>>7571400 Its a good book, its just that the scenes aren't really condensed into just the important stuff and that DFW will ramble on until everything is said. The good chapters go bad fast but others that you might not care about as much might take forever to get through.
>>7571415 My legitimate answer would be read some of his shorter stuff. His style is consistent, and it's something of DFW's that I personally connect with so reading him isn't at all a chore. "Incarnations of Burned Children" is super short, and "Good Old Neon" is a more substantive short work. Read those two first, and if you want more move on to Infinite Jest.
>>7571415 Definitely try his shorter stuff first to get a taste of his style. He tends to give Asperger's level contemplation and description on the smallest details and ideas - you'll either love this or hate it. The structure is designed to make you work hard and pay attention the book is an attack on passive entertainment - the macguffin being a ringu-esque videotape with lethal entertainment value
Not at all. It's just very, very long, and superlatively tedious at times. But Wallace manages to sprinkle it with enough humour and entertainment to make it bearable, and there are sparks of brilliance and profundity in there too. I finished it in some 40 days. I read a lot of other things while I was reading IJ too, to counteract Wallace fatigue. Mostly Gogol. I'd advise you have something short and great to intersperse.
>Narcissism disguised poorly as quirkiness >More interested in being perceived as being well-read than reading - poshlost, superficial, plebeian, >Incapable of finishing the easiest and most accessible of the meme trilogy
Related, is Brief Interview with Hideous Men worth getting? I haven't read Octet, but I quite liked The Depressed Person and Good Old Neon. What other Wallace short stories would anons here mention as worth checking out?
>>7572247 >is Brief Interview with Hideous Men worth getting? Yes, if you like him better on the playful side. A couple of the titular interviews and Church not made with hands stand out. Tri-stan too, as stupid fun. Mr Squishy and Another Pioneer are good if overlong stories from Oblivion. Philosophy & mirror... in it is what his Palahniuk impression would be.
You're way off base. You have no idea about the literary tradition he's responding to. If you did, that is to say, if you were a reader, you wouldn't have made such a stupid post. But you didn't, you aren't, and so you did.
>>7572283 It absolutely is textbook metafiction. The triple-cream version - that tries to make up for the fact that it is less artful than everything that came before and will come after by cringing itself into candid wrapping. It's good for a laugh and that's about it. Not even its fault you're feeling threatened in your status as a reader (Lawd) for failing to see that.
>>7572247 I personally enjoyed BIwHM is better than IJ. Whereas IJ just due to length felt overwrought and disconnected from anything truly human, the shorter format of BIwHM lets him explore without as serious a commitment from the reader.
High points for me were: Death Is Not the End - a brief attempt at pure maximalism. Literally nothing happens.
The Depressed Person - about as pleasant to read as Black Swan was to watch, but absolutely the most accurate rendering of depression I've read.
>>7572399 You're hurt to see it dismissed as po-mo trash because you're not well-read enough to see that it brings nothing to the table. See: since your post was worthless, it can be worthless in either direction. Now if you want to expound on what makes DFW's nudge-nudge-can-you-feel-me any less vacuous than Vonnegut's metafiction or, indeed, any high-schooler's corresponding effort, you're welcome to do so.
1. metafiction is inherently garbage 2. that it's easy to do effectively 3. that dfw's in octet is in anyway similar to that of his predecessors
that you bring in the name vonnegut to argue however implicitly for the third point gives you away: you really only know writers mentioned frequently on /lit/, you probably haven't read much American metafiction from the late 1900s, and that corollary to these two you wrongly believe Vonnegut to be both associated with the movement and a poor writer. You're wrong on both counts, but that's another matter.
I'd like you to for once in your life open your eyes to a wider field than the blinders your cynicism allows and read a few things by a man named john barth. first i want you to read his short story Lost in the Funhouse, then read Octet again. Octet is a reaction to this kind of metafiction, not whatever straw man idea of it you have in your head when you mention Vonnegut. Lost in the Funhouse is metafiction for its own sake, an endless recursion of self-referentiality that is really impossible to escape—DFW seems to present the same thing in the Octet, but seems to be looking for a way out, at least. Barth acknowledges no such way out except either death or just giving up the whole thing. I'd also like you to read Barth's novel, The End of the Road, and again compare its metafictions to those of the Octet. the novel ends callously with the death of a principle character, and it is largely implied that this is the consequence of the protagonist self-consciously making a narrative out of his life—what his psychotherapist calls "mythotherapy." This metafiction is admittedly "softer" than the other two we're thinking about, less explicitly self-referential, but a character is seen losing her life for it all the same. Barth again rubs against what he feels to be a "dead end" quality to metafiction's endless recursion. DFW tries very admirably in the Octet to deny this, to insist that there is a "bottom," that there is a point at which irony gives way to the sincere. If you can't see the relevance of such a struggle to today's zeitgeist then I don't know what to tell you, other than start reading, faggot.
>>7573842 >IJ in English or German translation? DFW himself said that he hated translations of IJ because a lot of the wordplay and subtleties in his prose weren't translatable. That said, if you don't already know English at a pretty high level you'd miss those things anyway, in which case it'd be better to read a translator in your own language who knows what they're talking about.
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