Saturday, February 23, 2008

Avoiding Reality

NOW READING: Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

Have I mentioned that a lot of the plot of Infinite Jest takes place in the footnotes? It's not nearly as annoying as it sounds. Ordinarily, I do find it completely tiresome when reading something to be constantly referred to footnotes. Especially if it's because the author has incomplete thoughts and jumbled organization, or when they are an academic and so they like to write one narrative in the paper and another in the footnotes. UGH. What DFW does in Jest, however, is write the plot in both the main text and the footnotes. I kinda dig it.

Also, the footnotes are pretty good and even f-in' hilarious from time to time. Sometimes they go on for pages. Sometimes there are footnotes to the footnotes. I reiterate that none of this is as annoying as it sounds. Also, how can you get mad when one sequence of footnotes reads like this:

a. Don't ask.

b. Ibid.

That is pure genius!

Recently in a footnote he referred to the prorectors at the tennis academy having "that grad-schoolish sense of arrested adolescence and reality-avoidance about them." (p. 1003) That is a great way to put it. It also makes me think I was, like, destined to go to grad school. As much as I hemmed and hawed and put it off, I can avoid reality and/or dwell in adolescence with the best of them. But I'm intelligent and like to read. So it had to happen eventually, right?

Reality is overrated. I prefer the Oscars.

Oooh! I almost forgot the most important part. I totally want to read Infinite Jest all the time when I have so much to do for law school, so I'm totally conflicted and I never get to make any progress in the novel and then I get all mad and on my days off I just read it and don't read things for school. THAT'S what's* so great about it!

*I have a new fondness for/obsession with noticing when I happen to write two words in a row that might mystify a novice pronouncer of English because they look the same but sound different. Example: "That's what's..." Also earlier today I noticed it when elsewhere I wrote "come home."

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