Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
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 Post subject: Can I read Infinite Jest in one week?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 5:31 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:18 am
Posts: 1
I'm interested in the results of this summer reading club.
I'm a huge fan of David Foster Wallace, though I've always been intimidated by the sheer volume of IJ. Hell, I haven't even made it through Gravity's Rainbow in two tries.
However, this summer I'm going to try to read IJ, but with a super-intense immersion into the text. I'm going to attempt to read it in one week, a seven day stretch which coincides with the final week of the Tour de France, a sporting spectacle that always dominates my attention. I have not read any of the spoilers or daily updates on this blog, for that would just ruin my shit.
I'm going to record the daily results of this epic reading challenge on my blog www.synapsesfiring.blogspot.com
Please join me; the madness begins July 20/09, but I've posted an introduction of both the challenge and the 2009 Tour de France.


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 Post subject: Re: Can I read Infinite Jest in one week?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 5:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:36 am
Posts: 36
I doubt it.

I read pretty quickly and I've been at it for over a month. Unless you can literally devote all your time during that week, I doubt you'll manage it, not if you want to take it in properly instead of skim-reading.


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 Post subject: Re: Can I read Infinite Jest in one week?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 6:30 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 11:12 am
Posts: 45
Location: London
Well if you've take out 8 hours out for sleeping a day then it's 9.6 pages every waking hour.
Taking off those 3 TdF hours a day, it's a 11.8... Then there's eating and of course the blogging... On the 'how many pages do you read an hour' thread it was averaging out at like 15. So theoretically yes, even if you're not a super-fast reader...

...it's like watching a boxset in one sitting though - on the one hand it should all stay fresh and come together as a series much more easily. On the other you're not giving yourself the breathing space between episodes to formulate your own ideas about what might be going on and make your own connections.


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 Post subject: Re: Can I read Infinite Jest in one week?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 6:30 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:01 pm
Posts: 82
Location: Mansfield, MA
Good luck. I wish I could devote that amount of time to this book. You may not finish in a week, but given the amount you'll probably get through, you'll be hooked and want to continue on until you finish anyways.

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"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you." DFW


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 Post subject: Re: Can I read Infinite Jest in one week?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:10 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:25 am
Posts: 89
Location: Brooklyn
Do you work? How do you have enough leisure time to devote one week to reading over a thousand pages?


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 Post subject: Re: Can I read Infinite Jest in one week?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 4:04 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 11:12 am
Posts: 45
Location: London
stephaniejane wrote:
Do you work? How do you have enough leisure time to devote one week to reading over a thousand pages?


"a high school teacher with the summer off"


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 Post subject: Re: Can I read Infinite Jest in one week?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 6:58 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:03 am
Posts: 13
Sure, you probably could – but the experience would be the lesser for it. I could probably consume a package of Oreo Cookies in 10-15 minutes, or an entire (lavishly fussed over) gourmet meal in less than five, but I don’t think I would derive much enjoyment from doing so.

If you’re going to do it, why not do it right, and allow yourself time to fully submerge yourself in Wallace’s prose, IJ’s intricate plot, etc?

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...the world's pain and its beauty moved in a relationship of diverging equity and that in this headlong deficit the blood of multitudes might ultimately be exacted for the vision of a single flower. - Cormac McCarthy


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 Post subject: Re: Can I read Infinite Jest in one week?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 5:57 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 4:23 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Madison, WI
good old neon wrote:
Sure, you probably could – but the experience would be the lesser for it. I could probably consume a package of Oreo Cookies in 10-15 minutes, or an entire (lavishly fussed over) gourmet meal in less than five, but I don’t think I would derive much enjoyment from doing so.

If you’re going to do it, why not do it right, and allow yourself time to fully submerge yourself in Wallace’s prose, IJ’s intricate plot, etc?


Fuckin' A. I try to read every section twice. I guess 75 pages a week isn't too slow.


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 Post subject: Re: Can I read Infinite Jest in one week?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 7:51 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 5:27 pm
Posts: 20
I read fast, and I am only capable of 50 pgs a sitting, because my brain gets tired. but I am at 450 after 2 weeks, maybe reading 3 nights a week. could be done, but as others suggested, why? You'll miss too much, like the deets in the footnotes. I just spent 10 minutes on wikipedia discovering Walpurgisnacht- which isn't really even mentioned in the book, but is good to know about and makes things make more sense; in a hurry I'd have never noticed.
good luck, but slow down, I say. :shock:


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 Post subject: Re: Can I read Infinite Jest in one week?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:51 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 1:30 am
Posts: 9
Yeah, like others have said, I think it would be pretty difficult to finish the novel in a week. Even if you did it might not even be worth it.

I just finished IJ for the first time last night at about 4 am and it took me 4 weeks and a day and I'm I was spending the better half of my free time (summer break/only part time job. . . so substantial) reading.


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