Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
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The Inficratic Oath: first, post no spoilers. Limit your I.J. discussion to only those events that take place on or before the page 981 (100%).



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 Post subject: How close did you come to quitting?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 1:53 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2009 6:22 am
Posts: 14
Location: Norwalk, CT
I came pretty freaking close. I honestly didn't mind Clenette and yrstruly that much, but Marathe/Steeply, the videophone section and the guy falling with the bricks nearly did it. There are so many unrelated stories in these first 200 pages. It seems to be getting better now with Ennet House and ETA.

The only thing that kept me going was the advice given at the beginning, to just get through he first 200 pages, thank god I am a fast reader too, if I was spending weeks in those sections I would have given up.

Here's looking forward to the reaping the rewards :)


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 Post subject: Re: How close did you come to quitting?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 2:30 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 8:49 am
Posts: 8
I already had the thought, "I like this book," after the first section.

p14 wrote:
'Excited, is all he gets, sometimes, an excitable kid, impressed with --'
'But the sounds he made.'
'Undescribable.'
'Like an animal.'
'Subanimalistic noises and sounds.'
'Not let's not forget the gestures.'
'Have you ever gotten help for this boy Dr. Tavis?'
'Like some sort of animal with something in its mouth.'
'This boy is damaged.'
'Like a stick of butter being hit with a mallet.'


The only sections I've found difficult to get through so far are the Wardine section and Endnote 24 up to the point where the film plot-lines become funny.

Maybe it's because I had just forced myself through a horribly slow read of A Room With A View (seriously, forcing myself to read 5 pages in a sitting on that one), but I haven't had much trouble wanting to read more of Infinite Jest.


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 Post subject: Re: How close did you come to quitting?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 4:03 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 9:45 am
Posts: 21
I was really on the fence when I dipped my toe in and read the first chapter.

Initially, my inner critic was rolling his eyes and saying, "why does he have to go so far to make his descriptions a challenge?" I mean "brewster's angle?" Really? Is that necessary? (I know now given his dad's connections to optics that it was indeed necessary.)
He really made me work to follow whom he was talking about. It was already exhausting.

Then IT happened. That turning point right there in the first section. The moment you realize Hal's brilliant repartee is all internal and he's spewing nothing but inhuman blathering. From there I was hooked. He had me. Any expectations I had (which were actually few, since I'd never heard of DFW until I randomly bumped into this project) were out the window.

I've had a gung-ho attitude ever since. I bought in and I'm giving DFW my full trust. I don't skip sections, I don't wait on endnotes, I just READ THE DAMN THING. That's why we're here!

It all kinda goes back to that dead sea blog post. I dive when I want to, but invariably I just keep floating and swimming. I continually feel rewarded for doing it. He has great control over how he's unraveling the details, and I'm enjoying the trip.

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First read.
Reading on Kindle and iPhone.


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 Post subject: Re: How close did you come to quitting?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 9:24 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:38 pm
Posts: 18
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
I was hooked by page 12:

"Year of Glad" (p.12) wrote:
(...) "But it transcends the mechanics. I'm not a machine. I feel and believe. I have opinions. Some of them are interesting. I could, if you'd let me, talk and talk. Let's talk about anything. I believe the influence of Kierkegaard on Camus is underestimated. I believe Dennis Gabor may very well have been the Antichrist. I believe Hobbes is just Rousseau in a dark mirror. I believe, with Hegel, that transcendence is absorption. I could interface you guys right under the table," I say. "I'm not just a creatus, manufactured, conditioned, bred for a function."

I open my eyes. "Please don't think I don't care."

I looked out. Directed my way is horror. (...)


Honestly, after that passage I knew I'd be reading right to the end, because it's obvious that there's a terribly interesting story behind that scene. Getting through the initially fragmented "plot" lines of the first 200-250 pages was a fascinating experience, because you look at the size of the novel and realize that pulling them together will require a massive act of brilliance. I found the potential for that alone -- even if it doesn't work out in the end -- to be enthralling.


Todeswalzer.

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First-Time Reader
Started: 26 June 2009 | Finished: 25 July 2009


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 Post subject: Re: How close did you come to quitting?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:07 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 1:30 am
Posts: 9
The videophone section was fantastic, I thought.

I even read it aloud to my gf.


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 Post subject: Re: How close did you come to quitting?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:57 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 11:12 am
Posts: 45
Location: London
wolfram wrote:
The videophone section was fantastic, I thought.

I even read it aloud to my gf.


This, though for the last word insert mother/brother/cousin/(then)casual acquaintance. Even though it could probably stand apart from the book quite well, that essay just completely cemented it as a whole 'nother world and excited me immensely. If there was an absolute point of no return, that was it.
I let Clenette wash over me rather than fight against it and think I'll get more out of it when I reach it on this my second read, but yrstrly was just so exciting! I had a bit about 4/5ths through where I panicked and thought "I don't want this to finish, ever!" and started reading more books more and IJ less, but that subsided when I heard about this project and remembered I could just start again when it was done!


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 Post subject: Re: How close did you come to quitting?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 11:28 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:36 am
Posts: 36
At page 900 now (started early) and haven't once contemplated quitting. Loved it from pg. 1


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 Post subject: Re: How close did you come to quitting?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 5:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2009 6:17 am
Posts: 3
This is my second time through, but I did come close to quitting the first time. I'm generally bad about quitting books that don't keep me interested, and the first couple hundred pages of IJ were certainly tough for me to get through. But for whatever reason I kept plugging along, slowly but surely. And suffice it to say, I wouldn't be re-reading IJ along with you guys if the first time didn't turn out to be more than worth the effort.


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 Post subject: Re: How close did you come to quitting?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:58 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:48 am
Posts: 59
Location: Orlando, FL
VVildo wrote:
I've had a gung-ho attitude ever since. I bought in and I'm giving DFW my full trust. I don't skip sections, I don't wait on endnotes, I just READ THE DAMN THING. That's why we're here!


I completely agree with you! While I've had a few sections I didn't love as much as others I've never wanted to quit - it just keeps getting better and I just want to read it to the neglect of everything else! I think I would feel the same even without the added fun of IS.

Joan


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 Post subject: Re: How close did you come to quitting?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 12:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:12 am
Posts: 19
Location: Los Angeles
I think my thoughts are most closely aligned with bloatedsack. I was wary of all the obscure vocabulary that didn't seem necessary at first... but I knew I would love it after the first section. I actually haven't thought of quitting at all, but am hoping not to fall behind!

From what I read about the book before starting the reading, I think a lot of people made it sound harder than it is - sure the vocabulary requires some work (or not if you can infer the meanings), but the story is so gripping that it makes it easy to want to pick it up every day. Well I guess only if you like the story and characters!

The only section I've sort of had to drag myself through was the first Madame Psychosis section, specifically the description of the brain-like union. Not sure why, maybe reading too late at night.


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