Saturday, August 22, 2009

"Arm Out Like A Hack's Arm"

And but so, here we are again, a month and a half after my last delinquent posts, with some more delinquent posting to come.

The thing about Infinite Jest that I had sort of forgotten, but also explains my inexplicable desire to read it again, it that at some point, after the big Eschaton debacle circa p. 321 and the interminable transcript of Mario's O.N.A.N.tiad film for the big Interdependence Day celebration, the narrative suddenly picks up with this pounding speed that drives the reader right through to the end of the book, which always comes as a bit of a surprise considering that the back 100 pages are all footnotes, so the main narrative actually ends on p. 981. As a consequence I stopped taking notes as of p. 365 (albeit with some pages ignored before that, notes-taking-wise), so will have to revert to my old high school/collegiate trick of hunt and find for quotes and stuff. The trick being primarily on me, of course, since I could have remained committed to the note-taking in the first place and made things easier on myself at present.

Ah, well. Note-taking would have impeded my enjoyment, or rather immersion in the text, but I suppose this is the issue at the heart of IJ. What is more important? That which gives us pleasure or that which we are compelled to do against our will for some greater good (whether personal or more far-reaching)? At what point do the personal freedoms outlined in the US Constitution begin to do more harm than good, particularly when a lethal variable (be it drug addiction, the eponymous Entertainment or good old free-market capitalism) gets thrown into the mix.

I'll explore these at length tomorrow, plus jabber away about a number of other topics, as I've had a bit of "swishiness with sugar" and am finding myself "sinking, emotionally, into a kind of distracted funk."

I would also like to point out that my frenzied push to the novel's end has put me well ahead of the official schedule, so perhaps there is a method to my madness after all.

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