In the Recliner

InfWin Guide here. I got into this thing knowing that I had no business being here. I tried to hang in there, but have fallen embarrassingly behind in the reading. Now, I am grasping at straws (at least there are lots of straws) to produce something thoughtful and meaningful for each week’s blog post. So this week, I’m gonna pull one out of the pomo-meta hat and reflect a bit on this experience.

Image 48 EntertainmentI’ve begun to feel like the Middle Eastern medical attache. I – in a metaphorical sense – came home after a long day at work, popped in this unlabeled video cartridge, and sat back in my La-Z-Boy recliner to enjoy an evening of mindless entertainment. Except that the video cartridge is actually the novel, Infinite Jest, I have no recliner at home, and reading said novel is anything but mindless entertainment.

But I was greatly looking forward to the experience of reading Infinite Jest again, this time with hundreds of my closest friends.

Image 49 EntertainmentBut somewhere around week 5, I began to lose my way. And by lose my way, I mean that I got pulled in too many directions by all my various jobs and responsibilities, and but so my well-worn and well-loved copy of Infinite Jest found itself sitting on my end table or going for rides in my car, tucked away in my backpack with my laptop and my lunch box. The novel became like my tote bag of grading; I take it with me everywhere with the intention of doing some reading/grading, but it just sits in the back of my car or the corner of the living room.

Image 50 EntertainmentIt became like that unlabeled video cartridge sitting in the medical attache’s video cartridge player, set to play on an endless loop. Except that it wasn’t being played – or read – on an endless loop. It just sits there. Untouched and unread.

For weeks, I’ve been telling myself to just give up. Throw in the towel. Call it quits. Just tell Mark and the others that I can’t finish and that they need to find someone to pinch hit for me in these last three posts.

But I can’t do that. I can’t do that because I am a man of my word and I keep my commitments.

Image 51 EntertainmentAnd I can’t do that because I am in the metaphorical recliner. I sucked in. I can’t stop reading this damn book.

Image 52 EntertainmentJust pass me a napkin in case I start drooling on myself.

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7 thoughts on “In the Recliner”

  1. Infinite Jest. Written by the son of a professor, himself a professor, a man with a very limited view of the world and an incredible vocabulary. A literary masterpiece with absolutely no soul.

  2. Awesome Lego time series! This also gives me a chance to use one of those two dollar Wallace words. I like how the final skeleton figure is positioned in a way that is…cruciform.

  3. Best Lego work yet! Please try to remember that beating up on oneself is generally not useful. Much better, as you did above, pomo/meta style, to turn your lemon pucker into lemonade (NOT elemonade) smile!

    1. And furthermore, Ryan, know ye that DFW delighted in making things difficult, as he says in the McCaffery 1993 interview:

      Q: In your own case, how does this hostility (DH i.e. hostility towards the reader) manifest itself?
      A: Oh, not always, but sometimes in the form of sentences that are syntactically not incorrect
      but still a real bitch to read. Or bludgeoning the reader with data. Or devoting a lot
      of energy to creating expectations and then taking pleasure in disappointing them.

  4. Hey Ryan, way to bring a whole lot of humor into reflecting.

    I noticed that whatever was happening with reading scheduling, I was finding a way to read all the posts. It was really great reading about our reading group. Thx for bringing the Saturday word!

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