Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Blogging DFW 14 -- the end

I don’t want to end on a sour note, especially since people I genuinely respect adore this book, but . . .
 I felt like every REAL writer had read it--so I forced myself to listen to all 1000+ pages of it on audible. And here are some thoughts:
1. Don't. Do. It.
2. The narrator was fabulous. Should I know Sean Pratt? (When I began listening, I thought it was Sean Penn narrating—and I got all excited. As it turned out, Pratt was amazing.
3. Did as many people read this book as I’ve been led to believe?
4. Would you believe that I missed the end? I didn't get it. A friend gave me this link. So I suck. And I still don’t really get it.
5. You know DFW's history, yeah? Classic Gen X writer man, got his MFA at U. of AZ (maybe when some of us were there), was always mentally troubled, killed himself when he was--tragically--between working meds. There's much speculation on how this was a death that shouldn't have happened, had he been properly medicated. Well, all this to say, I think this never-ending book is a glimpse into a beautiful mind (you know the film?)--but it is, nonetheless, the work of a special kind of madman's brilliance. "Normal" people are simply incapable of DFW's style--which is to dissect any given moment (ANY GIVEN MOMENT) perfectly. I can't tell you how many perfect moments there are in this book. He nails childhood trauma, addiction, every minor character who walks briefly through his pages, every mother/father/dog--and, yet, it doesn't add up. Seventy percent of this book could've been cut, but I bet his brilliance overwhelmed everyone who he met and the book made it. Go watch the film, The End of the Tour.
6. INFINITE JEST, indeed. The joke is certainly on us.
7. I must say I'm very sad about his death. He was brilliant--and probably a very sad man. It is tragic, and my affection for him endures. I would recommend A Supposedly Fun Thing I’d Never Do Again and Brief Interviews with Hideous Men.
8. A friend posted this. I haven’t read it yet. But I will.

I wanted Gately to be okay.

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