Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
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 Post subject: Re: Introductions
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 12:45 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:44 pm
Posts: 2
Location: San Francisco
Shannon here. I deal with age rating issues for a video game publisher, which means I spend a lot of time thinking and talking about sex, drugs, and violence, and filling out endless paperwork on same. I've read parts of A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, Consider the Lobster, and Girl With Curious Hair. I think I found out about this project because I follow Avery on Twitter, because she is really funny. I'd been meaning to get to Infinite Jest, so this seemed like as good a time as any!

I live with my boyfriend, who is already getting tired of coming up to bed to find a very large novel in his spot when I've falling asleep reading it, and Iggy the Cat, who has so far not weighed in on the project. I like photography, cooking, and sewing. Also, wine.


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 Post subject: Re: Introductions
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:45 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:15 pm
Posts: 1
My name is Jessie, and I am 22 and from the twin cities MN area. I am a theatre major fresh out of college, and am currently...unemployed.

I heard about the Infinite Summer project from some friends and decided it was the perfect way to fill my time with something enriching and useful as opposed to the mind-melting activities that seem to coincide with the online couch-centered job search.

I didn't really know much about DFW when I heard of his death last year, yet the news of the event stuck with me, and since then have been wanting to find out more about him and read one of his novels.

I am not sure I will have the level of insight as many others in this discussion, but I am interested in seeing what everyone has to say, and I am looking forward to being a part of something outside my living room!


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 Post subject: Re: Introductions
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 4:37 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 3:04 am
Posts: 3
Location: Hamilton, Canada
I am Lonita, a 40 year-old bookadorer from Canada (who got four somewhat interesting looking novels for a total of $7.88 at the nearest Coles yesterday, so is happier than a pig in a wallow).

I grew up being taught that books are sacred cows that should never be marked up, bent, folded, spindled, or otherwise, because that somehow violated the book and meant you were not a book lover or serious reader. In university I learned this was the biggest load of crap in the universe. If the book belongs to you, if it inspires you, if it raises questions, or reminds you of other books, if it gives connection, then write on it. Write all over it. Notes in the margins, highlightered passages, arrows, lists, everything everywhere. To love something means to use it, and I use my books.

How could I then pass up an opportunity to participate in somehing that not only accepts you do this, but actively encourages that you do it?

Life has caught me up on other things, so this is (embarassed face) my first foray into DSW. I am looking forward to reading IJ (bookstore slow: ordered copy not yet in: most frustrating) like one looks forward to biting into the juiciest, tastiest looking steak ever barbecued by human hands.

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"I really have a secret satisfaction in being considered rather mad." - W. Heath Robinson


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 Post subject: Re: Introductions
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 7:44 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:42 pm
Posts: 4
Location: ipswich/oxford, england
i'm charlotte, and i just finished my first year studying english lit at university, and am meant to be reading a fuckload of stuff this summer already (including like, the entirety of the faerie queene), but fuck that shit. uh, i mean, but i've decided to read this too. of course.

i tried reading infinite jest last summer but i only got about a hundred pages in before university started and it ate my life. the infinite summer project is cool because it gives me a SCHEDULE. apparently having a schedule really helps me. maybe i'll make one for the faerie queene.

i've read bits and pieces of other david foster wallace things, mainly essays, and his essay on irony & television is pretty much my favourite essay ever. so yeah, i'm excited about finally doing this, finally reading the book, and glad that i finally worked out how to log in (i am a moron).

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 Post subject: Re: Introductions
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 8:23 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2009 12:55 am
Posts: 35
I'm Quinn, a journalist generally around DC. I write about sciencey stuff, drugs, obscure points of IP law, mental health and the lack of it, etc. I avoided IJ for a while for the very dumb reason that it I knew I was supposed to like it and I wanted to avoid a point of typecasting amongst my friends and possibly in my own head.

My familiarity with DFW is nearly entirely based on a sweet, shy, and perspicacious ex who called me after he'd moved away to Cambridge to read to me, often for hours and late into the night. He read to me every scrap of DFW's non fic, and most of Brief Interviews with Horrible Men. Often he would read to the end of a story and simply disconnect. When I visited, we would walk down the street with his nose in a book, still reading to me.

