Thursday, June 4, 2009

My friend Nicole is the devil

Have you met my friend Nicole? She's the devil. You heard me.

On the very day that I write that I'm drowning in review books she puts this temptation before me:

I'll save you the click. A bunch of folks online are making it their summer project to read David Foster Wallace's 1,079 page brilliant, challenging novel Infinite Jest. I have always wanted to read this monster. This is absolutely the best opportunity to do so. Unfortunately, I owe reviews on 12 novels.

Nicole's like, "Come on, we should all do it. It'll be fun!" Grrr.

Now, clearly I don't have time to read this book, but just, you know, out of idle curiosity, I downloaded a lengthy "sample" on my Kindle. I've just read Dave Eggers' forward and the opening of the novel. And OMG, this is the perfect book to read on a Kindle! Even a fully tricked out Kindle weighs like a tenth of that doorstop. The built-in dictionary will help with tricky vocabulary. (Although, there were already words in the sample that the dictionary couldn't help with. Kekuléan. Really?) And instead of having to page all the way to the back of the book for footnotes, you can just click on them and then click back. If I ever read this book, I'm definitely reading it on the Kindle.

Nicole, you suck.

Now this is cool... I just googled Kekuléan and found this:

"I stare carefully into the Kekuléan knot of the middle Dean's necktie."

"Kekuléan" is not a type of knot. To Hal, the knot he is focusing on resembles the, self-consuming, annular shape of the snakes that inspired August Kekulé's discovery of Benzene's molecular structure. August Kekule (1829-1896), a renowned German organic chemist was the principal founder of the theory of chemical structure. His most famous work, the discovery of Benzene molecule's structure, is said to be inspired by a dream. "Kekulé's Dream" was that of a self-devouring snake, the shape of which, he used to describe the Benzene Ring. Hal's intense focus on this annular, or ring-like, part of the tie is the first reference to annular shapes.

That's one small part of this amazing Infinite Jest wiki:
Everything imaginable is fully annotated. No that it matters. I am not reading this book.


  1. Oh ... wow, you made me not want to read it too.

  2. It may be too late for me already. I'm reading the opening, and it's definitely challenging in certain ways, but it's funny as hell.