How the fuck do i read this book, /lit/?
It is confusing as fuck, but i heard it was really good so i bought it.
The only good chapter so far is the one about the guy waiting for his weed delivery. Then it's talking about some random iranians or something...
It's starts getting more coherent around 200-250 pages in, but you're going to encounter a lot of digressions and vignettes. You will also encounter endnotes longer than 10 pages.
If you're not digging the style already, don't torture yourself. If you do, just truck on.
I found it really easy to read. Not bragging or anything but I'd really like to know which parts you're finding difficult.
This novel, in hindsight, really cleared the way for popular YA novels. It's more intelligent and artful than any YA novel ever written of course, but it appertains to that style.
The parts where dialogue comes along like everybody is talking at once, every piece goes:
"... and bla bla bla"
"... a different bla bla bla bla"
" ... so and so bla blabla"
But like i said earlier, when he's writing in a stream-of-consciousness like the chapter with the weed delivery, it's entertaining and somewhat relateable.
Ah, I remember those bits. The dialogue was sometimes hard to follow, but there were points throughout which bring you back to the flow.
Remember that DFW wants you to read certain sections at least twice.
>he actually fell for this meme
There's a reason it's a part of the "meme trilogy"
The first chapter was confusing to me at first too, then I had concluded that Hal would become become severely damaged. I still today don't understand why he woke up in the bathroom, can anyone clue me in on that one?
There are a few instance that seem a little arbitrary, like the dude who's dad needed his mattress flipped, and pretty much all of Poor Tony's segments. That's the way I see it, at least.
The only thing that annoyed me for the book was when the narrator used two coordinating conjunctions in a row, "And but so..." for instance.
I also think DFW should have been more careful with 1st person usage, especially in Hal's case. Putting the first chapter in 1st was good, because Hal was pretty much "trapped" in his own body. The other of Hal's perspective in 1st person just seemed really arbitrary to me. Thoughts?
Here are some tips: Take brief notes about each scene and what was talked about and HOW they discussed it (communication is the ostensible major theme of the book (and all of its derivatives)). Most of the plot occurs outside of the novel itself, it is up to you to figure it out. There is a purpose for everything in the novel; the word Kekulean is an early example of this. Kekule was a chemist who discovered the benzene ring after being inspired by a dream about a snake swallowing itself. The novel is very much about eating oneself alive (you'll see this hopefully; note how often the word annular is used). If you come to any black and white solutions about the novel, it has failed you, think again. Many of the most important keys to figuring out the novel lie in the end notes, read them slowly and all of them, especially the filmography. Good luck, don't quit.
This is part of the point of the novel, that it is hard and you can't just passively take it all in. He was aiming towards writing something as seductive as commercial entertainment but also as thought provoking as "serious literature", which had become boring/turgid to him.
/lit/ is dead. /lit/ remains dead. And we have killed it. How shall we, murderers of all murderers, console ourselves?
Poor Tony's bud ends up in the halfway house. I forget his name. It's either erdedy or lenz, i think. maybe Emil. I forget. Also Poor Tony steals the mechanical heart, which Steeply wrote an article about. Not really the most important to the plot, but there's the connections. He's just a fun character imo.
The mattress flipping I don't remember. Isn't that where James Incandenza invents the thingymabob needed for fission?
How necessary are notes?? I'm on pg 321 and haven't taken notes but am using page markers and reading deliberately slowly/carefully. Is note-taking essential for a satisfying ending?
not that poster but I just read it through without thinking to hard, didn't catch that everyone is dead and the story is told by HImself's ghost as an apology for his invention leading to nuclear holocaust
dont fret, i would take some notes but like others have said it can be enjoyed casually and you can pick up on new stuff when you reread in a few years.
personally i just kept a bookmark on the page with the dates and only kept basic character notes to remember whos who, I am a pleb though
It's in first person Hal's perspective, pretty clear that he had like an eplieptic fit (You hear the others talking about his convulsions). He tries to stave off this attack after trying to speak by disassociating through internal monologue
No they are not essential, but I do recommend it. As long as you are reading slowly and are engaged with the novel you should be fine. A word to the wise: don't read the book for the ending hoping to be satiated, you won't be. You'll understand later.
He was dragged to the bathroom
IE: "I am concentrating [...] on why U.S. restrooms always appears to us as infirmaries for public distress, the place to regain control"
Are you guys that retarded? I doubt if you can't understand basic stuff like this you can appreciate the subtleties of Infinite Jest
I remember thinking this too, but the scene in which Jim's dad had been talking about being a tennis player, and HIS father hated him. But in the mattress scene, the father is a pitchman for Glad, not a pro tennis player.
Hahaha no one actually reads the book, everyone just says they did after reading the Wikipedia break down to sound intelligent. well Meme'd my friend, well meme'd. but seriously you pay real money for a meme
The book changes narratives. often. It's almost like the fucking PLAY ITS ABOUT YOU FUCKING PLEBS.
Infinite Jest? really? "Alas for poor Yorick, I knew him well, he was a man of infinite jest"
Jesus Christ, you're all retarded