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: Re: Has anyone else gotten ahead of the curve?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:03 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 6:47 am
Posts: 63
Location: Brooklyn, NY
polymathicj wrote:
On a completely unrelated note, DFW's use of foot-/endnotes has been a revelation to me. I've basically been doing the same thing in my writing, except I've been using parentheses instead. However, I've always thought that while I like the parenthetical info and wanted to keep it, it nevertheless messed up the flow of the story. I never considered using foot-/endnotes in fiction, but it seems like the perfect answer to my problem. Yet I must wonder, is it cool to copy this bit of style, or would it be considered derivative? I'd very much like to hear any opinions on this.


Like how I can no longer take notes without using w/r/t and cf. ?

I think the foot-/endnote technique is pretty much brilliant when used correctly. I've seen people do this kind of stuff in writing workshops and get shit for it, but generally their footnotes were more like pyrotechnics than anything else. I see no problem if you're using them for a reason. Literature is built by writers who adopt and adapt the techniques of their predecessors.... I think someone's thrown the word palimpsest around here already.


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 Post subject: Re: Has anyone else gotten ahead of the curve?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 7:22 pm 
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Posts: 8
Nicholson Baker also uses footnotes really effectively, especially in The Mezzanine -- if you're looking for another example of how it can be done.


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 Post subject: Re: Has anyone else gotten ahead of the curve?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 8:05 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 10:20 am
Posts: 16
I have the same problem. I'm at 675 and I'm dying to talk about some developments past the spoiler line but I don't dare go into the main forum. At this point I figure I'll finish early and revisit sections as they come up on the schedule.

Funny thing is I started late...but it's been hard to put down since page 300 or so, and I don't have much else to do, so, yay.


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 Post subject: Re: Has anyone else gotten ahead of the curve?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 9:29 pm 
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Posts: 7
polymathicj wrote:
I'm on 375. I want to just blast through it, but I also don't like waiting to talk about my favorite bits (Like Eschaton! Best. Scene. Ever.), so I've decided to just toe the line rather than race ahead. I've found it helpful to have collections of short stories or essays handy.* That way I can read both IJ and Book X in short little bursts without having to remember too much or getting things mixed up.
On a completely unrelated note, DFW's use of foot-/endnotes has been a revelation to me. I've basically been doing the same thing in my writing, except I've been using parentheses instead. However, I've always thought that while I like the parenthetical info and wanted to keep it, it nevertheless messed up the flow of the story. I never considered using foot-/endnotes in fiction, but it seems like the perfect answer to my problem. Yet I must wonder, is it cool to copy this bit of style, or would it be considered derivative? I'd very much like to hear any opinions on this.

*I just finished Batman & Philosophy, which wasn't as fun as I thought it would be, and am now giving myself an aneurysm trying to decide between Oliver Sacks's Musicophilia or Poe's collected works--anyone want to help me choose? lol


I've been wanting to read that Oliver Sacks book since I saw him on The Daily Show. If anyone's read it (though I know this isn't in any way related to IJ) please let me know what you thought of it.

Also, Eschaton is totally the best scene ever. I am amazed at how deeply invested I have become in the world of this book. What started as an intellectual exercise has become one of the most rewarding reading experiences of my young life.


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 Post subject: Re: Has anyone else gotten ahead of the curve?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 7:38 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 8:59 am
Posts: 4
I've been adhering to the schedule for the most part, but then I hit the Eschaton section and just had to see what happened next. All of a sudden, I'm on page 662 and already can't wait to get off work and put the kids to bed so I can pick it up again. Seriously, it just keeps getting better and better.


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 Post subject: Re: Has anyone else gotten ahead of the curve?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:00 am 
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blendercore wrote:
I've been wanting to read that Oliver Sacks book since I saw him on The Daily Show. If anyone's read it (though I know this isn't in any way related to IJ) please let me know what you thought of it.


I adore Oliver Sacks. If you've never read any of his stuff you might start with "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat". "Musicophilia" is highly reviewed by everyone I've come across, but I lost interest in it fairly quickly. However, I'm deaf, so I might be somewhat biased there.


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 Post subject: Re: Has anyone else gotten ahead of the curve?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:20 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:25 am
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Location: Brooklyn
leegoesplaces wrote:
blendercore wrote:
I've been wanting to read that Oliver Sacks book since I saw him on The Daily Show. If anyone's read it (though I know this isn't in any way related to IJ) please let me know what you thought of it.


I adore Oliver Sacks. If you've never read any of his stuff you might start with "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat". "Musicophilia" is highly reviewed by everyone I've come across, but I lost interest in it fairly quickly. However, I'm deaf, so I might be somewhat biased there.


I second the Oliver Sacks recommendation, though I'd like to add An Anthropologist on Mars. Some of those profiles really stuck with me.


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 Post subject: Re: Has anyone else gotten ahead of the curve?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 10:14 am 
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Location: Chicagoland
I'm on page 562. Totally agree with the posters who've commented that it just keeps getting better. I suppose we could start a "200 pages or so ahead" thread . .


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 Post subject: Re: Has anyone else gotten ahead of the curve?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 9:34 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 9:00 pm
Posts: 18
Location: Salt Lake City and no, I'm not one, either.
I'm a first-time reader, on page 871, and share everyone's enthusiasm here about IJ. Hands down, it's been one of the best reading experiences I've ever had, but with only 110 pages left to go (and, looking ahead, a small batch of short endnotes; thank you, DFW!), I'm beginning to fall into melancholy. I am really going to miss reading Infinite Jest!

My tentative plan is to reread Hamlet, then kind of skim-read IJ again, forgoing most of the endnotes (hoping their import will still be fresh in my mind).

I, too, wish there was a buffer zone between the forums with and without the spoiler lines, but I'm willing and anxious to plunge into the General Discussion board just as soon as I finish the book.

I take comfort, once I've reminded myself, in the notion that this message board is bound to be around for a long, long time. At least, I hope so.


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 Post subject: Re: Has anyone else gotten ahead of the curve?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 9:55 pm 
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beatnik wrote:
I, too, wish there was a buffer zone between the forums with and without the spoiler lines, but I'm willing and anxious to plunge into the General Discussion board just as soon as I finish the book.


It's funny you say that - I finished IJ today and immediately headed to the General Discussion board, but there were so many topics that it felt overwhelming and I couldn't decide where to start. I decided to take a breather and let the book sit with me for a day or two, and then try to catch up on the 2+ months worth of discussion there. It's a good problem to have.


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