Tag Archives: Infinite Jest

His Name Was Writ In Water

Here lies a poor bastard who died never finishing David Foster Wallace’s book Infinite Jest, though this bastard tried, so hard. Ahh, rest in peace, sucker.

Was entirely prepared to have that etched onto my gravestone. Oho, but what’s this? Behold, do not call me ‘moof’ anymore; I now answer only to the title “Lord of the Universe, Eater of Worlds’ because….

I finished it. I finished it.
I motherfucking finished it.
::dance dance dance dance dance dance dance::

I have been reading IJ, on and off, for what seems like at least half a year. ‘The truth will set you free, but not before it’s done with you,’ an addict old-timer says on an AA podium–he was talking about addiction; hah, he was talking about this book. He was talking about everything, I suspect.

Warning: Coherent review will not follow.

‘What is that book about?’ Legitimate question, as I am always lugging this enormous brick around. I mutter lamely. I make gestures…

‘There’s this virtuoso junior tennis player… who also happens to be a sort of weekend-genius… there are two spies, an American, and a Canadian paraplegic, talking in the desert… there is a half-way house of drug/alcohol addicts, their handlers, caretakers and overseers and their mysterious ways… there is a horribly addicted girl who covers her face with a veil… and a movie (what they call in this strangely North-Ameriparallel but not QUITE North American modern world ‘an entertainment’ of such supremely sublime pleasure value that one glimpse of it will leave you drooling and foaming for more more more until you die.’

Let me start over.

Infinite Jest is about addiction. Addiction to highs, natural, synthetic, emotional, psychological–addiction to excellence, to top performance, to weed, to horse, to tennis, to killing animals, to DILAUDID, to love, to work, to sex, to fame–addiction to lows, and when Foster Wallace goes low, he goes really low, like rip out your eyeballs low, like can you please remove that last five pages from my memory banks low, because you write so VIVID, it’s like I’m having a false memory now. Like I was there.

This is a book about entertainment, like ‘entertainments’–what is entertaining, why do humans crave to be entertained, stimulated, sometimes, at any physical and emotional cost; why, just on this book, you will find many reviews of readers, perhaps rightfully complaining, that a book so long winded, so unorganized, so hard-to-finish has no right–to what? Exist? Be lauded as a genius masterpiece creation? Does an entertainment fail when too many people don’t ‘get it’? And speaking of those annoying fucking air-quotes to let you all know I am too hip to use a phrase as pedestrian as ‘get it’, are we as a society getting strangled by our insistence of always being more clever, more jaded, more issue-laden, more washed-out, more fact-oriented and more cliche-conscious than the next guy? Is David Foster Wallace asking that question, or is he demonstrating, by shanghaiing me into reading 1000+ pages of codswollop, that that is, in fact, what is happening here? I will plow through this because I don’t want anybody to think I did not quote unquote get it??

Sometimes, this book is just one big joke and you, as in I, are the personal hairy butt of it. Because (and addicts often have this mentality too) I am at the center of the universe, correct? Well, my universe, at least.

I was offended by this book. So deeply. Multiple times, I said fuck it. I can only be jerked off for soooo long. Thank you David Foster Wallace for making my wiener bloody, thank you.

Sometimes, ‘Infinite Jest’ and I were on hiatus. But a book and our interface with one is a metaphor for many things, a relationship amongst others, book to reader, and then author to book to reader, and if I think of it that way, that David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest and I were engaged in an on-and-off metaphysical threeway for the last six months… well then I’d say it was totally worth it. ~_~

My advice is hang in there. Getting frustrated by the SAT vocab bombs? You were not alone… You’re starting to chaff after a 20+ page description of a tennis match? Grab lube, keep on. Getting queasy after the tenth page intimately describing a father nightly raping (or was she enjoying it?) his severely physically disabled daughter and her present adoptive sister’s reaction to it? Skip it. But try to hang in there. Haha, like at an AA meeting.

