Monday, September 07, 2009

Couldn't keep to the schedule

So, yesterday I finished Infinite Jest: yay, Yorick, er, me! And, like so many others, I immediately turned back and reread the first section of the book, and then spent much time in the forums at Infinite Summer and at the Howling Fantods reading about Wallace's first draft. I googled infinite jest + karamazov and located Timothy Jacobs' "The Brothers Incandenza," which I've printed out, but have yet to read, because I wasted way too much time looking for a couple Pemulis scenes in the last third of the text when what I was after was to be found in the endnotes.* Not that any rereading helped me get any closer to a conclusive answer as to what happened to--well, you know. I know which theory I don't favor, but that's about it.

And for those who care, I handled the rest of the Randy Lenz sections okay, but I'd rather not think about garbage disposals for awhile.

Definitely going on my best of the year list and one I will read again.



  1. I finished yesterday too and I'm equally confused. But I loved it anyway. I didn't read it for the plot resolution, after all!

  2. I admire you guys. This was quite an undertaking (and I couldn't even manage to finish Bleak House this year--maybe over the winter). I'm not sure this is a book I will ever get to, it seems too daunting for me.

  3. I thought it'd be that way, Danielle, but it's not. Just take it a section at a time and slowly work your way though until you reach that aha! point where all the threads come together and then you'll want to rush the rest of the way. None of the plot elements in the book sounded at all appealing to me before I started,, but once I got into the story my previous reservations fell away.

    Dorothy, I wonder if anyone's ever finished this book and not felt confused. There'd be no need to loop back and where'd the entertainment be in that?

    (I do feel bad for missing the Dawn Powell discussion. Maybe I can turn my paper in late for partial credit. All I wanted to do last week was read Wallace.)

  4. Yay! I've spent way to much time in the forums last week trying to unconfuse myself. I'm very much looking forward to reading it again someday, as it seems all sorts of different "clues" will make themselves evident over time.

  5. I finished too! And was just as bewildered by the end, though I could tell it was a deliberate bewildering on the part of the author, not just stopping randomly or a bad ending.

    I'm curious as to what detail you were looking for about Pemulis. Please email me so we can discuss!


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