David foster wallace supposedly fun thing essay - essays on citizenship









david foster wallace supposedly fun thing essay

david foster wallace supposedly fun thing essayDavid foster wallace supposedly fun thing essay -His long sentences overflow with prepositional phrases; commas are scarce.I certainly enjoyed this thorough attempt to explain it. I have a lot of catching up to do with the bloggers who were posting on their own sites all summer. AE: I’ve spoken way too much about how annoyed I was at the wraith’s appearance toward the end of the book, but as much as it irritates me that DFW felt it necessary to put ghosts in his book, I do believe that there’s no other likely way that Gately could have received those words and had those conversations with himself., 1996, etc.) is sometimes tiresome but often truly rewarding.Oh, wait — unless we’re meant to be unsure if the “and when he came back to” refers to the Fackelmann incident, or Gately’s coma.Kevin is a co-founder and commissioner of The Morning News Tournament of Books, and his essays have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, Salon, and Mc Sweeney’s.It’s so difficult for a writer of even a fairly linear novel to understand exactly how the reader will receive it, and to leave so much unsaid shows a startling amount of confidence.The Guides agreed to do all they did this summer on a volunteer basis.He asks the reader to do a tremendous amount of work from the get go and when the novel’s over the work isn’t over. By giving us the “shave and a haircut” and foregoing the “two bits”, Wallace leaves us feeling like we’re perpetually in the middle of the novel, even after we’ve ostensibly finished.He’s giving great credit to the reader, and for me it really paid off, although I also understand the people who are frustrated with it.I wouldn’t have given you two cents for the institutions at any point in the history of civilization.I think that’s what throws some people–that the wraith clashes with the incredibly realist sections of the book. To Avery’s point, though, the idea of Joelle’s being “deformed by beauty” does exist, even if she’s actually deformed. Then you can see that her mother throwing acid on her face just gave her a different deformity — not necessarily any better or worse, just a deformity that her mother was more comfortable with. Literally quote “incredible”, as in straining credulity, as in: despite the vast expanse of white space between the final sentence and the “981″, I was like “I’m going to turn this page and find an epilogue or a coda or an Animal-House-closing-credits-style litany of what happens to all the characters in the future (“Ann Kittenplan became a marketing director for No Coat Incorporated …”) Eden M. Kevin Guilfoile: I wouldn’t have had the guts to end it that way.A book review competently discusses literary-theoretical debates over the death-of-the-author thesis.While not official Guides, Matt Bucher (of the wallace-l listserv) and Nick Maniatis (of The Howling Fantods) were tireless in their promotion and encouragement.Matthew Baldwin: I’ve always been comfortable with non-resolutions; for instance, I loved the ending of that television show with no ending. I can picture him sitting at his typewriter, six pages from the end of his three-ream manuscript and thinking “ah what the hell, I’ll stick an easy literary allusion here in case some poor sap missed the other 47,000.” IS: What about the other unanswered questions. I hope that a second reading of IJ will maybe illuminate some precedent for the wraith that I didn’t see before, and maybe calm my temper about the whole thing.(I can’t mention it by name because then people who haven’t seen the finale will know that there’s no ending, but people who have seen the non-ending-ending know the show of which I speak.) And so while I enjoy reading and pondering the theories, I am content to not know what happened to Hal. EMK: I’m not sure the punishment fit the crime, no. MB: By the way Avery, I am 100% behind you on the ghost-annoyance.I know I’m simplifying things; it could be argued that without institutional exposure to the liberal arts, Infinite Summer’s far-flung participants would never have undertaken conversation.MB: Had you asked me this yesterday, my answer would have been: not really.But we talked a little bit about the tonal imbalances that are almost inevitable in a project of this size. KG: I think it’s purposely a little bit vague–Wallace wants you to contemplate both possibilities–but in the end it seems pretty clear where the balance of the evidence is. EMK: Kevin’s described my dilemma exactly: I was enthralled with the idea of physical perfection being not a gift but instead a hideous deformity, and that Joelle had the self-awareness to want not only to protect herself from the self-consciousness other people’s reaction to her face forced her into, but to protect other people from having their minds blown by looking at her. Matthew Baldwin: I found the ending to be incredible. MB: After that passed, my second reaction was a sort of amorphous, anxious “Oh great, now I’m going to have to do a ‘Oprah/James Frey’ sort of deal where I haul the