Infinite Summer, Day 3

I got up to page 55 today.

In recent months, I’ve complained quite a bit about literary fiction. Much of what I read in literary journals bores me. It’s beautiful, elegant – and nothing happens. I’ve gotten quite enamored with well-written genre fiction which, as one person put it, has both action and ambiance. Given that just last week I was complaining about lit fic, I was nervous about whether or not I’d really enjoy Infinite Jest. I was beginning to wonder whether or not I could still appreciate literary stories. And then, on page 49, I realized I was going to love this book.

I can’t quite explain the specific reasons why I’ve suddenly decided I like the book. There was nothing specific. I just read “Hal likes to get high in secret, but a bigger secret is that he’s as attached to the secrecy as he is to getting high.” I don’t even get high. But something about that line – it hit me on such a visceral level, that I was hooked. It doesn’t matter what our secrets are; for many people, what mattes is that we have a secret at all. There’s something about having that hidden nugget of your life that helps you feel in control, despite all the variables and chaos you have to deal with on a daily basis. Just a thought, something worth exploring later.

There’s no turning back now. I’m looking forward to the journey of this book.

Most of what I read today touched on themes of secrecy, and since that’s what really stuck with me today, I’m looking forward to seeing where the secret motif goes as the book continues. I might try to focus on that throughout my reading, because I know this book will go in so many directions, it might be good to pick a thread and use that to guide my explorations. Or maybe I’ll go off in another direction. Or maybe I’ll end up directionless. We’ll see.

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