Thoughts at 500 pages


#truth: I’ve re-written this blog post 3 times.

I figure that 500 pages into Infinite Jest is a milestone to be celebrated, as well as a good place to stop and reflect where I am in this journey. (It’s not just a book, it’s a journey.)

Here is what I know so far:

  1. This is a frustrating book: the narrative structure of this like a Russian roulette of literary techniques. From page to page you don’t know what you are in for. Tenses change, perspectives change, you flip back and forth between past and present, and on it goes. You can never really get in the flow of the story because of the shifting sands of it.
  2. This is a funny book: for a book that is so dark and sad, there are moments of pure hilarity where I am actually laughing out loud. I was not expecting that.
  3. Hamlet in the house: I should have figured this out from the title (Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio, a fellow of infinite jest…). There are many similarities and shout outs to the bard’s play, which I actually find really interesting. It’s like a puzzle to figure it out. (Also, Hamlet is my favourite Shakespeare play.)
  4. It’s a boy book: I was discussing the book with a colleague at work, and she said, he’s one of those misogynist writers. The more I read it, the more I agree.
  5. He saw into the future: it’s uncanny that many of the future-state things that he (seemingly) made up have come true: cell phones, online streaming of entertainment, and the list goes on.

This is an inherently challenging read. The question remains, will it be worth it in the end?

Also, I found this on Buzzfeed, and it’s funny because it’s true:

What happens when you read Infinite Jest





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