Sunday, July 29, 2012

Infinite Summer #6: I'm not enjoying/I am enjoying/I want to enjoy this book

Think of these Sunday posts as jumping off places...discuss what I've posted, post something yourself, answer questions, ask questions, add whatever it takes to make this experience enjoyable and understandable for you!

These post will be CHOCK FULL OF SPOILERS for the reading for that week (Just in case you didn't already know that!). I think knowing this will stop those of us that aren't at a certain place from reading on and will enable those of us who are writing to do so without worrying if someone knows that fact or not. If you are reading ahead and want to post about the pages ahead please wait and if you want to talk about other books, not Infinite Jest and are giving spoilers please indicate that in some fashion...even a *spoiler* before the comment would be nice.

And, finally, if there is anything I can do to make this run more smoothly please don't hesitate to message me on here, on twitter or on Goodreads and I'll see what I can do.

Let's begin the discussion...
I'm sorry this post is a few hours late in coming.

I am behind.

I can't seem to catch up.

It started the week I figured out I was behind and I just haven't found/made the time to catch up.

I thought I would last week while I was in Chicago, but we did other things...a lot of other things. I thought I'd catch up a few weeks ago in Las Vegas, but, alas, I read other things in Las Vegas. 

It's not that this book is hard to read, it's just that I want it to be quiet when I read it and I want to be alone when I read it and I want to read every word...when I read it.

And, then I found this article on the Infinite Summer website:

It seems to be singing the tune that many of you have talked to me about.
Avery Edison says:
1] I will finish this book, but I am not enjoying it.
2] I dislike the endnotes.
3] I dislike the long paragraphs.
4] I dislike the technical explanations of subjects that don't really need it.
5] I don't hate this book or I'd quit.
6] I just wish I were enjoying it.

And, people, I'd really like to have a conversation to help me over this little hump. Let's talk about anything...why you're behind, how your getting over the hump, what you like/dislike...anything. I need the conversation to sustain my reading.

About the book
Let's talk Politics
On ONAN-ite Politics 

Let's talk Fractals and format
Cause I Got the Real Love, the Kind that You Need

Let's talk dependency and just showing up
PS. Allston Rules

1] Many of you have messaged me about needing time to catch up. Do I need to add another week onto our schedule? Do I need to exempt a Sunday convo day?
2] If you haven't signed up officially, please do so here.
3] Catch up on all of our IJ stuff and things here.
4] Come join in on the convo even if you haven't caught up with the reading. Just comment on the post for the weeks you have read. I miss the conversation.


  1. I am enjoying the book. In fact, I can't stop reading! I can't even stop reading every footnote and looking up words I don't know. I do have a silly game I play when I look up a word: Will this be a real word or something DFW made up? Now, I may have a limited dictionary on my Nook, so I am sure I may find more on the internet, but I have eschewed that method for now. Do you think DFW would appreciate my usage of "eschew"? Sorry, just being silly . . . I digress, but HE gets away with it. Granted, a bit more artistically and intellectually. Anyway, soon after starting the book, I decided I wanted my first reading (see footnote 1) to focus on what I get from the book. Some days I am tempted to research it to gain a tiny bit of clarity, but I just walk away for an hour and then I plug away again, amazed at how the puzzle pieces are coming together . . . ever so slowly since it seems I can't read this book very fast, and yes, it requires a degree of mental clarity and quiet time. Several times this summer I have forced myself to put it aside and read a couple of other books, but now that I have under 400 pages to read (I know, plus however many footnotes accompany those pages), I am headed to the finish line. I want to talk about this book, really talk about this book, but I find on-line discussions too slow, partially because I'm too slow in oh so many ways. Definitely fuels the thinking, though, this blog thing that we're doing. I do love reading what others write, but I do love real interfacing, I mean, conversations that take place in the same room at the same time. I so want to blab endlessly to anyone who will listen--my mother got a good dose of DFW on our trip. So, Steph, you better watch out once school starts. Get your lesson plans and grading done because I'll be down for a daily DFW moment.