One day of sobriety at a time. Sometimes, I crawled along, eye-balls pulsing, one measly page at a time.

Absurd, uplifting, stinky, drug-ridden, ambitious, truthful, synthetic, flowing, nonsensical, earnest, disgustingly smart and often hilariously funny. You know, like life. Adored it and despised it and will remember it forever.

PS: bricolage, cachinnate, febrile, fuliginous, inutile, scopophilia, and tear-assing down a hill.

Infinite Jest II

It’s 1:44 am in Munich Germany. Do you know what your kids are doing?

Whatever it is, I hope to god they’re not scumbling. O_O

detail from a pic that required scumbling

Otherwise known as the act of moving the side of your colored pencil’s very finely sharpened tip in a careful, circular motion over the paper to achieve nice subtle values shifts while you pump bad techno music into your ears. It takes so much time that I definitely can’t recommend it for people who have a life.

In other mews, I’m reading a book.

Scratch that.

I am in a relationship with a book.

Like, we spend time with each other every day and he teaches me words so million dollar, not even WordPress has them in its spell-check, candent and neurasthenic and bilirubic, and he frustrates me to no end (the book seems to me to be of the male persuasion) and he can be very long winded sometimes (oh god, just now, he is carrying on about a game he used to play with his tennis buddies during the teenage years, a sort of ‘Risk’ on angel-dust experience, I could die it’s so boring, this description, but he is just so smart and funny and full of soul that even though we’re utterly incompatible and I have already cheated on him with at least three other books since we started going out (not to mention the thousands of people he has on the side of me, at this very moment, sniiff, how could you, IJ!) well, despite all these obstacles, I cannot help but love him and love him.

Or in the very least, never forget him.

David Foster Wallace said that fiction and literature were tools to combat the loneliness inside, and when I read Infinite Jest, I believe him.  Trying to tell someone what it’s about… it’s like trying to tell someone what life is about really–everything and nothing. It has the universe between the covers.

You can check out my lover here.

<3

Funky Zeit! Mit Words!

Image

‘Life doesn’t make sense, so how can I draw pictures that make sense?’ ~_~

Speaking of things that don’t make sense:

“This book is like a spaceship with no recognizable components, no rivets or bolts, no entry points, no way to take it apart. It is very shiny, and it has no discernible flaws. If you could somehow smash it into smaller pieces, there would certainly be no way to put it back together again. It simply is.”

Dave Eggers, in the foreword to ‘Infinite Jest’

Lady and Gentlemen Moofs, I am no longer just thinking about reading ‘Infinite Jest‘, I am no longer just having ‘Infinite Jest’ watch me pee (like Satan does) from the highest shelf of my bathroom random-shelf-thingie–I have picked the book up, all 1000-ish frightening, nonsensical pages of it, and I have finally dived in.

First 100 hundred pages:

1. I don’t know wtf is going on. (Oh well, not really addicted to ‘clarity’ as it were….)

What concerned me more is that

2. All these words keep coming up that I don’t know. 0_0

Quick! How many of these words do you know?

lapidary
fantods
thoracic
atavistic (I word I feel I SHOULD know, but alas, don’t)
ideation
hypocapnia
dipsomania

[Answers:

lapidary: A cutter, polisher and engraver of precious stones.

fantods: A state of irritability or tension. Syn: fidgets

thoracic: Chest (as in thoracic or chest cavity)

atavistic: Recurrence in an organism of a trait or character typical of an ancestral form and usually due to genetic recombination. Syn: throwback

ideation: The capacity for or the act of forming or entertaining ideas, exp. suicidal ideation

hypocapnia: A deficiency of carbon dioxide in the blood.

dipsomania: An uncontrollable craving for alcoholic liquors.

Definitions taken from Merriam-Webster Online ^^]

And I’ll keep y’all posted on ‘Jest’… my goal is to have this brick under my belt by the end of the month…