I want to read Infinite Jest. The thing is, I get the impression (from both the foreword and general opinion) that I am not knowledgeable or skilled enough when it comes to understanding literature in general (in other words, I'm an uncultured bozo).
After a brief high school period where I read YA lit voraciously, I nearly put off reading completely. I don't think I've ever read something in it's entirety more complex than Camus.
Can I get some suggestions for books to read that can further evolve my capabilities for enjoying literature? I'm probably going to begin by reading either A Thousand Years of Solitude, or To the Lighthouse.
specifically working your way towards infinite jest? try: A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again
but first: http://harpers.org/wp-content/uploads/HarpersMagazine-1998-01-0059425.pdf
if you don't like this style or don't have the patience for it then forget infinite jest. stick to camus, maybe evolve to hemingway
if you have the means, go to school. reading books can make you better at reading but it isn't guaranteed to. you don't get good at fishing by learning about marlin, you have to learn from fishermen. read books on literary analysis etc.
Don't gas this shit up like you going to fucking war nigga. It's a book. in English. Just fucking read it. Authors write this shit to be read, you ain't gonna be fucking deciphering nazi ciphers bruh
going off the theme in this thread, i was wondering if any of you could give me a suggestion real quick regarding Ulysses.
I'm more or less doing what OP is doing. I'm trying to work my way up to it. I've already read many of the "classics," Moby dick, walden, iliad / odyssey, and have also read some Joyce (A portrait of the artist + dubliners)
Would I be in a good position to tackle Ulysses soon or is there anything else I should read before? Thanks
glad i'm not the only one who noticed that its general appeal is sourced by its lack of difficulty, but gives the appearance that upon completion, one has successfully bested a dragon.
This book is honestly very easy to read. It's written to be entertaining, not boring, and it's only real difficulty is its length, not its content.
If you've taken a lower-level calculus class and read a bit of contemporary literature along with maybe The Brothers Karamazov, you will whiz right through it. If you haven't, that's okay too. You might not catch absolutely everything but you can still enjoy the book and understand its intent.
it might be a bit more experimental than you're used to, but it's honestly not that bad. there isn't really anything you ought to do to prepare. if anything infinite jest itself is a preparation for other, more challenging novels.
just keep the wallace wiki/google at hand + use a 2nd bookmark for the endnotes and you'll be fine.
Vonnegut is actually bit easier in terms of vocab, length and the ideas presented, but not by much.
OP, I actually read IJ when I was an uncultured bozo. It was a blast. There are times where it will be boring (mostly towards the beginning of the book), and times where he'll use words that you'll have to look up, but if you're reasonably intelligent and reasonably focused it should be no problem.
Good luck and use two bookmarks!
If you've literally only ever read YA then I'll go ahead and say yes but give this a shot.
c'est my favorite section
Trick is, the book isn't actually that complicated. There's enough to take away from it that you don't have to worry about "missing things" on the first read (you will). The style is pretty easy to unravel it's just a matter of endurance. All you need is the attention span to stay focused during any long novel.
My advice OP - read these books, underline passages in them you find interesting then WRITE about them. If your really worried you're not thinking about lit the right way, writing helps you crystallize some ideas that you can affirm, alter, refine, etc... Over time and just gets you paying attention to the books in greater detail.