Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
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 Post subject: Scandalous confession
PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 10:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:08 pm
Posts: 47
Of the list of 7 books identified in 1976 by the scholar Edward Mendelson as "encylopedic narratives"
(which now certain scholars think IJ should be included in):

1) Dante's Commedia
2) Rabelais' five books of Gargantua and Pantagruel
3) Cervantes' Don Quixote
4) Goethe's Faust
5) Melville's Moby Dick
6) Joyce's Ulysses
7) Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow

I have started #5,6 and #7 and finished none of them. IJ is my first.
Embarrassing.


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 Post subject: Re: Scandalous confession
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 6:50 pm 
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Location: Korea
I have read Moby Dick and Gravity's Rainbow. I am stubborn about finishing books no matter how aggravating, Gravity's Rainbow more so. I do want to try to Ulysses in the near future.


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 Post subject: Re: Scandalous confession
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 4:15 pm 
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I vote we read Ulysses next summer--we can even start it on Bloomsday (June 16th) !! I'm totally serious. Someone will have to come up with a name for the read, unless we go with "Infinite Summer II."


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 Post subject: Re: Scandalous confession
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 6:55 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:51 am
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I also vote for Ulysses next summer.

Now. . .somebody come up with a name for this project!


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 Post subject: Re: Scandalous confession
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 8:16 am 
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Posts: 91
Hmm. I suppose I should not reward myself too easily for the ones I've finished (Ulysses, Moby Dick, Quixote, 1/3 credit for Inferno without the rest of the Divine C.), as they were all in the context of either H.S. or college assignments. I can say with some confidence I'd have made it through the books about whale/windmill assault, once started, on my own steam, but not the ones about the descent into dublin/hell. Have made it 50-100 pages into Gravity's Rainbow on more than one occasion, and am one of those annoying "this is my 30-gazillionth complete reading of IJ" people. All that said, I have to say that Gravity's rainbow, maybe Moby Dick a little, and the small parts of the Rabelais that I've read are the only books on that list that I get any strong sense of experiential kinship relating them to I.J. Even Ulysses, which has all the thematic Father/Son/Odysseus/Hamlet connection to IJ, feels like it belongs to a totally other world of reading experiences to me. As a result, reading IJ doesn't really directly make me feel a strong desire to (re) read any of these "enyclopedic" works, with the possible exception of the Pynchon. I guess I'll have to go wikipedia-search that critic so I understand what he is getting at by "encyclopedic" that wouldn't also apply to, basically, any of the other noted "epics" of western lit (I read the Cervantes, Joyce, and Dante all as part of one of those ever so traditional frosh college "The Epic Novel" surveys, for example.)


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 Post subject: Re: Scandalous confession
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 7:34 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 4:43 pm
Posts: 14
I did "Don Quixote" a few years ago and it got a bit tiring by the end.

I had a strange experience with "Gravity's rainbow". I was struggling with it, reading in sporadic bursts, until I realised that my copy had a whole section of about 100 pages that were reprinted from earlier in the book. No wonder I was freaking out. That's one I need to go back to at some stage, because I have enjoyed "The crying of lot 49", "Vineland", and "Mason & Dixon" since then.

Peter


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