Hello everyone–I realize it’s been over a week and I apologize for being late. First off I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been posting and to encourage you to stick with it (are people getting more into it now and finding a pace that works for them?).

I would  like to especially thank Sophmom for her thoughtful and enthusiastic comments on the reading. Sophmom has been over the last few weeks an integral part of our discussions, and I wish her all the best.

In order to keep us somewhere close to the schedule, I’m also going to tell you that Week 5 reading (which was supposed to be from August 5th to August 12th) was 343-442. But a note on the schedule. *Since I have been posting irregularly, I  am aiming to be around page 400 by next Wednesday (August 12th). Now that the business stuff is over, just a thought or two to get us talking.

  • Here’s an anonymous comment I got on last week’s reading on one of the many places this conversation is happening, and I thought it was an interesting point:

I’m giving up.It’s too much rambling while under the influence or writing based on the author believing that under the influence he was wonderfully imaginative. It is interesting that the book has led to a cottage industry in manuals explaining what the author meant. Good luck to you.

What do people think? Anyone want to come to DFW’s defense? I think this comment does give us, at the very least, a platform to talk about drugs (and all other sorts of addictions) in the novel.

  • In the last section of the week 3 reading we learn more about JOI’s suicide and get more of the gruesome details. We talked a little bit back in the Week 1 update about DFW’s own suicide, and I got the chance to read DFW’s commencement address to Kenyon from 2005 called Life is Water and the references he makes to suicide become both eerie and tragic in light of his death:

Think of the old cliche about the mind being “an excellent servant but a terrible master.” This, like many cliches, so lame and banal on the sruface, actually expresses a great and terrible truth. It is not the least bit coincidental that adults who commit suicide with firearms nearly always shoot themselves in…the head.

Or this one:

None of this is about morality, or religion, or dogma, or big fancy questions of life after death. The capital-T Truth is about life before death. It is about making it to thirty, or maybe even fifty, without wanting to shoot yourself in the head.

Any thoughts?

Thanks again to everyone and I hope you continue reading and enjoying Infinite Jest. I’ll try to post between now and August 12th with some thoughts but be sure to leave your comments here.

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