October 26, 2009

Infinite Winter

Back in June, I mentioned re-reading David Foster Wallace's 1996 novel Infinite Jest during the off-season. At that time, three commenters mentioned the possibility of reading it also.

Game 7 of the World Series is scheduled for November 5. We could start on Monday, November 8 -- which, re the chronology of the novel, would be a great day to start. If we follow the same 75 pages per week schedule as Infinite Summer, we'd finish a week or two after the arrival of pitchers and catchers.

It seems like a pretty quick pace. Maybe it'll be fun. Or maybe it'll fizzle out before Xmas. Anyone interested*?

* When it was released three years ago, the 10th anniversary paperback was only $10. Cheap!

31 comments:

Mr. Beautiful said...

Yeah. Night games in November. Sounds like real fun.

L-girl said...

Wrong post, maybe?

Zenslinger said...

I...I...I want to do it. Should I do it? I need encouragement.

L-girl said...

Zen, what is holding you back?

You are hereby encouraged. But if you give me more specifics, I can provide better encouragement.

Iain said...

I attempted to get through Infinite Jest when it was first published, but failed miserably, so I'd be very interested in giving it another shot.

Count me in!

mc said...

I'm in, too. Missed IJ first time around, but recently read the Kenyon commencement address and realized I'd better get back to it...

A Conformer said...

I say, let's go for it. I'll try to shuffle it between all my university stuff. 75 pages per week should be doable, for sure.

redsock said...

Rut-roh! ... Well, this will give me something to do rather than using my time this winter more productively.

But if you give me more specifics, I can provide better encouragement.

I'm curious to see what L would say, but my view is: "It's a book. You wanna read it? Read it!"

Zenslinger said...

I appreciate the encouragement! Sorry for my whiny solicitation of same. I just get worried about overcommitment of time. But I'll give it a shot!

Adam said...

I'm in. Sounds like a great way to pass the offseason

A Conformer said...

I just read the Kenyon address for the first time. Wow. I'm double in now.

nick said...

I'm game to give it a go, but I give no commitment that I'll keep up. Always wanted to read it, though.

L-girl said...

Are you going to be reading and discussing, or just reading?

If just reading, someone should set up a blog to post the current section, people can leave comments, etc.

If you're discussing, you should probably have a discussion board.

redsock said...

My grand idea is to post a short summary of what the upcoming week will cover and then we'd discuss (or ask questions) or post favourite bits.

I grabbed "Infinite Winter" on blogspot and was thinking of having a separate blog, but then wondered why not just do it here.

Have a post called "Week 3" or whatever and all IJ-related stuff for that week will go there. But then if we all moved to the "Week 4" post, that wouldn't allow good flow ...

An actual board (like Threadsox) seems like too much for 5-6 people.

Thoughts?

redsock said...

I just read the Kenyon address for the first time. Wow. I'm double in now.

Many of the same themes. In fact, the fish/water joke is in IJ.

redsock said...

But then what if I share a helpful link? Without bookmarking it, it would quickly get lost.

L-girl said...

I won't be reading, but I'm an organizer, especially of people and projects. My take:

- you definitely need a separate blog. link to it here, but don't do the read here.

- it will be better for both JoS and IJ if you separate them. you should trust me on this.

- a discussion board is a great tool, no matter how people are using it. being able to separate discussion topics into threads, no matter how imperfectly, facilitates discussion.

- you can use the blog to post the schedule, then link to the discussion board for everything else.

Zenslinger said...

I agree with Laura on all points. Gamethreading is a stretch for what blogspot can handle in terms of conversation. Trying to discuss the book in this format would be very tough.

L-girl said...

Thanks, Zen.

A discussion board is also useful for people who join later, or (since this is inevitable) for when people are in different parts of the book. Each reader and read and post at her/his own pace without passing through spoilers.

A discussion board is also more democratic, less centralized.

A blog is simply the wrong format for book discussion.

L-girl said...

typo

Each reader and read and post

Each reader CAN read and post...

redsock said...

Even for a handful of people?

I'll see what Cakey did for Threadsox. I think that was a free platform.

L-girl said...

I appreciate the encouragement! Sorry for my whiny solicitation of same. I just get worried about overcommitment of time.

Oh, just saw this. I am the same way - constantly juggling and constantly worried about having enough time to meet my commitments.

The good thing about this is that if at some point you are overcommitted and need to drop out, there are no negative consequences. Hopefully you will have enjoyed the time you spent with it, and that's its own reward.

L-girl said...

I'm curious to see what L would say

It depends what the stumbling block is. I can encourage anyone to do anything, if I know what's holding them back.

L-girl said...

Even for a handful of people?

1 - You don't know how many people will join. There may be many readers who never post, and who you never hear from.

2 - Yes.

3 - Room for growth.

4 - Forget trying to do this from a blog. It will suck. You will be setting yourself up for aggravations.

5 - Trust me. I am, after all, a Master of Information. (Not yet, but will be.)

L-girl said...

And now I am doing what I told Tim I would never do, posting at JoS instead of reading between classes. So bye now.

Zenslinger said...

Bought it. US $17.99. I'm sure the $10 version is available online, but I just have to go brick and mortar these days when I can help it.

redsock said...

Message board it is.

I'll let you know when it's set up.

bwsmith25 said...

Can anyone join in on this? I might be interested. Of course I would have to purchase the book, but I'm sure that wouldn't be difficult.

redsock said...

Can anyone join in on this?

Of course.

A Conformer said...

Can anyone join in on this?

Of course.


Unless it's a Yankee fan... (-;

bwsmith25 said...

Unless it's a Yankee fan...

They're eliminated by default aren't they? I thought being able to read and comprehend something other than Jeter propaganda would be a prerequisite.