Title: Infinite Jest
Author: David Foster Wallace
I honestly cannot remember what possessed me to pick up this massive piece of literature and after reading the foreword by Dave Eggers, I am even more apprehensive to take on this dense work. After seeing on the Subway Book Review Blog last month that a subway rider was reading it as a committed summer novel, I gave in and put a copy on reserve at the library and lo and behold, it’s gigantic and takes up my entire work handbag! Lookout summer, you’re going to be ‘booked’ solid 🙂
I’ve constantly heard jokes about people starting this novel and never finishing it, maybe that’s where I feel the draw to read through it – a challenge of sorts. From the reviews of readers who have read the novel cover to cover, they were not disappointed. I have been surfing around the internet looking for some advice on how to read Infinite Jest – as to fully appreciate the content and method Wallace puts forward. Some of my favorites so far have been the following:
- Do NOT skip the footnotes – the 90+ pages are critical to the understanding of the story.
- Keep a dictionary nearby – On a Goodreads review, a reader compiled a list of all the words she did not know – the list was quite lengthy. A helpful resource to keep open in my tabs is the Infinite Jest Vocabulary Glossary. At least my vernacular will be quite improved.
- Multiple bookmarks – one for the main text, one for the footnotes, and one for where the story is chronologically.
- Keep others updated on progress made – expect this blog to have milestone blog posts! I will use this example as a way to get started – genius.
- CELEBRATE YOUR VICTORY – this will hopefully be me by the end of this summer, if not the year.
Any words of advice for this masterpiece?