I wanted so much to talk about David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest because I’ve read a lot about it, something I rarely do since I don’t read about books I intend to read. I guess I was intrigued by the fact that the author killed himself. And one-thirds through the book, I can see but only dimly why he did, not that I ever understood what motivates suicide. Judging from the book’s sheer workmanship, length, vastness and supposed greatness, it’s not hard to see that this is a person who has a lot in his head. I suppose it is what most people would call an intensely psychological, intellectual, whatever Great work of literary achievement, etc. And I don’t know how but I can imagine how someone who worked on a book such as this could have been driven to do something as extreme as killing himself. I would think that about Chuck Klosterman but he has way too much overt humor in his works that it’s hardly unimaginable that he would unlike David Wallace whose supposed humor has to filter through some very hard thinking. Think before laughing. I guess the chismoso in me wanted to know how someone who’s supposed to be ‘his generation’s’ most over-praised writer would want to kill himself. So he’s like Kurt Cobain, fair enough, but not nearly enough of an explanation. If there’s a book by a successful self-killer that’s supposed to shed a light on the highly intriguing factor of the matter of his suicide, then it’s perfectly understandable to want to get your hands on it, isn’t it, and so I do.
I want to talk about it if for nothing but for the silliest of reasons that I got so intrigued with it, so that I could give it some sort of justification, for wanting it in the first place, and for seeking it out, for wanting to experience it myself when most of the things that I did read about was that it was a tough book, sort of, depending on whose opinion you wish to take seriously. I hardly ever get books from hi-priced bookstores such as Power Books (this one especially) and Fully Booked (although they have a couple of impressively knowledgeable staff who wouldn’t ask you thrice what title of the book it is you’re asking or if it’s the author or the title you’re asking, so they’re fine) because the guilt you feel when you see a book that you got for 800 pesos is on Book Sale selling for 110 you just about want to kill yourself too. Sometimes I worry that I might have been spending way more time looking for things to read than I do reading.
I try not to talk about books I don’t really get and so maybe I should stop obsessing over the David Foster Wallace catalogue since it’s doubtful I’d ever get through another one of his fictions enlightened. I can’t say I’m rewarded for the pursuit, not having finished it after starting so many months ago but the little I get, the little humor that I did find funny, I really appreciated. If anything it made me wish I have more patience and more brain space to take everything in.
I’ve also been thinking about turning this into a book blog but realized that it’s not possible since… it’s impossible. I wish there was more than 24 hours in a day and less means of self-gratification because then I wouldn’t have to spend time in the room where the speakers are, or in the bed where the comfort is. I’m miserable when it comes to this blog, speaking of blogs. I’m thinking of shutting this off but there are worse things than not getting attention and one of those is not having a space to talk about Mariah and some books.
Infinite Jest is about a bunch of tennis players who are, not weirdly as it turns out, also into drugs. Plenty, different, expensive drugs. It’s supposed to be about the dead-endness of their student and pro tennis playing lives. It’s also about something else, for sure. Maybe that’s what it’s about, despair? Which I understand and found a way to associate with my own? Hmmmm…