I'm only a few pages into IJ, so my initial reaction might be wrong, but I already can't stand DFW's writing style. It sounds so try hard and pretentious. He actually sounds exactly like one of my pseudo-intellectual friends who tries way too hard to say basic things in some really convoluted or "poetic" way.
I mean so far the characters are simply sitting in an office, which sounds like an incredibly easy scene to describe, but the way DFW describes everyone in the room forces you to re read a few times just to get what he's saying.
I'll continue to read this, because writing style isn't everything, I'm mostly just wondering if anyone else shares my opinion.
maybe, get this, it's symptomatic of some certain lack on your part (now I'm not saying cognitively per se, it could very well be imaginatively) rather than of some ostensible bogeyman pretension on his--
Or not, welcome to pomodernism.
The more you think about (ostensible) prejudices against pretension the more you'll find it as an inhibitory filter to your experience of any work. Just read. Experience first at the least, analysis can come later.
I mean, DFW definitely pulls a lot of arcane words out of dictionaries but he managed to combine these words with an overall very easy-going style so it's not so bad. Like get to the next part with the weed addict waiting for his drugs and you'll see its not as bad.
>I mean so far the characters are simply sitting in an office, which sounds like an incredibly easy scene to describe, but the way DFW describes everyone in the room forces you to re read a few times just to get what he's saying.
Isn't this only like the first 4 pages?
What the fuck.
the first page is a Barth/Beckett-like first person perspective. his third-person is just top notch, though. you have to remember that Infinite Jest is like reading 3 DeLillo novels, which means it will be pretentious, brilliant, laborious, inspiring, insightful, and bloated, all at once.
The book is the definition of edgy try-hard post-college wankery. The only reason people read it is to say they did, either to themselves or to their edgy post-college faux-aloof Neutral Milk Hotel-listening peers. It's the book of a mainstream that believes themselves to be the counter-culture. It's the "shut up mom, I'll do whatever I want!" of books. Add to that the mystique of the author killing himself, and that racks up some additional "authenticity points" so that the skinny jeans-wearing, Mountain Goats tattoo-having readers can feel a sense of commiseration and justification for their empty and dim-witted existence.