    Footnote #1: So the question still lingers out there, will I ever decide to do a second reading?

    1. The words DFW makes up crack me up! I remember the first word I saw he made up was "pedalferrous" . . . I kept thinking, "Okay, this word totally comes from Latin roots. 'Pedal' comes from the Latin 'ped,' meaning 'foot,' and 'ferrous' comes from the Latin 'ferrum,' meaning 'iron.' So, this has to mean 'iron foot!' " When I tried to look it up in the dictionary, nothing came up! Then I realized DFW was pulling a fast one on us and creating neologisms!

      Your use of a footnote makes me laugh because it reminds me of DFW. :D To be quite honest, if I myself have to answer the same question . . . Actually, I don't think I can answer it right now. I know that if I don't, I'll still pull IJ out at random times and read my favorite quotes!

    2. OK, so we'll talk more when school starts perhaps everyday for the rest of the year. I enjoyed our little convo the other day and can't wait for more. He does get away with it in a way that Tolstoy could possible not! :P And, I wondered why my Nook couldn't find some words, I thought it just had a crappy dictionary! :D

  2. This topic is right on for me today. I am shamefully behind in my reading, and I'm not sure what it is. I like this book; I like to talk about it; I blab about it to my husband after each reading session. However, I'm rarely excited to sit down and read it. Part of it, in all honesty, is the difficulty I find getting in a comfortable, quiet place. (I'm seven months pregnant, and it's hard for me to get comfortable anywhere.) Also, identifying, or at least getting emotionally involved, with at least one main character really helps pull me through a long novel. Perhaps because I'm so far behind, and it's still jumping from character to character in different points of time, I'm having trouble putting in the emotional investment. It's also not helping that I seem to be suffering from some attention deficit disorder. I can't seem to do any activity for more than 20 or 30 minutes without moving on to something else, even when I am doing something I like to be doing. Normally I don't have that problem, so I'm chalking it up to pregnancy brain.

    I will finish this book, I'm just not sure when. I do like this blog-style book club. I find the comments of others very helpful, and I wish I was on top of it more.

    Oh yeah, and I agree with Avery Edison, footnotes, especially in this quantity, are not fun.

    1. Ah, pregnancy brain :D I remember it well! Isn't it so funny I talk about this book a lot too and yet am not moving forward as fast as I would like. Tamera says that it really does start coming together. I'm glad you are sticking with it!

  3. I'm ashamed to admit it, but I'm way behind! It's awful because I keep telling myself to catch up, but since I promised myself I'd be constantly reading another book while I'm reading IJ, it seems like I keep getting farther and farther behind. But, I'm definitely going to finish it! It takes a lot for me to stop reading a novel, and I've invested way too much time in IJ to give up! From what I've read so far, I enjoy it so much. Some of the sub plots are harder to get throught than others, but I always find myself excited to finally get back to the chapters with Hal, Mario, etc.!

    Regarding the footnotes... they were a little hard to get used to at first, but now I look forward to those little breaks from the main text!

    1. It's strange that I too look at the endnotes as breaks...what journey will I go on today, type thing. Maybe you and I should just devote a solid month to only IJ...I don't know if I could do it, but I'm willing to try if I have a partner! :D

    2. I'd totally like to try that! I might end up trying to read a few books along the way so that I make my Goodreads goal, but I'll definitely put way more effort into IJ! :D

  4. Yeah, I found it much easier to read this last time round, when I had nothing else really to get in the way of giving IJ my most-awake hours of a day. I can totally Identify with wanting to make reading it into a little bubble of full attention. Maybe this is one of those things where just getting through it at any quality is enough? And as for the conversation; am I the only one who struggles with what to actually say about some of the spans of the book?

    1. I think that you are right, just getting through it is enough. I don't know why I want to expect more. And, no you aren't...I'm trying to find something to talk about for today's chunk...myself...we'll see what I come up with! :D



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