Tag Archives: wallace

Infinite Jest

I finally finished Infinite Jest – and just in time for the end of the “Infinite Summer” – so I wanted to blog quickly about my basic reaction to it. I thought it was over-hyped and pretentious. The idea behind it was so interesting to me but I honestly had no patience for his writing style. I liked certain parts like the stories of some of the students at Enfield Academy but I was completely put off by his weak attempts at “urban” colloquialisms.

I feel like I wasted time reading what seemed to be an infinite book. Luckily I still read several books in the last week to make up for it.

Sorry, Wallace. I tried to like it but I just couldn’t.


Buddy Holly is Alive and Well on Ganymede

Ok let’s just pretend that I haven’t disappeared for three weeks… I started teaching beginner’s French at my alma mater so I’ve been a bit busy getting a syllabus and course materials together but things are starting to settle in.  Also Kevin is visiting with me this week so I’ve been busy.

I guess it also goes without saying that I’ve also had little time to read.  I haven’t finished Infinite Jest yet but I’ve also started Buddy Holly is Alive and Well on Ganymede because I was starting to kind of lose steam with IJ and needed something lighter for a while.

So far I love Buddy Holly and think it’s a great marriage of music and scifi.  I’m about halfway through and there’s still a lot of mystery but it’s also really funny too.  Definitely a great read.

Multi-tasking, multi-topics

Sorry if this sounds a little bit disjointed but I’m writing this as I’m watching the U.S.-Mexico World Cup qualifier.

I’m still reading Infinite Jest!  To be fair I’ve been busy getting some play time in with my 10-week old nephew.  He’s absolutely adorable by the way and is starting to have little “conversations” with us.

But Infinite Jest is also really quite time-consuming.  It’s definitely not an easy read – Wallace has this way of just starting a discussion about a new character or situation and expecting you to figure out the background story for yourself.  It’s really disconcerting but also a welcome challenge.

This book is not a book I would recommend to someone “for a bit of light reading,” as Hermione Granger would say, but it covers a lot of interesting topics, some familiar (tennis training) and some well out of my range (drug addiction).  But I’m starting to suspect that Wallace intends to somehow make the reader a total expert in everything he discusses by the end of the novel.

For the record, I’m at 25%.

And the Azteca Stadium is really going crazy since USA just scored so if you’ll excuse me…

Kindle on the beach

Yesterday was mercifully lovely in Ocean City, MD (Sunday was flash floods and lightning… apparently a tornado touched down a few towns over!) so we were able to test out the beach.  The water was FRIGID.  So obviously I settled down to read because I have approximately 800 pages of Infinite Summer to read…

I was, of course, concerned for the well-being of my Kindle 2.  After all, he has a name and you just can’t throw something around if it has a name.  (Take my poor env2, for example.  I never bothered to name it so it is often thrown to the bottom of my purse and I don’t pay attention to it unless I receive a call/text or need a makeshift flashlight.)  I decided to stick Guy, with the front cover folded back, inside a gallon-sized Ziploc bag to protect him from the elements.  Another anecdote (AKA evidence of my irresponsible behaviour towards electronics) – my dear old pink Sony Cybershot met her untimely and inglorious demise after I took her to Wildwood Crest with me last summer and happily took photos right and left.  She got a lot of sand in her no matter what I did and eventually the zoom lens was ruined and would’ve cost a lot more money to fix than I was willing to spend.  Sad, sad story.  So you can see why I was worried for Guy’s safety.

Long story short, the Ziploc-ed Kindle worked; the on/off switch and buttons were all accessible!  Sure, it wasn’t attractive, but who wants to be attractive on the beach?1  I did notice, however, that the Ziploc bag perspired a little bit on the inside – definitely not enough to damage anything, and I suspect it still kept out more humidity than it let in so I feel certain Guy was all right.

I also took Guy out of the bag to check to make sure the screen was still easy to read in the brightest sunlight – and I promise, it was really freakin’ bright out – and it was!  There was no glare and I could read it just as well as a paperback.  In fact, I’ve had problems with reading paper books in bright sunlight before because of how white the pages are, but not so with the Kindle because the background is a bit grayer!  I got a fair bit of reading done, worked on my tan (being an untanned Filipino in the summertime is shameful!), and didn’t have to worry about ruining Guy!

Of course, you could avoid my conundrum completely by getting a case that’s more meant to withstand the elements – I unfortunately have nothing to recommend because I haven’t really seen anything that I think would be ideal.  Something like the Leisure Jacket by M-Edge would be perfect, except it’s only compatible with the Kindle 1.  I am also quite certain that I’d never pay for two different cases for my Kindle, but maybe I’m just cheap like that.  I’m much more of a Ziploc kind of person.

1 *smirk* See what I did there? That’s a literary device called irony. I’m sure you know that because you’re reading a blog devoted to literature right now.

Infinite Jest

I am INFINITELY excited to be reading Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace! I obtained a copy from my good friend Matt Ford – go click on his website and tell him to blog more! So it’s hard to explain what Infinite Jest is about, especially since I’ve only read a chapter so far, so I’m going to cheat a little and just link you to the Wikipedia page and let the good folks there tell you all about it.

There’s a sort of informal online reading community for people reading it this summer – it’s quite cleverly called Infinite Summer – and I’ve been reading that voraciously as well! I’m obviously way behind because summer started well over a month ago, but hey, I’m going on vacation tomorrow until next week and it’ll be raining in lovely Ocean City, Maryland. I’ll try to update on my progress – I need to catch up to wherever everyone else is right now 1!

Matthew Baldwin recently posted this on the Infinite Summer blog:

Wallace is like the Lloyd Dobler of authors: he doesn’t woo you with flowers and chocolates, he stands outside your window with a boombox over his head until you relent.

If you love Lloyd Dobler as much as I do, that quote alone would make you want to read this!

1 I love the cute little “suggested” milestones on the Infinite Summer site… it reminds me more or less of reading chapter by chapter when I was in grade school. But back in those days, I usually just read the whole book in one night and was often not allowed to answer certain questions because I already knew how it’d end. Oops.