Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Barnes & No-fault

According to the sidebar on David M. Gottlieb, Esq.'s blog, No-Fault Paradise, he's currently re-reading David Foster Wallace's 1996 novel 'Infinite Jest'. I admire that Mr. Gottlieb is still able to get any reading done; I have had a tough time of keeping at it since law school. I also admire that he has been able to finish 'Infinite Jest' (more than once?) and wants to go back for more. I tried starting it a few times, the most recent being August 14, 2003, when the Northeast had a blackout. Somehow it fails to grab me enough. I found Wallace's debut novel, 1987's 'The Broom of the System,' to be a bit more agreeable. I think I finished it, or at least came close.

As to my avoidance of 'Infinite Jest,' I would confess that I am afraid of Big Important Novels, but I don't think it's true. I spent much of my law school years (and tapering off thereafter) chewing up books like 'J R' and 'A Frolic of his Own' by William Gaddis (I think I got through the first chapter or two of 'The Recognitions' at one point), most everything by Don DeLillo, Thomas Pynchon's 'V.', most of the core works of Thomas Bernhard (which I guess don't quite qualify as 'big'), and even wannabe fare like Jonathan Franzen's 'The Corrections.' Then again, despite owning perhaps several hundred books, I can no longer seem to sit down and actually read any. Oddly enough, the subway commute I had during most of law school (Williamsburg<-->Greenwich Village) provided an ideal, structured time for plowing through books at a decent pace.

1 comment:

David M. Gottlieb, Esq. said...

I'm constantly on the train and I'm a glutton for punishment. Last time I read it was in law school, because my roommate suggested it and told me that he recommended it to other people, but no one finished it. I took him up on it. I'm weird like that though. I read "The Brothers Karamazov" in CivPro because I was bored. That was before I got a computer and could surf the interweb.