Only Only: Infinite Winter

Infinite Winter.

It worked. We worked.

Each week of Infinite Winter a frozen white snowflake went hot orange on our countdown calendar.
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Reading seven posts a week for fourteen weeks was a new experience for me (it has been awesome).

Between our countdown calendar and Jenni Baker’s diagrams and objective correlative collage portraits, I was actually able to visualize what time looks like when reading Infinite Jest with a group. Jenni also started our Reddit (a thing I’d never read before). I learned so many things from reading your Reddit posts that I never understood while reading Infinite Jest, twice, prior to Infinite Winter.
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I understood that it was possible for our group of guides to write a post a week, but I didn’t know that all those posts would be one of my major incentives to wake up and start each day.

Ryan Blanck candidly broke down the process of juggling Infinite Winter weeks and school weeks in his posts. Each time he did this, I kept remembering that it’d be just fine and probably a little fun to drop one of the obligations I was juggling. Turns out participants posting on Twitter were also trying to figure out how to pause and work on reading. We full-on got behind getting behind. For me this was at first disheartening and then all at once it was hilarious and communal.

It was endlessly more exciting to read what you were all writing and commenting on than taking on each week of scheduled Infinite Jest reading. The conversations surrounding the reading helped me focus in and write a post every week. At some point between every Saturday and Tuesday, I wrote something. Fortunately I was able to read my own fortune about how this writing would go if I didn’t have help. I asked Dave Laird to read my posts before I posted them.

It helped. Asking someone to read what I’d written made the process a conversation.

At the beginning of Infinite Winter, Mark Flanagan had the idea to set his copy of Infinite Jest in the snow and photograph it. I’ve been thinking about what exactly those images have symbolized for me, and I’ve realized that they represent both risk and wisdom. Turns out that I knew, but forgot, that certain types of snow are more like foam peanuts than cesspools.
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Infinite Spring
Now, at the end of Infinite Winter, Nathan Seppelt just posted an image of what it looks like to drive the car being driven on page 270 in Infinite Jest. Imagine all our views of this read piling up like his layered drawing. What I get is an active and complex stack of information. Disorienting yes, but recognizably patterned. Something like what an image rendered for 3D looks like, but viewed without 3D glasses.
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Thank you for taking the time to share your written and typed notes about Infinite Jest and how exactly moments within it connected with the goings on going on in the beginnings of your 2016.

Happy May!

Although Infinite Winter is coming to a close, all the guides and many of our participants can be found on Twitter. Hope to see you there.

#InfWin

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