Infinite Summer

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Author:  HumanComplex [ Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Introductions

I'm Bill, 33, Baltimore. First time reading IJ, but I've been a fan of DFW's essays in Harper's for a while. I'm already enjoying how different his fiction style is from his more journalistic stuff.

Happy to be here, I hope I make it through!

Author:  paraplegicNomad [ Wed Jun 24, 2009 2:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Introductions

Also 28 and from Brooklyn, which seems unusual in this context but really quite common when I'm home. This is my second reading of IJ, which I am doing terribly wrong (that is, mostly on the train to work before I'm really awake, or on the train back home after I've mentally gone back to bed). I still believe I can glean useful information despite my ridiculous approach.

Author:  phillio [ Wed Jun 24, 2009 2:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Introductions

Hi! I'm Phil from Portland, OR. Multimedia maker, group facilitator, improviser (business, performance, life)...

I'm 37 years old and have a 6.5 week-old son. I actually finished reading Infinite Jest just after he was born (took me since December!) and was wishing for someone to talk to this about. I'll be re-reading it with everyone here, probably on the Kindle App of my iPhone, as, disregarding David Eggers' advice in the book's forward, I must now do this very thing while holding a baby.

Can't wait to see what I pick up the 2nd time around and with some help from the group mind!

Author:  King of Kailua [ Wed Jun 24, 2009 3:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Introductions


I'm Michael Haring. I'm 41, live in Kea'au on the Big Island of Hawaii, and am aquaculture biologist by trade and experience, but I am re-tooling as a teacher and have been back in the ivory tower of late to become as effectual as I can be in this regard. This is my first DFW read and I am enjoying it! The theme of rediscovering a meaningful life has great relevance for me. I'm looking forward to infsu!

Author:  EverybodyHurts [ Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Introductions

Hi. Jean, here, 49. I live in MA, single mom to two grown kids, one in college, one just out.

I read some of DFW's stuff a few years ago, enjoyed it, but IJ just sat on my bedroom floor. I kept rereading Dave Eggers' foreword, but never actually tried to read the book, until...

When I found out via the Howling Fantods that they were having a memorial service at Amherst for DFW, I really wanted to go, which was strange, because I'd never met the guy and only had a basic beginning appreciation of his writing. I was going to go with a friend, who ended up being unable to attend. I thought about skipping, but something drew me to take the beautiful 3 hour drive out west after work alone.

The memorial was very moving (the audio can be found on the HF site) and after they had a little reception across the hall. I sort of hung out on the edge of the group of obviously rabid fans listening to what Mark Costello (Dave's roommate at college) had to say. Mark then very kindly put out his hand and introduced himself, sort of inviting me into the group. I sheepishly admitted I hadn't read IJ, and he insisted that I had to read it. He said I would love it, especially being from the area. He said you would never know that Dave wasn't a native Bostonian when you read the book.

So I read it alone the first time. It took a bit to get into it, but once all the characters and settings fell into place, the flow was easier and the book became a real page turner. So funny, so disgusting, so horrifying, so sad....Big, big emotions.
But I know so many of these places. I went to nursing school at St. Elizabeth's, cripes, I was born there and so were my kids. I've driven the Storrow 500 and the T. My Portuguese g'parents lived in E. Cambridge, near Inman Square. I remember that goddamn "Fresh Killed Chickens" sign on Cambridge St. My parents had their wedding reception at the Sheraton Commander in Harvard Square. It's freaky, and yet somewhat comforting.

Sorry for rambling. I'm really glad to be able to discuss salient points this time around with other readers instead of sitting alone making huge question marks in the margins by myself. Ha.

Author:  storm [ Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Introductions

Storm here, 24, North Dakota, construction worker (left field?!), big fan of DFW (something I've found is better to keep to myself. My crowd right now isn't exactly ground zero for breeding readers). This is not my first go around with IJ, Elegant Complexity, or some of the other writings about IJ. I'm sure I've found a few things that will intrigue the new readers, maybe some stuff that new to second time readers, and I expect to learn a lot from all of you. I've got a decent memory and a lot of time during the day to mull my thoughts, so I'm excited to be a part of this project and hope I contribute something valuable over the next few months. I've got a blog you can peruse for my lengthier thoughts on IJ, or go ahead and fill up my message box.

Stay well,

Author:  muggie [ Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Introductions

Hi everyone! My name is Sarah, 21 years old, a recent University of Maryland graduate and a prospective law school student. It's been practically impossible to find a job right away, leaving me with quite a bit of time on my hands this summer (but hopefully not for too long) and making it ideal to read IJ for the first time. I've read almost all of DFW's non-fiction (A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again is my favorite) and a handful of his short stories, and I am utterly captivated with this brilliant man! When my dad read IJ a little while back and just couldn't put it down I became determined to read it ASAP so here I am, looking forward to share this awesome experience with all of you fine folks!

Author:  natetheprettyok [ Wed Jun 24, 2009 7:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Introductions

Howdy all.

My name is Nate. I'm 27 and finishing up my Master's to become a math teacher in Portland, OR. This is my first serious effort reading IJ, but I'm a huge fan so far and like all of his shorter work I've read. I don't really have that many people to talk books with in my circle and I'm really looking forward to playing around in this big rubix cube of a novel with all of you.

Edit: I just realized that on Matthew Baldwin's blog he describes himself as a "pretty ok guy". My name was a pure coincidence, but now I feel like I'm wearing a T-shirt of the band I just came to see. Meh.

Author:  ontoursecretly [ Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Introductions

I am Emily. I started trying to read Infinite Jest when I was an undergrad (UC Santa Cruz Go Slugs). I don't remember why; probably to impress a chap I fancied. Don't get the wrong idea, I've got a brain and everything, but, you know, love conquers all, including sense and logic. After months of heartbreak I got back on the horse and tried to read it during the five-minute intervals it took the photo processing machine to spit out my color photos in the lab during photo class. Not a good way to tackle DFW. I think I slogged through maybe a quarter of the book, but for a good part of that I was lost. He's one of the major reasons I despise the use of footnotes as a stylistic device. But I'm trying again.

As for the non DFW-related parts of my life: I used to be a studio artist in college. Sometimes I miss it, and sometimes I think, "Thank God I gave up that pile of wank when I did." I love to read, but most books are far from satisfactory. I refuse to read anything with incest in it, because it's almost become, like, a shtick—with the exception of The Hotel New Hampshire, which is one of my favorite books. I play drums and guitar and sing and have been in punk and indie bands of varying degrees of success since I was 16 (I am now 28). I currently live in California and am doing everything within my limited power to leave. I have mostly worked in publishing, graphic design and media. And one time, I met Jim Carroll and had him autograph a squash for me!

Author:  WideOpenandRed [ Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Introductions

Hey there!

My name is Ryan, I'm a 29 (30 korean age) English teacher in Korea. This is my first time reading IJ. I just found about him after his passing. I first read his commensment speech to Kenyon College and it blew me away. I have also read A Supposedly Funny Thing. I am excited to hear what everyone has to say from their readings. I look forward to talking to you!

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