DFW In Summer

Jeux d'eteIn these days of seemingly infinite summer, the mind wants to travel, a jet-plane escaping the bonds of its design, custom and gravity for points exotic, sunny, familiar and timeless.   Summer¹ is a reading season as much as a flying one.  Soaring across the ages, touching down on one continent or another, maybe even planting a foot on a foreign body² are all familiar goals for those who partake of the libation of  literal and literary exploration in this time of skin burning, burning desires and desires fulfilled.

The Cowboy isn’t participating in the season’s literary challenge.  He’s still working on the last one.  1,000 dense pages, with the all-too-important endnotes, requisite referential page-flipping, sunshine-yellow passage highlighting, and Moleskine-based character maps, is not for the faint of heart.

So, here’s the infinite summer for those of you not yet tuned in to the challenge who have the all-too-necessary intellectual chops and capacity for indefatigable determination not elsewhere currently applied.

“Join endurance bibliophiles from around the world in reading Infinite Jest over the summer of 2009, June 21st to September 22nd. A thousand pages ÷ 92 days = 75 pages a week. No sweat.”

For those with an unruly horse, a burning desire to play bible belt bingo, or some other distraction this summer, there are a couple of cheats available to you.  First, you can follow those blogging the infinite summer.  How geeky does one have to be to read Infinite Jest and blog about it as part of a summer challenge?  And how geeky do you have to be to follow along?  Questions for an infinite universe.

If you’re not up for an infinite challenge but you are curious, join the Cowboy for a lobstah, read the footnotes, and revel in the philosophical aptness and linguistic fluidity that is DFW.  It doesn’t end well for the lobstah or the authah, but don’t let that stop you.  A simple pound-and-a-quartah with some drawn butter is enough to give you a taste of summer without costing a lot of clams, suffering a lobstah-like epidermal finish or feeling like you’re in over your head in a lot of hot water.  The Cowboy recommends it most heartily.  Now, back to the other unfinished novel

¹ Let us not forget that summer in the northern hemisphere is winter in the southern and vice versa. So, as you laze on your retro-themed Budweiser bottle beach blanket stirring your native black raspberry cachaça mojito with a stalk of possibly-contraband Cuban sugar cane while Julian or Juliette, your chiseled or delicately voluptuous and probably glistening beach attendant waits patiently to discern the satisfaction conveyed by said libation and its Icelandic-iceberg-carved cubes of temperature-reducing bliss, well, spare a moment to consider your less-fortunate travelers on this round rock of matter hurtling though the universe at god-help-me speeds who have the good or bad fortune to be sitting or standing on the other side, worried about flu-by-swine, English or Spanish or Zulu creative writing papers, and pining away for those long, lazy days of summer and the concomitantly intermingled memories of Christmases past, singing carols on a beach somewhere, letting the mind wander like a jet-plane…

² See note 1 above.

³ The author (The Cowboy) has attempted to give the reader (you) a taste for both Bolaño (see the first hyperlink) and DFW in this post by (a) using the lengthy, meandering sentences of both authors (b) the “ands” “ors” and hyphens of the former and (c) the amusing endnotes of the latter.  Bon appétit!

Published in: on July 20, 2009 at 19:47  Comments Off on DFW In Summer  
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