Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Conquering Infinite-y

now reading: Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

I am halfway through!

This news is definitely worthy of shouting that originates on a rooftop. It is a long book. And, I am a law student. This day might never have come...

Actually, on a total digression, sometimes I don't even feel like a law student. I feel like I am just doing my own thing and then sometimes I get really stressed out because I have to do a lot of the same things the law students have to do. Then, I think, 'Well, OK, maybe this is what a law student looks like!' Gloria Steinem would be proud.

Back to Jest. Recently I became annoyed with the fact that I had soooo much left to read in it. That to-read pile is growing larger. And I can't read for pleasure all the time these days anyway. And all that. It just seemed so cumbersome to have hundreds of pages left. Brian swore he was still relishing it. I missed the relish. But bringing it with me to read on my commute on Monday really made a difference, because I read sixty pages in one day. Usually I spend my commute to school reading for a class and my commute from school reading The New Yorker, but I really want to finish IJ* by March 10. WISH ME LUCK. (Alternatively, by March 17 is also allowed. I just want it to be by the 10th. But I am bound and determined to finish by the 17th. You hear me?)

*Did you know "IJ" also means "Immigration Judge" and I talk about those a lot this semester.

However, after tearing through 80 pages in the past 36 hours, I have now come to another annoying part, a random digression in first person about a recollection of a childhood mattress-moving incident and some psychotic parents.* It's Jim Incandenza, I surmise. As I plodded through it, wondering if its point/tangential relevance/amusement factor will soon be revealed, I got to a great part in which he recalls that as a boy he was terrified of the sound of vacuum cleaners. I love it! Me too! I still don't like them, but now that I am a rational adult I can deal with their sound, obviously. But I so too recall "hurrying to get some distance between myself and the vacuum cleaner, because the sound of vacuuming has always frightened me in the same irrational way..." (p. 501) (That's right, FIVE hundred. And halfway through. Yeah.)

*Then again, what parents in this book aren't pretty much psycho?

Don't get me wrong. This book isn't filled with annoying digressions. Most of it is wholly bad-ass. I was particularly delighted a few pages back to re-encounter Madame Psychosis. Only, she's gone. Basically, we re-encountered her absence. How sad for me.

Do any of you even, like, know anyone who has read it?

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