I am attempting to read David Foster Wallace’s very large novel and write about the experience as I go. That is all.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

One moment, please

OK, I really thought I was getting somewhere, as one or two of DFW’s loose ends began to tighten a little but then the prospect of wading through 20 more pages of adolescent tennis prodigies whining at each other in various states of undress began to take its toll, and I experienced my first real wobble, wondering what the hell I’m doing with this book, this blog. And then the toad work got a bit squatty and overbearing and then the news that Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman are splitting up sent me into an emotional tailspin and I found myself staring at the words and nothing was going in.

But no, I’m sticking with it. This next bit might take a little longer, that’s all. In the meantime, I direct you to Gideon Lewis-Kraus’s review of Wallace’s essay collection Both Flesh and Not in BookForum and suggest you read the footnote about DT Max’s biography and wonder if it’s possible to know too much about an author; and then consider the comment from one pchris56:
Every time Lewis-Kraus singled out one of DF’s sentences for excessive dickheadery, I would sit there for a minute going, “What's the problem?” It took several paragraphs before I figured out that GL-K’s only issue with these sentences is that DFW treated his readers as if they may have at some time read other writers.
I mean, I read because I like words and I like knowing things. It’s fun. Sorry if my freak pleasures offend you, but there they are. If I have to look something up or learn about one of history’s seminal philosophers, it doesn’t harsh my buzz that much. The writing that really makes me feel condescended to is the stuff that talks down to me. Or the writing that reproves a great writer because he didn’t.
Well, exactly. Well, except for the “harsh my buzz” bit, that’s just silly.

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