Monday, January 19, 2009

In over my head

I finally called my own bluff and bought David Foster Wallace's A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again. Wow. I feel like I'm at one of those places where your meal is free if you can successfully finish an Oprah wagon portion size of meat. His essays are heavily referential of other authors that I've either never heard of or never read, and full of words that I've never seen in print before. It is reading something like his book that makes me feel like that the university I graduated from should not have been accredited. How could I have never read Balzac? Do most people just pick that up after college as a bathroom read? Or have I just picked up a book that was not written for me-it is not supposed to be accessible to me, it was written for a class of intellectuals who have the reading list of books I've never heard of and use words like bisensuous and mythopia (which my spell checker insists are not words) in everyday discourse. It is dense and chewy and requires much more attention than I anticipated. I'm a little bummed that my foundation in philosophy and the works of great thinkers and writers of old puts a sentence like "And lets not even talk about Balzac" out of reach for my full appreciation for the hearty in-the-know ironic belly laugh that DFW's true contemporaries can have. But I'm working through his essays with the intention of going back over them again with a highlighter and dictionary to see if I can incorporate "synecdochic" into my everyday lexicon because everyone loves a girl that uses big words. Joking aside, I love learning new words because a well chosen word absolutely nails it, paints the picture I'm trying to create with both nuance and economy.

As dense and meaty as his essays are, my farm raised brain is able to appreciate the gist of his argument on television (the current essay I'm reading) and how it provides both community and isolation from other human beings and experience. His sense of humor shows throughout and though jokes about Balzac sail well over my head, not all the humor escapes me. Ha, Ha, that Balzac. What a kidder...

2 comments:

Kill Tandon aka Castron Dillon aka Roya Roya said...

"Lexicon" sounds like a Pleasure/companionship droid. I is also luv uzing difikult vokaba-larry 2 showz mye hart-feelinz.


Ur Brofer..

Em-a-lay said...

Read your comment. Thanks, I feel like it's missing a huge part. I can't tell what.