Infinite Summer – Week 3

And Lo, for the Earth was empty of form, and void.
And Darkness was all over the Face of the Deep.
And We said:
Look at that fucker
Dance. (184)

I get it now.  Forgive me, DFW, for not seeing it before.  There were definitely moments of serious awesomeness prior to the week 3 readings, but holy shit.  Holy shit.

I know others said to stick it out and get past the hurdles because the payoff would be well worth it, but there were times I really did question that mentality.  Because up to this point, the book had been good–at times really, really good–but nothing mind-blowingly stellar.  I’ll admit, every time I saw someone confess to reading this sucker more than once, a befuddled little voice in my head was going, “uhhh…why??”

But I get it now.  That WINTER B.S. 1960–TUSCON AZ section (157-169) was the turning point; I am in awe of its utter perfection.  And then to follow it up with the TENNIS AND THE FERAL PRODIGY section (172-176)?  I was done.  I finished all of that in one sitting, then just mulled it over for a day or two.  I mean, the writing.  The tone.  All those thoughts and emotions that DFW didn’t write yet came through loud and clear anyway.  *swoon*

I also adored the humor in this week’s readings.  I sat by myself at Taco Cabana one day with a huge, idiotic grin on my face as I read through the Videophony section while eating my lunch.  And “Help wanted?”  You really can’t ask for more. I can’t wait to really get into the meat of the book (which feels weird to say, considering we’re over 200 pages in at this point).

There was only one sentence that truly threw me off and gave me pause this time around:

The new black girl Didi N. has on the plane of her upper abdomen a tattered screaming skull (off the same stencil as McDade’s but w/o the flames) that’s creepy because it’s just a tattered white outline: Black people’s tattoos are rare, and for reasons Ewell regards as fairly obvious they tend to be just white outlines. (207-208)

To which I say: huh? I mean, HUH???  For someone so meticulous with regards to detail as DFW, I’m completely lost as to why/how this sentence made the cut.  Is DFW fucking with us?  Is Ewell…what?  I don’t even know how I would classify that remark.  That’s how thrown off I am by it.

Coming tomorrow:

I recently decided to start posting a mix tape every Monday.  Being completely intrigued by the fact that someone created an Infinite Summer mix, I thought I’d give it a stab as well for this week’s Monday Mix (corresponding to the readings up to week 3).  Such is the burden of someone with way too many Gigs of music on her computer and way too much time on her hands this summer.


About Melissa

I love donuts. Chocolate iced, hold the sprinkles.
This entry was posted in art & literature, infinite summer and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Infinite Summer – Week 3

  1. Nice post! We love some of the same stuff, and are annoyed by some of the same stuff, too. I have a post about tattoos and race over at , and some newer posts too. I can’t wait to read and write along with your mixtape!

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