Preparing for Infinite Jest

Infinite Jest

2013 is going to be my Year of Big Books. I hope to read Infinite Jest, re-read Anna Karenina and The Sound and the Fury, and read Time Regained, the final volume of In Search of Lost Time.

I have scheduled Infinite Jest for February and March. And I am frankly terrified.

I am terrified because I don’t want it to be a waste. I don’t want to skim over everything, get bogged down, fail to comprehend it. I bought the latest edition of the American Heritage Dictionary in preparation. I have read several articles about HOW to read Infinite Jest, pages to bookmark for reference, things to recall along the way. But I still don’t feel ready. Maybe I am taking it too seriously? I certainly didn’t start Proust with this kind of dread.

So. Have you read it? Do you have any advice?

Side note: There is a band in town called “Infinite Jets” and I think it is the very best pun ever. THAT’S A LOT OF JETS.

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2 thoughts on “Preparing for Infinite Jest

  1. Yes! I read it for the first time in May and then again in June. I would just go ahead and plan on reading it twice– the first for DFW, beauty, humor, sans spoilers or guides– then go read the IJ/DFW wikis and howling fantods and everything on the internet, then read it again for YOU and your brain! It’s easily the most gratifying novel I’ve read.

  2. ” I bought the latest edition of the American Heritage Dictionary in preparation.” -> wow, that’s nice! I really envy you, still being able to read it for the first time ^^ I’m a big fan and got really caught up in it. Anyway, you have to be very confused for first few hundred pages, but don’t worry – each page has so many fine details that it should get you going. Just don’t try too hard to understand everything, I don’t think it’s managable. Good luck !

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