As a quick aside, before I begin:
I’ve been struggling with the idea of this blog because I’m the type of person who would prefer not to say anything (at least in writing) unless I actually have something to say. And what is there to say about a novel until you’ve finished it? There’s a lot of nonsense on the internet and the blogosphere, and I’d prefer not to contribute to it if I can help it. However, I also realize that part of the appeal of following a blog is its regularity, its continuity. I admit that I overestimated my ability to read quickly and the time I had available to read, and I will do my best to post more often, even if I’ve not finished a novel. (Although, I will say that the reading is more important to me as a personal pursuit than the posting is, so if one thing falls through the cracks, I’m sorry to say: it’ll be this blog.)
And then by promising to be more articulate for the remainder of the post.
But seriously, after almost two-and-a-half months (72 days, to be exact), I’ve finally completed the most challenging book I’ve ever read in my entire life, bar none: Infinite Jest. Over a thousand pages of hyper-erudite, absurdly intellectual, and (needless to say) verbose work, including just shy of a hundred pages of “Notes and Errata” in the novel’s distant caboose — making this the first novel I’ve ever read which required me to use two bookmarks simultaneously — constantly flipping back and forth to endnotes that are (in typical Wallace fashion) sometimes longer than the chapters in which I’m already lost, making it impossible to know exactly how far I am in the novel, really, and how much more there is still to read. Read more…