Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Anti-literature Douchebag Alert!

Today, I was pointed towards a blog on Tumblr (it's old). It was written by one of those highly opinionated people who use dry humor and sarcasm to make points. I know, right ... what a loser! In all honesty, this sort of sentiment isn't new. In fact, it's older than dirt. I'm not going to tackle all the obvious exaggerations and sweeping generalizations. But when you strip away all the "humor," you are still left with someone discouraging interest in Wallace — which isn't fucking cool with me.

Yes, Infinite Jest is a tome. It's massive; it's bloated; it reads like a Wikipedia entry, quite often. But it's also a labor of love and discipline. I do agree with the blogger in a general way: One should never read books to look more intelligent. And Infinite Jest isn't for the casual reader or someone who's literary experience is mostly from young adult novels. If you can't make it through an unabridged version of Moby Dick, you aren't even close to being ready for Wallace.

Reading an insanely difficult book and enjoying the experience, doesn't make you a pedant. Which is better: People, at least, attempting to challenge themselves, or people giving up or not even bothering? And no, you can't hide behind the thin veil of sarcasm or trolling; this is exactly what Wallace was against.

In response to some of the ridiculousness: I own the E-book for Kindle. I didn't become interested in Infinite Jest from people talking about it. No, I stumbled across some of his essay work, which is leaps and bounds ahead of your blogging. I read, at least, more than one book a month. Right now, I'm actively reading four. I sub-vocalize every word in every book I like, and I don't care if it takes longer; if you're not doing this, you're skimming it on some level — unless you have a photographic memory. If I catch you "scanning" Hamlet with your fingers and pretending to be Rain-man, I may bitch slap you. Lastly, I'm married and fuck you in the face.

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