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Beginning the Infinite Summer

June 30, 2009

A bit more than a week in, I have managed to read just over one hundred pages of Infinite Jest and am keeping pace with the schedule.  As Matthew Baldwin said in his Infinite Summer write-up (I’m just [seemingly] going to link to everything on infinitesummer.org), the first one hundred pages make it rather difficult to dive in.  Every few pages brings the reader to a new, seemingly unrelated, storyline and, thus far, no time line has shaped up.  Each additional plot diversion brings in many different characters–I’m hoping that things will eventually coalesce in my mind.

All this having been said, I am hooked.

Luckily, there are plenty of resources around the internets that make delving into DFW’s universe a bit easier.  The vocabulary has not yet been too daunting (though I’m sure that’s coming) and the footnotes, though occasionally jarring, seem to add quite a bit the narrative without detracting from the general feeling of the text.  DFW is a thorough explainer (spell check says this isn’t a word, but we’re going with it) and, if the reader is willing, he will make you understand.

At the end of the reading week, Infinite Summer is posting a Weekly Summary that will, I imagine, prove endlessly helpful as the reading progresses.  Also, the way the IS contributors are amassing their footnotes is wonderfully appropriate.

Happy reading!

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