As I’ve said recently, I’m currently reading Infinite Jest. I’m 400 pages into what is a very large book, but one that unfolds in such a way that I wouldn’t be put off if suddenly, for some bizarre reason I realised that in actual fact I had another 1000 pages to read.
I’ve also mentioned previously how it was my friend that told me about the book. After a few pages I was sure it was not only a worthy recommendation, but maybe even some sort of ‘recommendation karma’. After all in the past I’d been the one that had told close friends of mine about The Wire, and Breaking Bad, and The Shield, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – most of which I shared well before they were considered ‘must see’ TV. So I was due someone tipping me off to something, even if Infinite Jest had been around for some time. Books work their way into your life, find you even, in more roundabout and random ways I find.
The thing that leaps out at you when reading Infinite Jest, is that you are, unquestionably, absolutely, dealing with a kind of greatness – the kind that inspires and makes you realise why you’ve chosen to write. At least that is how I feel personally. I know full well that some people become strangely subdued, fearful even, when coming upon greatness in their own field. They become inhibited, scared that they’ll never be able to carve out even just a little bit of recognition for themselves because of their perceived inadequacies in relation to others. For me though it’s the opposite. I’m inspired, not out of a sense of ‘I’m as great as whoever and I’ll prove it’, but more in an excited way.
Excited because, in the case of Infinite Jest, it makes you realise just what is possible with the written word. Over the last few years I’ve read certain books that I have loved and learnt from and that have informed my own writing, and now it seems I’m reading a book that is doing all of that plus adding a further lesson that alongside the feeling of inspiration I’m going to take with me going forward. This lesson, which encompasses things such as freedom and inhibitions, is something I’ll come back to in more detail when I’ve had a bit more time to think about it and also when I’ve completely finished my novella, which I’m in the process of going over at the moment.
This is a serious tune