Bill at Pinklightsabre and I are reading Infinite Jest, just because. In this massive, plot-less book, there’s a filmmaker whose techniques include picking someone at random from the phone book and secretly following that person for the day. That’s the film. Except he doesn’t actually film the person. It’s all a big joke to the filmmaker but not as big a joke as the arts critics falling over themselves to praise this post-post-post-modern technique.
In other words, reading Infinite Jest, I don’t know whether I’m the filmmaker, the subject or the critic.
I started to write more like this but the only good thing I came up with was the title. So I passed the title on to Bill, who is much smarter, though not as good looking. Have a read:
I’ve been keeping a list of words I need to look up from David Foster Wallace’s 1996 Infinite Jest. Yesterday’s included erumpent, sedulously and egregulous — and sure enough, I got duped. Egregulous was made-up, and landed me on a website called Infinite Detox.
From there, I splintered off to other websites analyzing the book and similar epic novels (Gaddis, Pynchon, Joyce) looking around for signs of life, hostile forces, breathable air.
I don’t know how to answer what the book’s about, which is what people want to know. I can answer ‘why are you reading it,’ which is different, and not linked to what it’s about.
And I don’t know that I’d recommend the book and now I’m not sure why I’m rereading it, to be honest. And were I to tell you it’s metamodernism or possibly the end of ‘New Realism,’ the ‘you’ I’m addressing would X me out and…
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