Sunday, August 12, 2012

Infinite Summer #8: Was DFW a genius?

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...
First, I know that many of us are behind or have quit to pick back up later/never again, but we have one person who has finished.

Congratulations Tamera!!!

Although she is finished and I'm am just now half-way, we have both read enough of the book to talk about DFW's genius and the myriad ways it presents itself in the novel and in the media with those that love to love his genius, those who think he was nuts and not so genius. There are even those who think he was a one-hit wonder so to speak.

If you've gotten far enough in the book to even read this post you can comment. Genius has so many meanings:


( noun
  1. an exceptional natural capacity of intellect, especially asshown in creative and original work in science, artmusic,etc.: the genius of Mozart. intelligence, ingenuity,witbrains.
  2. a person having such capacity.
  3. a person having an extraordinarily high intelligence rating ona psychological test, as an IQ above 140. mental giant, master, expert; whiz, brain, brainiac.idiot, imbecile, half-wit, dope, moron; fool,simpleton, dunce, dullard, dolt; numskull, blockhead, nitwit,ninny.
  4. natural ability or capacity; strong inclination: a special geniusfor leadershipgift, talent, aptitude, faculty,endowment, predilection; penchant, knack, bent, flair,wizardry.


  1. Being both Intelligent, and being able to tap all one's intelligence at the right time. 
  2. something original that no one has thought of before
  3. One who is both blessed and cursed with superior intelligence. Most geniuses are pretty f***ed up, but a small few can rise from the failures of their peers and end up being accepted by society through some factor of conformity. There is no shame in this, for if you do not conform, you'll end up chasing street cars for the rest of your life. 

Does DFW and/or his works fall under any of these?

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.

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