The impending release of this movie has kicked off a torrent of nauseating articles trying to re-contextualize DFW. It has been _the worst_.
Upvoted because curious:
Is Infinite Jest worth a read? Is it a Great American Novel or overrated? I'm a bit of an uncultured swine so I'm not sure there.
Why the concern for the movie? It's based on an award winning book and the reviews have been pretty stellar so far. Trailer looks kinda generic but I expect cliche moments like that to be the trailer bait.
yes, worth a read. Not the GAN but certainly a good one.
Concern for the movie because the guy playing DFW seems to have no idea what DFW was all about, and he doesnt even come close to impersonating his mannerisms or personality.
Rodents of Unusual Size
Oh wait, Pattinson plays some other horrible character. But the guy playing James Dean is pretty bad.
I'd definitely recommend it; I read it my freshman year of college (so that was back in 2000) because a friend loaned me it, and I skipped classes the whole week and finished it. It's a long, funny, tragic read, but I got more out of it than other long books like Underworld or 2666, even though I liked those as well.
Would I say that it's the greatest work of American Lit? Probably not. It's more a collection of short stories and essays tied together with a semi-flimsy metastory. Broom of the System did this as well, but not as well. And other writers who like to skip through time and space like Bolano, Pynchon or even Eco still have more of a narrative. But like I said, I got more out of IJ, for very personal reasons. I only have two tattoos, one from a sketch in Infinite Jest and the other from a Yukio Mishima novel in the Sea of Fertility. I got the one because I was feeling suicidal when I was initially reading IJ, and Mishima had committed seppuku, and a little schematic in IJ because that novel saved me from it. To this day I have trouble even seeing the cover without feeling sad, because I always wanted to tell DFW that.
As far as this movie goes, it's hard for me to say. I never had the chance to meet DFW so I wouldn't know what he was like, and even if I had it probably would've been at a lecture or something where nobody's necessarily themselves. I guess if I have a problem it's that Segel really doesn't look much like DFW in 1996, but rather more like DFW towards the end of his short life. It's hard to find a lookalike, and Segel comes really close, but DFW around that time, if I'm to believe the pictures, looked a lot more like Segel's imdb picture, but with longer hair and a cool bandana. :)
Out of curiosity, what WOULD you guys consider the GAN? And don't say Philip Roth's Great American Novel. But I would put American Pastoral on that list, as well as Chabon's Kavalier and Clay. Then again IJ is a GAN to me, but if there could be only one..
Thanks for the input - I have 24 hours of flying and probably several hours of train rides with a pair of English majors coming up and I might need some reading for the trip, so IJ is a good possibility.
I love David Foster Wallace's writing, but I've always found his fiction really lacking something. So consider this a counterpoint.
Also, if you're looking for a travel book, I would stay away or read the first 100-200 pages first so you know what you're in for. Infinite Jest can be a polarizing book and you don't want to be stuck somewhere with nothing else.
Interesting.. I've never known it to be "polarizing" per se; this was back in 2000 or so, so it was a little more THAT book at the time that every hipster carried around with them like it's their bible, sort of like the In The Aeroplane Over The Sea of novels. I didn't know that when I read it, so I had no opinion either way, but a lot of people came in with the attitude that it was just overwrought bullshit and with that attitude it's hard to like that particular novel or anything else.
I can't think of anyone I've convinced to read it though who doesn't like it after they've taken the plunge, but I think the cynicism died down by the time I was telling people about it. For most of my friends, they just had to devote maybe a month to something, which is kind of a lot. But Hooker's right. Like I said I pretty much skipped all my classes because I was so into it and it still took me about a week, and I consider myself a pretty fast reader. The second time I read it I got a lot more out of it and read it over an entire summer.
GAN and great travel book (I know I've said it before)...,
Vineland by Thomas Pynchon
Everything about this looks fucking painful, like some pretentious art faggy bullshit you'd see on IFC at 3AM, but with a budget.
Dude have you watched IFC lately? I frequent a bar that regularly has it on; I actually miss the days where I could discover some overlooked gem like Box of Moonlight or something. It's all mainstream Hollywood movies now!
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