wraith of DFW onto this website and publicly confront him about this colossal scam he pulled, to which I was an unwitting party”. Then I woke up and thought the ending was pretty good.Back in April, when I set out to recruit three more Guides, I decided to start with the folks I thought would be best suited for the role and then move down the list as I accumulated rejections (of which I expected plenty).I must confess that I’m actually quite happy for Hal.david foster wallace supposedly fun thing essayWe already knew that Gately had reached a turning point on that beach and that from that point forward he would begin to make heroic efforts to change his life.But I’m looking forward to reading it very much, whatever shape it’s in.Which also makes me wonder about that early scene where Himself thinks that Hal can’t speak, but Hal insists later in a conversation with Mario, I believe, that he could and did speak to his father — that’s still a dangler for me.If that was the case then it would indeed be quite interesting. I did appreciate the symmetry in the endnotes — we start with definitions of drugs, and we end with definitions of drugs.If you believe that awesome and generous people deserve reward, please support them in their current and future endeavors. Kennedy’s most recent project is Let’s Panic About Babies (co-authored by Alice Bradley), and was called “a hilarious Onion-style website about parenting” by Redbook magazine. (where her son’s action figures demonstrate the intricacies of ashtanga yoga) and Fussy (where she writes angry open letters to Justin Timberlake and chronicles her daily life).His second novel, , will be published next year by Alfred A. Avery Edison is a student of Comedy Writing at a university in England.But then, last night, I walked into a Barnes and Noble to pick up The New Annotated Dracula, and inexplicably walked out with Brief Interviews With Hideous Men.Infinite Summer: What do you think happened to Hal?I think the fact that he pulls that ending off (at least to my mind) shows he is about as attuned to the reader as any writer I know.I’ve read four or five books in the two weeks since I finished Infinite Jest (yep — I finished early. Everything is necessary because even the tiniest details inform this portrait of an entire alternate universe.But my powers of literary divination often let me down.Especially brilliant is the collection's opening essay, in which Wallace looks back on his childhood experiences as a Midwestern junior tennis star through the lens of his collegiate obsession with mathematics.At his best—which is to say, about half the time here—Wallace writes with an intensity that transforms rambling reportage into a sui generis mode of weird philosophizing.But the author’s relationship with the text is so different from the reader’s. He knows all the stuff he thought about putting in there, but didn’t.Avery Edison: It’s definitely got me reading books again, which is marvelous. My friend got very quiet for a moment, like he was debating whether to confess something. Avery Edison: I’m starting to understand that even if one section doesn’t give us any new information or make sense as a part of the story, it’s still important because it builds IJ‘s tone.Was JOI occasionally so immersed in himself that he’d lost all connection with what was happening right in front of him?We left him as we was beginning to experience actual human emotion, and I think that’s great progress for him. Kennedy: I want to think Hal viewed the Entertainment but got pried away from it before he’d lost all sentience.” So apparently my thirst for Wallace remains unslaked.I stood for a moment in the parking lot, looking down at it and thinking, “how the hell did that happen?Instead, to my great fortune, the first three people I asked accepted. david foster wallace supposedly fun thing essay The collective encouragement and wisdom of this group made it one of the most pleasurable reading experiences I’ve ever had. I’ve already read the next two books in the IS queue (Dracula and 2666) and so I won’t be reading along, but I will be stopping by here regularly for the excitement of watching smart minds wrestle with big ideas. KG: I will definitely read The Pale King but I doubt I would have gotten to it before next year, anyway. And now that I’ve read more about his life and how all his personal head-work had led him up to writing The Pale King, I’m really more sorry than ever that he couldn’t stick around to finish it.And John Hodgman’s perfect summation of the event–”a noble and crazy enterprise”–is responsible for no small share of the attention and participants we received. And now, thinking back on that moment a half a year later, I inwardly cringe at my reaction to his sincerity. Honestly, I think I owe the entire Internet a beer.I thought this would motivate me to re-read IJ, since his congratulatory note would be waiting at the end.We listed their final reactions in the previous Roundup post.He was the co-author (with John Warner) and illustrator of the #1 bestseller .I became a novelist because there were great novels I read and admired. And not just for the book, but for the community around it.The