Infinite Summer

Anyone else reading IJ out loud?
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Author:  whf [ Sat Sep 05, 2009 1:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Anyone else reading IJ out loud?

I joined late (July 16), and have noticed a coupla posts from people who have read passages of IJ out loud, but is anyone else reading the whole thing out loud? For various reasons, I decided to give it a shot out loud - and I've just made it to page 700, out loud, "regular" text and the footnotes! Have been enjoying this experience way more than I thought I would, both the book itself and the "dramatization" of it - it's been a daily pleasure. Am determined to finish by the solstice. Thank you Mr. Baldwin!

Author:  tomcollins [ Tue Sep 08, 2009 4:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Anyone else reading IJ out loud?

Thank you for posting on this practice! I too have been trying,throughout the summer, to read the novel out loud, but, perhaps unlike you (I'm not sure after reading your post), I have tried to muster an audience for this "reading." This has not went well at all, but I confort myself by saying that it's because it reminds all the French people in my entourage how truly disfunctional their English actually is. No amount of training can cure this, but I hope reading IJ aloud to them will send them into some kind of blue funk or confessional maybe where they can decide to delve a bit further into the infinite jest of the English language. Thanks again for this post -- it reminded me of Flaubert shouting in the privacy of his quarters, to check the accuracy, the fluidity, and, in the end, the validity of his prose. I think we both agree that DFW's prose passes the test!

Author:  whf [ Tue Sep 08, 2009 6:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Anyone else reading IJ out loud?

Thanks for your kind words regarding my experiment. Though I have not targeted the French exclusively, as a matter of fact, in the beginning, I did attempt to attract listeners to my reading. I decided for the first hundred pages, I would go to some public place, with IJ in one hand and a tennis racquet in the other. Of course, I figured, anyone "in the know" would immediately approach me, with appropriate bonhomie, and I would have an instant convert to this vibrant aural experiment. I went out about a half dozen times, to various coffee houses and a coupla bars, trying to pick ones that I figured would be frequented by hipsters and literati. In fact, NO ONE ever approached me as a "fellow traveler" - whether because they did not recognize what I was referencing or because they were IJ snobs, I do not know. In any case, in all locations, I would open my book and begin reading, out loud, taking on various character's personalities, even though at first I had no idea who the characters were or what they could possibly sound like. At appropriate times I would gesticulate with my racquet. I was yelled at several times, asked/forced to leave a coupla times, and at one bar, shoved around a bit, right before my tennis racquet was destroyed and I fled. The first hundred pages did not go well, but hey, I figured, I had 900 more to get it right!

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