I’m basically writing this post to say: Suck it, DFW. I did not enjoy reading Infinite Jest. Nothing came together like I thought it should have , or was expecting. Maybe that was Wallace’s point. But I can’t appreciate that. I read for a story, to get lost in someone else’s life, to find a new world. I don’t read to be bombarded by an author’s commentary on an addicted society’s breakdown of communication.
And the ending! I hate hate HATE books that don’t end. This one didn’t bring around any kind of resolution at all. In fact, it probably left more open-ended story lines and unanswered questions than the series finale of LOST. (Don’t get me started on that.)
Is Joelle (P.G.O.A.T) really disfigured, or is she pained by her beauty?
What made the Entertainment so damn addicting?
How did JOI make the film?
Did they find the Master Copy?
Did Don Gately live?
What else happened in the flashback?
And if he lived, did Don and Joelle ever get together?
Where did Pemulis go?
Did he get expelled?
Did the O.N.A.N.T.A. Drug Tester ever come back for Hal?
Did he injure himself before he could be tested?
Let me say this, I love Hal Incandenza. All the Incandenza children, really. Had they been in a different story, I’d have loved every minute of it. They are truly real characters. But then, had they been in another story, it wouldn’t have been a DFW story and so they wouldn’t be the Incandenzas.
I also love Michael Pemulis.
The fact is, yes, IJ changed me. It was like climbing a mountain I never really wanted to climb but I felt obligated because I’d committed to doing it. And when I got to the top? The view wasn’t spectacular. It was the same view I’d been piecing together for months, but now I got much more of the picture. I still couldn’t see around to the other side of the mountain though. And so I’m always going to be left wondering what the complete view really looked like.