Infinite Summer

What DFW works have you read?
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Author:  OhItsJustDan [ Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:59 am ]
Post subject:  What DFW works have you read?

Just in browsing what little discussion has started already on these boards, I found it interesting that some people seem to be taking their first journey with David Foster Wallace via the Infinite Summer, and many others have only read one of his other books (mostly Consider the Lobster) and had their interest piqued.

I thought it might be interesting to see the variety of DFW experiences folks are bringing to the table.

Personally, I'm a DFW junkie who's always been a little afraid of tackling Infinite Jest (and commitments, apparently). I stumbled across the Infinite Summer website a few weeks ago, and after poking around decided it would be the perfect occasion to finally delve into the novel. But before IJ, I've read:

Oblivion (x2)
Brief Interviews with Hideous Men
Consider the Lobster
(just about x2)
A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again

Author:  OverorExactly13YOA [ Sat Jun 20, 2009 11:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What DFW works have you read?

I'm reading Infinite Jest at the moment, nearing the end, and that's it. The plan was to finish and then start again on the 21st, but that's hardly going to happen now, so I'm skitting between:

a) Finishing then starting again when I'm done.
b) Starting again whilst finishing.

Don't have to decide until tomorrow though!

Author:  caroldelucia [ Sun Jun 21, 2009 1:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What DFW works have you read?

INFINITE JEST read 4 times
Oblivion 1/2
Commence speech about 37 times..

Author:  Cat [ Sun Jun 21, 2009 4:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What DFW works have you read?

Stumbled across ASFTINDA, loved it, read IJ once, and more or less simultaneously with my first reading of IJ, decided to read everything I could find by DFW, starting with the earliest, so I also read

Broom of the System
Girl with Curious Hair
parts of BIWHM & Oblivion & CTL

then, recently, all of

Signifying Rappers
Brief Interviews with Hideous Men
online story Good People, and the commencement address TIW

...and parts of some online tennis articles...

... am still reading CTL. I was beginning not to delight in Oblivion, so I skipped ahead to CTL. I'm sure I'll return to Oblivion & finish it sometime soon.

Also about 250 pp. into my second reading of IJ, and may or may not continue from there, while beginning again & reading along with the group read here that starts today.

Author:  thelastbulgarian [ Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What DFW works have you read?

Supposedly Fun Thing, Brief Interviews, Consider the Lobster, bits of Girl with Curious Hair and Oblivion. First time with IJ.

Oh but the Commencement Speech is wonderful. And I think essential if you're reading IJ.

Author:  WideOpenandRed [ Wed Jun 24, 2009 8:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What DFW works have you read?

The first thing I read from DFW was his commencement speech to Kenyon College. I had just found out about him because of his death. I don't know what lead me to this, but I had a sense I would enjoy it. It was so beautiful, realistic, and positive. From there I checked out A Supposed Thing.... Some great laugh out loud moments. One of my favorite passages from the said essay, was the description of Captain Video filming everything, especially the moment where he's filming another ship they happened to be docked by, and there's another person filming him filming, and DFW watching the whole thing going down.

Here I am now reading IJ and enjoying it. I haven't felt weighed down by it yet. The only book I felt weighted down by was Gravity's Rainbow.

Author:  Motley Fool [ Wed Jul 22, 2009 7:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What DFW works have you read?


I agree with your take on Gravity's Rainbow. That was the next book I picked up after reading Infinite Jest, my first DFW work, and could only make it about halfway through before getting bogged down and losing interest. But I digress from the thread.

In addition to Infinite Jest I've read Oblivion, Broom of the System, Brief Interviews With Hideous Men (the version from Sundance is in my Neflix queue), Consider the Lobster (probably my favorite collection), A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again and of course the Kenyon College commencement address several times.

Author:  JRLSberro [ Thu Jul 23, 2009 10:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What DFW works have you read?

IJ is my first experience, but I love it so much I've requested ASFTINDA and the Kenyon College address from my libarary - actually they will probably be waiting for me when I get home today! I thought I would dip into those at the same time as reading IJ. As I read this thread I couldn't help but smile at the use of large acronyms for his works. I'm in the middle of the Eschaton section of the book at the moment and it really struck me - how appropriate to use the acronyms!

Author:  opinionatedlady [ Thu Jul 23, 2009 7:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What DFW works have you read?

The first thing I ever read by DFW was Consider the Lobster, and shortly thereafter his commencement speech at Kenyon College - both were an attempt to familiarize myself with his work. I actually think I read those both on the same day last month after I discovered this website. And I am now happily reading IJ :)

Author:  misterAyed [ Sun Aug 02, 2009 7:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What DFW works have you read?

I've read everything he published with the exception of the book on infinity (which I plan to pick up soonish).

I first heard of him because I had a subscription to Harper's (gotta love those Harper's indexes in the front) & so I read the "Shipping Out" (a/k/a ASFTINDA) when it was first published in.... 1994? somewhere around then -- which I absolutely adored (and still do). I fell for his non-fiction, both the observational/reportage (see also the State Fair Harper's piece) and the analytical/philosophical (of which my favorite is E Unibus Pluram), then moved to his fiction. As it turns out, IJ is one of the last things of his I've read -- although I started it a few times before (beginning the summer it was published), I bogged down and didn't get very far before giving up (kinda like my first few attempts at Gravity's Rainbow and Ulysses...) I finally picked it up again on 7/20 & was not only hooked but obsessed (finished 7/31, if that's any indication).

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