His voice was rich and expressive and tinged with a bit of sadness. The ephemerality of the renditions was even more sad; it is a loss to the world that no one else will hear his reading of Tense Present, wandering down Mass Ave, trying to nail every period after forcing the awkward phrases out of his mouth rapid fire.

I am, of course, liking IJ quite a bit.


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 Post subject: Re: Introductions
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:39 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2009 11:36 am
Posts: 1
I'm Sylvia, 52, from North Carolina.

First time reading IJ. I checked out Consider the Lobster and A Supposedly Fun Thing from the library. Wanted IJ but they did not have it so I bought it a couple of months ago. Then I read about IS in Time and signed up.

I love the book so far, but I'm not sure I would have read it all the way through without this support group. Great idea!


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 Post subject: Re: Introductions
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:53 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 3:56 pm
Posts: 5
Hi, I'm Christian, 38, in Nashville. This is the third time I've tried to read IJ over the past ten years and have never made it past about page 100 before. I'm almost there now though - I think with this group to lean on I'll make it!


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 Post subject: Re: Introductions
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:49 pm
Posts: 12
Location: Washington, DC
I just finished reading through all the introductions: What a diverse and interesting group of people! Thanks to Matthew for starting all of this.

My name is Mike, I live in DC, and I'm somehow going to be 42 on Thursday. I work as a public relations executive, so I'm quite comfortable with narrative absurdities. I grew up in Western Mass, about 30 minutes south of Amherst, went to college in Worcester, and worked in Boston/lived in Somerville (Davis Square) prior to moving to Our Nation's Capital 15 years ago.

I'm having a little DFW-esque episode of reflection/regret regarding my screen name, which I initially thought was clever but now fear is pretentious. Forgive me my trespasses.

I first read IJ in the summer of 1997, during which time I became pretty obsessed with it -- enough so to annoy all of my friends with earnest clenched-hand entreaties for them to buy it, buying it as a many-strings-attached gift for those who didn't buy it themselves, and waiting for hours at a DC bookstore to hear DFW read from it and get my copy signed, and to post stuff on old DFW and IJ websites. I haven't read it since, so was tremendously excited when my new experiment with Twitter (@michaelbriggs) led me to Colin Meloy led me to Infinite Summer.

Looking forward to talking with all of you on the boards. I'd also love to meet up with other folks in DC to talk in person.

-- Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Introductions
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:25 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 12:02 pm
Posts: 16
Hi Everyone - I'm Chris. I'm 38 and live in Austin. I work for a printing company and have been in some sort of publishing/production type job for the last decade. I studied English and Philosophy in school, especially Post WW2 American Lit and Existentialism. My reading tastes, like all my interests are all over the place. A few current faves, aside from DFW are Tom Perrota, Cormac McCarthy, Christopher Hitchens, Malcolm Gladwell and Margaret Wise Brown. (I have a 2 y.o. son so Goodnight Moon is in heavy rotation)

I've owned a copy of IJ since 99 and started it 4-5 times but was never able to get through it. After DFW's death I felt I owed to him and myself to read one of the most important books of this generation. 5 months later I am within 30 pages of finishing. It's taken me longer to read this book than any other book I've ever read. The whole experience of reading IJ is so different as well, I'm starting to wonder what it'll be like not to read it. Needless to say thrilled to find this group and looking forward to sharing thoughts and theories about the book.


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 Post subject: Re: Introductions
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 2:10 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.
Hi all, I'm Jim, a personal chef who will be 53 by the time we finish this endeavor.

Prior to starting my own business a few years ago, I spent most of my life in communication, a dozen years in cable television and almost twice as many in radio. My favorite job was as a jazz music host on our local NPR affiliate. My musical tastes run from Carla Bley, Jimmy Giuffre, Maria Schneider and Dave Holland, to Steely Dan, Neil Young, Frank Zappa, a fistful of classical works and my current favorite, Wilco. I can't read when listening to music - or vice versa - so this summer's going to be quieter than usual.

When I first learned of I.S. from Time Magazine, I knew I'd run out of excuses for not pulling I.J. off the shelf from which, for over a decade, it stared at me disdainfullly. An old Pnychon fan, this is my first attempt at reading D.F.W., and I'm loving every moment!

(Finished I.J. on August 26 -- what a ride!)


Last edited by beatnik on Wed Sep 02, 2009 4:36 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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