13 thoughts on ““The job of the…

  1. I loved DFW’s commencement speech “this is water”, I’m now 350 pages through Infinite Jest, and I know a lot more about drugs & tennis. This is not easy stuff for mere mortals, but DFW was more than most of us. He’s that feeling of where you know you should be, but oft find it difficult to get there, a bit like Iyengar Yoga.

    DFW is a thinker, and writer that we will all truly miss. It’s fairly spooky for me that you should post this because I have been trying to point my friends towards DFW for the last few months.

    1. It was while reading his essay, “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again,” at the library a few years ago, suppressing snorts of laughter and feeling like someone was writing how I thought, that I decided to take on writing seriously. Learning his life story, his losing battle with mental illness, almost hearing his voice speak the words and I was hooked…well, talented (and he was a genius) writers get me hot, too.

      I had to convince all the guys in one of my book clubs, called “Dudes on Books,” btw, though they allow women, obviously…anyway, these smart, heavy-hitting readers in their 50’s and 60’s were afraid to read DFW. I suggested Consider the Lobster, Jake (the leader of the pack) approved it, and they all LOVED it.

      At a fancy schmancy Thanksgiving bash I used to attend with my dad and step-mom’s rich DC liberal friends and their kids (who went to school with my younger siblings), I met an art professor who feared his work, too. He made the mistake of starting out with his fiction. Infinite Jest, well, who the hell’s going to finish that if they’ve never encountered this writer before.

      Non-fiction, I assured the professor. Start with his “lighter” NF essays and he actually wrote down Consider…probably ’cause my eyes and skin were glowing like a madwoman praising this writer like no other. In my review for Consider…, I wrote that his work wasn’t easy reading, but it was essential reading.

      1. Wow! Now we’re talking. Just very lost for words at the moment. Displacing ‘totally in love’ onto my very poor Internet connection, so that I can think. You press buttons!

  2. Thanks for the pointer on Consider The Lobster, it’s my next bit of reading. I just so needed that pointer after getting bogged down in Infinite Jest, thank you. Sort of Vygotskian- you’re my Expert Peer Mentor. No,seriously it is much appreciated.

    I’m rather askance at the coincidence of finding you citing DFW on your blog, I really have been trying to understand his genius for the last few months…, kindred spirits across the world. So how about : Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Bill Hitchens, Morrissey,…,

Lack of communication is unhealthy.

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