Detail of cover of 2006 paperback edition of Infinite Jest
After roughly two years of occasionally (but increasingly less often) picking up David Foster Wallace’s novel Infinite Jest
(1996), I think it’s time to just give up on trying to finish it. It’s not that the novel’s prose is too dense or complex, etc., but rather that I simply don’t care anymore. I can sort of see the interrelation of the various story lines, but it’s become so tiring continuing to read seemingly endless new scenes about these various characters. For what it’s worth, I was on page 554 of the paperback edition. If anyone who’s finished the book and thinks the second half of the novel redeems my current impasse, please let me know. Perhaps I was only a couple pages away from a great turning point.
This, of course, could be a prime example of what Wallace described as the problem of boredom in the contemporary moment. I’d recommend watching Wallace’s interview on German TV station ZDF for more on his ideas about the problem with boredom.