by Jae, July 22, 2010 1:09 PM
Since I decided to finally read the 1,104-page complication that is Infinite Jest instead of using it as a makeshift bookend, I've suffered from a debilitating fear of commitment that has gradually devolved my reading stamina from novel to novella, novella to New Yorker, New Yorker to the NBA playoffs. To both re-approach and further delay the epic beast, I instead picked up and successfully completed Consider the Lobster. Wallace's persona is so wholly irresistible, he can guide me, very willingly, through any explored subject, from the AVN Awards (the adult film equivalent of the Academy Awards) to the ethics of eating lobster (in the manner of M. F. K. Fisher) to John Updike, no stranger to volume himself. Wallace's essays are steeped in intellect; his perspective is charming, clever, and fastidiously astute. Even the intense postmodern overlays, active footnoting, and occasional archness are easily traversed when a writer is simultaneously this brilliant and sincere about his enterprise. Read this (if you haven't already), then prime, prep, and put all your other books aside: it's time for Infinite Jest.