institutions of the life of the mind are in a bad way—and they always have been!Wallace is a fine prose stylist of the post-Beat school.You can find many more posts and commentary in the weekly roundup archives. I said before that it’s impossible for me to casually rattle off my favorite books because the list changes depending on when you ask me and what I’m working on and thinking about and currently inspired by. Infinite Summer: Looking back, do parts of the novel that seemed superfluous at the time now make sense? The joke about “never try to pull more than your own weight” came back a few times in different contexts, which were all appropriate, but I agree with Kevin’s ambivalence toward it, and I’m not sure I get why it’s in there, given the story’s history.Matthew Battles, of the Hermenautic Circle Blog, writes: When I think of Infinite Summer, I remember that the liberal arts are at their heart not a profession or a civic medicine but a disposition.I’m normally the sort to avoid the sport if it ever shows up on my TV, but this past week I spent half an hour watching volleys on You Tube, and reading DFW’s NYTimes article on Roger Federer. To go scene by scene would be nitpicking as far as I’m concerned. It would be akin to saying, “but does the Mona Lisa really need to have those mountains in the background”? Because it’s the Mona Lisa.” IS: Were the hours (days, weeks…) spent reading the book well spent? But at the same time I knew a break would turn into a hiatus would turn into a fuck I can’t believe I failed to finish this book .(I am now halfway through DFW’s Consider the Lobster, which is blessedly smooth terrain after IJ.) And my respect and appreciation for my friends in AA has increased a thousandfold. The book itself changed my life in the way that any great book does. Putting aside the sense of pride I get from the fact that I actually managed to read a 1,000 page book, I really did have fun, pretty much from the eschaton game onwards.She writes a few web-comics, maintains a a tumblog, and has one of the most hilarious Twitter streams on the series of tubes.The tennis world, treated at length in : a ferocious investigative report on the culture of luxury cruises, and the record of another carnival voyage, this one a trip to the Illinois State Fair.I felt like Wallace poured all of himself into Jest, and I’m frankly a little skeptical that there could be more of him to read, especially in another huge, sprawling novel.Was very proud.) and I can’t even conceive of that kind of achievement pre-Infinite Summer. Kevin Guilfoile: If we were talking about a conventional novel, there’s clearly much here that could be trimmed to make it “better.” But Wallace is aiming at something other than just storytelling, and the experience of the novel wouldn’t be nearly as moving if he didn’t structure it the way he did.I will scan his message and autograph, and you can post the images on the site when Infinite Summer officially hits Page 981.KG: One of the critical knocks against Wallace is that he has a disregard for the reader.I’ve also managed to quit drinking caffeine (well, Coca-Cola) after coming to the realization that I was utterly addicted to the stuff (“when it gets to the stage when you need it…”) I’ve tried to quit a few times before, on an almost annual basis, and never managed it. I felt like the protagonist in that Jack London story To Build a Fire, forcing myself to keep moving, desperately wanting to rest “for a moment” but aware that doing so would be end.A wraith also provides an explanation for beds adhering to the ceiling and whatnot. david foster wallace supposedly fun thing essay Avery Edison: I think it was the withdrawal from Bob Hope that did him in — all that mold stuff has to be a red herring, since we never got a 14-page footnote on the history of mold or something.Elsewhere in the volume, Wallace takes determined dives into banality.Which mean that I could read all those last few endnotes at once and not have to leave the main story as I plowed through the last pages. I thought it was incredibly emotionally satisfying.It would be like opening the box and finding the cat dead. AE: Orin certainly isn’t the nicest character in the book but he’s far from the nastiest, either, and so I think the jar of bugs was far too cruel a punishment for him. I didn’t leap to your defense earlier because I thought that Wallace would leave open the possibility that it was all in Gately’s head, but “bed on the ceiling” ended that hope. I loved that part not just because I’m not too prickly about the supernatural, but because I trust that DFW wasn’t a kook, and he explored Gately’s existence in a realm somewhere between life and death using a sort of quantum view (as I understand it, in that on the subatomic level things behave in wonderfully inexplicable ways).Kevin Guilfoile: I finished IJ on a Friday (After how many months? (They’re REALLY glad I’m done.) KG: I don’t think I would have ever read Infinite Jest–I surely don’t think I would have finished it–without Infinite Summer.Maybe further readings might help you hone in on the answer, and struggling with what happened between the last page and the