I’d like to invite you to join a community of like-minded people in reading the most intimidating book of the last twenty years.
Sounds pretty inviting, doesn’t it?
The book is called Infinite Jest, and the author is the late David Foster Wallace.
In case you know nothing about the novel, this is from the back cover:
Set in an addicts’ halfway house and a tennis academy, and featuring one of the most endearingly screwed-up families in contemporary fiction, Infinite Jest explores essential questions about what entertainment is and why it has come to dominate our lives, about how our desire for entertainment affects our need to connect with other people, and about what the pleasures we choose say about who we are.
Equal parts philosophical quest and screwball comedy, Infinite Jest bends every rule of fiction without sacrificing for a moment its own entertainment value. It is an exuberant, uniquely American exploration of the passions that make us human–and one of those rare books that renew the idea of what a novel can do.
What I want you to know is that David Foster Wallace wrote it in the late 90s and tapped into the zeitgeist of American consumer culture in a way that will make you uncomfortable.
One of his most well-known moments in the book illuminates exactly that sentiment: “The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you.”
This is our Infinite Winter. We start reading January 31 and will consume a little more than 75 pages a week until May 2.
It’s not too late to join us, and you don’t have to do anything except get your hands on a copy of the novel.
There are reader guides to lead the way, a Facebook page, and an online forum.
Here is your very own bookmark to keep you on track.
I’ll be guest blogging at InfiniteWinter.org and dedicating space to this colossal piece of work right here on Book Oblivion. It’s rare that you are able to read this kind of challenging text in a community as engaged as this one.
Intellectual isolation is something we all face. Please don’t let this opportunity pass you by. Winter is coming.