Mar 23Liked by Keith Pille

I read Infinite Jest once, in September-October of 2012. As I read it, I alternated between feeling confident that there was a story beneath the encrustation of detail and feeling that the encrustation was all there was. There were parts of it that I enjoyed, and parts that I thought should have been left on the cutting room floor. I think the fact that at no time in the ensuing 10+ years have I ever felt the slightest desire to reread it speaks volumes about my final feelings about it.

I am glad that I finished it, though, because it means my opinions about it (and its author) won't automatically get discounted because "you didn't even finish Infinite Jest." In a nutshell: In think that, as a writer, DFW was pretentious and not nearly as clever as he (and his fanboys) like(d) to think he was, while as a person, everything I've read about him leads me to believe he was kind of an asshole. As for Infinite Jest itself, after reading the whole thing, thinking about it carefully, and letting the experience marinate in my mind for a decade: I don't think DFW did anything here that Robert Anton Wilson didn't do (and do better) 20 years earlier in the Illuminatus trilogy.

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