So here's the point in the post wherein I refer you to Summer of Jest, an organized group read/re-read of my hero**'s breakout novel that kicked off today but which I only learned existed a scant two days ago.
But of course one of the participants is my beloved friend SJ, whose literary dumbassery I am generally somewhat powerless to resist. Witness last summer's non-stop sojourn through The Dark Tower, from which I am still recovering. But really, I love this book. I'd probably be up for doing this even if she weren't. Because David Foster Wallace. And all the rest.
So, if you haven't read this book, I will counsel you to ignore all my upcoming posts with "Summer of Jest" in their title, because they will probably be spoilery -- although really, of all the books I've loved this one is the least capable of being "spoiled" by a mere plot revelation or two, because the plot is only the smallest tiniest element of what is on offer here in this ridiculous, impossible, ponderous doorstop of awesome of a novel/stream of consciousness/meditation composed by a man I'd long dreamed of meeting someday and whose suicide on Sept 12, 2008 is a terrible, wrenching, horrible, soul-destroying milestone in my own dear personal life that dwarfs, say, Sept 11, 2001 and make of that what you will. I still cry like a baby every year now on that anniversary, and have yet to finish reading his posthumously published The Pale King because I can't bring myself to finally complete my first reading of his last bits of fiction. Instead I just read his nonfiction collections over and over and over again to the point where I have most of the essays by heart (and completely freaked out my Simpsons-loving little sister last summer when I hilariously overreacted to an episode I was seeing at her house for the first time ever, based on his famous cruise ship indictment*** "A Supposedly Fun Thing I Will Never Do Again"****). And about once every year or so, and yes, during the summer, I pull out my giant herniating hardcover of Infinite Jest and read it again, just to enjoy, just to admire. And yes, just to be annoyed all over again.
Now, of course, with my completely ruined elbow tendons (all four of them, in each arm now!) I am reading it in ebook form again. How different will it be, I wonder? Stay tuned, true believers.
*And, more importantly, a frequent and not wholly conscious imitator of his style inasmuch as certain quirks of his have drifted into my own prose style, namely lots of footnotes in works of so informal and loose a character as being not wholly but almost entirely not the sort of thing that would normally employ footnotes, but hey, at least so far I've mostly managed to confine my footnotes to the length readers of modern Standard Written English generally consider to be normal footnote length, i.e. not a printed page long or longer, so far. So far.
**So okay, I have a lot of heroes. I am a child of my age. Deal.
***Oh dude. Every bit of poop cruise type news that hits my feeds, I wish he was around to hoot at in his erudite, eloquent, pathetic way.
****One of my friends from my Boston days, who may Tweet at present under the username of @Hoover_Dam, once seized the opportunity after a talk of his to thrust a Celebrity Cruise brochure under his nose to sign, only to be told with a sigh "I thought I was done with these." Poor guy.