To begin, you need a dictionary, preferably the OED. Since countless characters hijack the narrative without warning, I’d recommend keeping a list of monikers to separate the Canadian wheelchair assassins from the recovering/persisting head-cases from the tennis prodigies. Wrist braces aren’t a bad idea. A working knowledge of mathematics, chemistry, grammar, physical education, video production, waste management, puppetry, media dissemination, the Twelve Steps, and Canada will go a long way. Finally, a Faulkner-Gaddis-Pynchon-like-patience is necessary, as in butt-in-the-seat-time to power through even what you don’t understand, what doesn’t seem like English, and what gives you a physical headache; just read the words, and they’ll invade some part of you that can absorb and translate and assimilate. Have faith. Persevere. DFW will slap you a couple of times to make you pay attention harder, because you’re saying, “I’m laughing too much; I’m crying too much”; you’re now facing the challenge of being too emotional to continue reading the book as you’re distracted and wiping tears away and recovering.
Friday, February 06, 2009
Reading The Book
Reading Infinite Jest. A bit meta- at first but a good appreciation. (The Rumpus)