first is part of the intended experience.I’m a little unclear on how that happened, but I could not be more appreciative.I’m still an indifferent tennis spectator, despite my son’s newfound love of rallying from the service line, but I really loved watching Oudin in this year’s U. I’ll certainly never forget it, and I’m certain little connections between the book and my life will continue to click together over time. There are themes in the book that I’m sure are going to percolate in my brain for a while, and I feel like a (slightly) emotionally deeper human being having read so much truly smart stuff on depression and addiction.KG: Yeah, once again you have to go through a lot of machinations to try to come with a scenario in which the wraith isn’t real.And in case you missed it, much of our blogroll finished the book early (infinitedetox, Gerry Canavan, members of Infinite Zombies, and so forth).Avery Edison: I was pretty unmoved by it, to be honest (well, except for being a little miffed at yet another poor depiction of gender-variant people in the Asian “fags dressed up as girls”.) As the novel drew to a close I became less concerned about it having a cracking ending — it’s such a fractured and structureless book that expecting or anticipating something as conventional as an ending that ties up loose ends seemed pointless, and my mental energy was better spent just enjoying the ride as a whole.EMK: I think that he was attuned, or that in writing this novel he was trying to attune himself, to the human heart, almost desperately sometimes.Like: “slows you down and lets you to pay attention to things you’d ordinarily zip by, that if you just took the time to really see them they’d make you smile in this really deeply loving way.” (That’s what my dictionary says, anyway.) The scene that sums up this thought entirely for me is when Stice’s forehead is stuck to the window. And then Hal walks up and they have this little chat. Well, maybe we should try to get you off this thing, what do you say? I asked him to write a message of congratulations to the reader on the final page.And I am enormously grateful to everyone who visited the site, participated in the forums, merrily tweeted along on Twitter #infsum channel, and otherwise worked to make this the incredible event it became Infinite Summer: Did Infinite Jest change your life? Just being in that company means, yeah, it affected me profoundly. Back in April I was in a bar, sharing beers with a buddy of mine, and I mentioned this crazy idea I had of an Internet-wide reading of Infinite Jest. So no, they don’t make sense yet, but I have faith that they do make sense.So I loved exactly seeing how he got there, even though witnessing that last binge was brutal. That E-chord at the end of the Beatles’ “A Day In the Life” — that long sustained chord that just slowly fades out until you hear the piano bench creak under John’s butt. MB: Holy hell, I think you win “analogy of the summer” with that one, Eden. EMK: Well, seriously, that’s exactly the sound that went through my mind as I imagined Gately lying there.I hadn’t realized how much the internet had affected my ability to just sit down and read a book, and — looking back — the first half of IJ was all that tougher because I was re-training my attention span in addition to trying to process Wallace’s prose. Infinite Jest seems to be less about a series of events that show what happened to a bunch of people, and more about a collection of vignettes that paint a picture of an entire world.Aside from that, I’ve found myself with an interest in tennis for the first time in my life. There are a lot of scenes, frankly, that could have gone (given the ultimate context I probably would give DFW a pass for borrowing the bricklayer story, except for the fact, as Eden points out, it’s almost entirely gratuitous), but I also give Wallace a great benefit of the doubt given what he’s accomplished with this novel. That said, there were times during the reading (especially around page 700) when I wished I could take a break, just set the book aside for a week or two.A sprawling meditation on television and contemporary fiction lays out many intriguing theories, but its main point, that TV irony snares rather than liberates viewers, doesn't make news.But as I’ve lowered my levels every day and still gone through withdrawal I’ve found myself thinking “one day at a time” and pushing through. Kennedy: I agree with Avery on the first and last counts; it had been forever since I’d tackled a Big Book and it took an almost physical act of will to get my mind working at a speed that surpassed what it takes to skim Esquire magazine. AE: A month ago, I would have said that I’d made a terrible decision in committing to reading the book, but now that it’s over with I’m immensely glad I did it.Kathleen Fitzpatrick, associate professor of media studies at Pomona College (and I. guest) discussed the “death of literature with Humanities Magazine. david foster wallace supposedly fun thing essay , 1996, etc.) is sometimes tiresome but often truly rewarding. david foster wallace supposedly fun thing essay

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