Going to the Edge of the World, Going to the Edge of the Sea

Posted: October 23, 2009 by bryanhood in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,
Pangs of __________ (image from stormeffects.com)

Pangs of __________ (image from stormeffects.com)

As many books as there are out in the world, sometimes you just want to spend time with a book you know.  This was one of those weeks for me, as I spent most of my week wrapped up in David Foster Wallace’s “Infinite Jest.”

“Infinite Jest” is famous for a two things; its length and its difficulty.  Well, it’s famous for more than just these two thing (it’s the post modern book of the 1990s!), but these are what everyone gets hung up on.  It’s unfortunate too, because I think it stops a lot of people from picking it up, and it really is a great book.  A fucking fantastic book actually.  Yes, it is a long and definitely not an easy read, but that’s not why you read a book like this.  You read a book like Wallace’s to grow and to learn about life.

Incandescence (image from wimbledonlawnchampionshipfiles.wordpress)

Incandescence (image from wimbledonlawnchampionshipfiles.wordpress)

As should be the case with any 1079 page book, it’s hard to sum up “Infinite Jest.”  It’s about a lot of things: depression, addiction and tennis, among others.  More than anything it’s about being alive and dealing with what gets thrown at you, good or bad.  I think a lot of people have trouble separating Wallace from his work, and don’t recognize that his best work is a celebration of life, difficult as it may be.

To me, any great piece of art, really puts you into the artist’s mindset.  And Wallace does this with “Infinite Jest.”  At times it‘s a scary place to be, but it’s a beautiful place too.  It’s an example of creative expression at it’s purest, something which isn’t easy to find.

-Bryan Hood

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