All right guys. We haven’t given up…that’s the first thing. But we needed a break. So, we’re going to call a halt on the project until the 4th of July or so.
Here’s the deal. This book is hard. WAY harder than War and Peace. And, you know, reading should be hard sometimes, as Dave Eggers pointed out in his foreword to the book (“not one lazy sentence”) which was opposed to his contemporaneous review (“lexical diarrhea”). Oddly, both could be true, but let us not digress. Difficult is not a virtue. Worth it is. Jury is still out.
I feel a little bit like I do when I am in an art museum and I get to the part where the art is a white canvas with, like, a red line across it. It makes me feel like I’m more at home in my more modernist setting. As I have written before, many parts of Infinite Jest are brilliant and many are funny…. but the lack of a driving narrative and strong characters and (yes) even a modicum of economy of language, even one time when 100 words was substituted for 1,000, makes it a difficult read. You’re expecting (or I am) to be driven from page to page by the narrative.
So, we’re calling time out. We will finish the book. God help us.