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Infinite Summer 2011


Infinite Jest book covers

or, Finally Reading the Greatest Book, Like, Ever, in 92 Days

Some time ago I encountered Infinite Summer, an internet book club project wherein a broad assortment of readers around the world read and discussed David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest over the summer of 2009. Either I discovered the project too late, or I wasn’t ready to tackle it, but for lots of reasons, I feel ready now. This is the year.

Why Infinite Jest? I’ve heard enough about it (and read enough bits of Wallace here and there) that I’ve known for a long time that this needed to happen. It’s not just the most acclaimed novel in a billion years, it seems to be a book tailor-made for me. I hope not to become one of those insufferable dudes who can’t shut up about it, but I’m ready to at least become a dude who has read it. If you’re also ready to cross this monster off your bucket list, join me.

How to Read Infinite Jest? Matt Bucher has a useful list of tips by that title. Jason Kottke has too. Most importantly: read the endnotes, use multiple bookmarks, and don’t give up.

But I Don’t Have Time! Yeah, me neither. But I’m gonna make time. It’s 10 pages a day. And your TV shows are over now anyway. Now are you gonna stand there with your butt on the back of your body or are you gonna get in on this?

What’s the Plan? Well, I’m not an army of bloggers, so I’m making it up as I go along. I doubt I’ll blog about it here very much, but I’ll probably tweet about it. Some other folks had the same idea independently, although their rough schedule is a little different than mine. Here’s a chart of roughly where I plan to be at the end of each day:

[every print edition of IJ has the same pagination. This doesn’t count the 100 pages of endnotes, which will be read along with whatever section they belong to. If you’re on a Kindle, you’re on your own – though the Infinite Summer 2009 schedule may help.]

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Leigh Walton talks comics and maybe other arts. (RSS)
He also works for the very excellent publisher Top Shelf Productions (which does not necessarily endorse the views and opinions, etc, herein).


Header by me. Contains an interpolation of the final panel from All-Star Superman #1 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. Speaking of which.