Ravens & Broncos. Feel bad for Peyton. Not his fault, even that last interception. Bronco defense had no business giving up a hail Mary TD w/30 seconds left in regulation. That was embarrassing -- and that was what cost them the game.