Spend an Infinite Summer exploring the twisty delish maze that is DFW's "Infinite Jest"


It's one of those books the literati have all read, intend to read, or lie about. David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest.

"You’ve been meaning to do it for over a decade," says the Infinite Summer website. "Now join endurance bibliophiles from around the web as we tackle and comment upon David Foster Wallace’s masterwork over the summer of 2009. The festivities begin on June 21st and run through September 22nd." (This breaks out to an infinitely doable 75 pgs/week.)

As heinously overscheduled as I am this summer, I can't resist. I'm in. I've already received the hefty tome from Amazon, and I'm ready to make a fourth and final attempt on Wallace's wildly creative, way too long, impossible to synopsize, suck your head inside out book about...lots of...aboutness.

From Doris Lynch's review in Library Journal:
Wallace's second novel is not for the faint-hearted or the weak-wristed. Wallace (The Girl with Curious Hair, LJ 7/89) throws everything he knows-and he knows plenty-into this river of stories. If you can stand the extreme length, ignore the footnotes, and have a bed-desk to rest this tome on, this book can be fun... Too much happens here even to begin to summarize, but the author has a wicked sense of humor and a wonderful eye for capturing the odd juxtapositions of modern life... Distinct, idiomatic, wild, and crazy, this book is destined to have a cult following.

(The title of the book, by the way, comes from the gravedigger scene in Hamlet: "Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy!")

The Infinite Summer website/blog will feature discussion forums, vocabulary bank, and guest experts on the book, plus weekly weigh-ins from brainy-kid first-timers: Matthew Baldwin (the "thinker-upper and editor" of Infinite Summer), blogger Eden M. Kennedy, bestselling author Kevin (Cast of Shadows) Guilfoile, and painfully cute and clever Avery Edison.

Am I a huge bifocula for being really excited about this? I don't care. I think when I get to the final page of this extraordinary book, I'm going to be a better reader, a better writer, and I will have settled into a strong habit of crawling into bed at a reasonable hour with a good book. There are so many other formidable books I've been putting off, and I hope this will get me back on my "Read All Pulitzer Winners Before Age Fifty" quest. I'm jazzed to get going and hoping to drag my kids and a few of their arty friends along for the mind-bending ride.

C'mon...you know you want to...

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