[It had started with Orin Incandenza, the cleaning. When relations were strained, or she was seized with anxiety at the seriousness and possible permanence of the thing in the back Bay’s co-op, the getting high and cleaning became an important exercise, like creative visualization, a preview of the discipline and order with which she could survive alone if it came to that. She would get high and visualize herself solo in a dazzlingly clean space, every surface twinkling, every possession in place. She saw herself being able to pick, say, dropped popcorn up off the rug and ingest it with total confidence. A aura of steely independence surrounded her when she cleaned the co-op, even with the little whimpers and anxious moans that exited her writhing mouth when she cleaned high. The place has been provided nearly gratis by Jim, who said so little to Joelle on the first several meetings that Orin kept having to reassure her that it wasn’t disapproval- Himself was missing the part of the human brain that allowed for being aware enough of other people to disapprove of them. Orin had said- or dislike. It was just how ‘The Mad Stork’- family nicknames, both of which gave Joelle the creeps even then.]
David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest, Page 736-737
5 thoughts on “‘The Mad Storks’, Writing by Dead Writers, David Foster Wallace, #2”
I’ve been struggling with Infinite Jest this summer – maybe because it was never intended as beach reading… Anyway, I think it is full of insights and gems and beautiful writing, such as the above extract. The only problem is that ‘a la longue’ it is just too much. At least, for me.
I agree but I said this: Still reading this object. About two hundred pages left. This is what they call a big novel, insanity, brilliance, and at times much too much; it’s tedious, and that’s why it’s so good., and if you want to become a better writer you have to become a better reader, and this kind of novel, like the old time keeper proust, it is a workout for the reader, and will, change you as both a reader and a writer. It’s a great novel, one of the best, but not, one of the most enjoyable.
Well, I thought I could handle it and am not admitting defeat yet (like you, I still have a number of pages to go…) but Proust sucked me in… ‘Tristram Shandy’ had me in stitches. ‘Ulysees’ had some inner coherence. ‘Finnegan’s Wake’? That was just one step too far for me.
Some of the none paragraph breaks could be broken. I agree with a tighter edit. And yeah Proust is thrown out too much, and probably should not be attached to this book. ha. It’s strange, and a work of obsession, and that’s why I’m so fascinated by it.
[…] ‘The Mad Storks’, Writing by Dead Writers, David Foster Wallace, #2 (adventuresinamericanwriting.wordpress.com) […]