My one and only contribution to the Infinite Summer discussion

So, as I've mentioned in occasional previous posts, this is the Infinite Summer, during which numerous writers, readers and bloggers have been reading David Foster Wallace's magnum opus Infinite Jest. As it happens, Infinite Jest is my favorite book, and I've been following along with interest and enthusiasm. Some places of interest are here, here, here and here (though that last one seems to have petered out).

For those of you who are uninterested in Infinite Jest, or my opinion thereof, feel free to tune out now. I will commence ranting about Sarah Palin or health care reform or some such in short order. However, since I'm now sure that the weekly milestones have carried the readers past my favorite moment in the book, I thought I would simply write to mention what it is.

Last chance to jump ship before I reveal myself to be hopelessly sentimental...

So, when Joelle says "And lo" to a seriously-injured Gately on page 619, it makes me cry every time I read it. (In fact, even thinking about it for very long makes my chest go all tight and clenchy.) I realize that this will mean nothing at all to people who have not read the book, but at that moment a character who has cut herself off from other people to such an extent that she has literally veiled herself reveals something personal and private and hidden to someone she has come to trust, and who cares about her. In a nutshell, she lets him know who she is, reversing ever so slightly a long process of walling herself off from the world. Being as it were that the whole novel is about how fraught and fragile and rare true happiness and human connection really is, it's a beautiful and heart-breaking moment (particularly given everything else that's been going on with those two characters) and I just thought I would take a minute and mention it. And, apparently, also out myself as ridiculously sappy deep in the core of my dark, tar heart.

Snark will commence presently.

1 comment:

  1. Just finished it this weekend, taking most of july and august on it -- probably the slowest I've ever managed to read IJ. and as usual while I was reading I had lots of half-formed thoughts I wanted to blog... but they remain half-formed.