Tag Archives: Book Club

Infinite Jest @20 & @EmWatson (Book Clubs) #2

From my last: “[…] on the forty-five minute bicycle ride home from the train station, the latter part of which involves riding down a few hundred yards of pitch-black, serial-killer kind of country lane.”

Here is said image:

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After listening to one of the Infinite Jest @20 book club’s participants disclose that she cannot now brush her teeth without thinking of Infinite Jest‘s Don Gately, I am minded of an association of my own. Riding the final leg of the journey home down this particular path, in the dark, consistently evokes a childhood memory. As a group of 6/7 year olds my friends and I were fascinated with/horrified by tales of the Red Brick Wall – a wall made of red brick that had a path running by it and which surrounded private land next to a heavily forested area (all very secluded and quiet back in the day). During a session of who could tell the scariest story, someone came up with one about the Red Brick Wall. The wall had a small wooden door that was always locked. The tale goes that one night a couple drove their car down the path, it was raining and all that, and the car broke down unexpectedly, close by the door in the wall. The driver got out and thought of knocking on the door and maybe getting some help. It all goes quiet for a time and the passenger gets nervous/anxious about what has happened to the driver. Suddenly, the driver’s head lands upon the bonnet of the car, attached by rope, and at the end of the rope is a stick, and holding the stick is a crazed, disfigured mad-person who intends to do a similar thing to the passenger.

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And on the Emma Watson front, still working through the bell hooks book – nothing creepy there.

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Infinite Jest @20 & @EmWatson (Book Clubs)

February has been a month of book clubs. After reading a tweet about thoughts on what to name Emma Watson‘s feminist book club, #OurSharedShelf, I joined (via goodreads) and got on with reading The Colour Purple, a book I never would have picked up in a million years, mostly because I’d already watched the film. With respect to TCP, the thing I found most intriguing was the use of the letter (epistolary) as a way of moving the narrative forward, along with the familiar beginning to such letters: Dear God.

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The next book club I chose to participate in requires a tad more effort as it’s in the real, as opposed to the virtual, world. Writing this comes after a five-hour round-trip, by bicycle and train, to University of Liverpool, for informal discussion on David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest (@20 (years)). A nice little link between the two books, which isn’t necessarily important but it expresses one of those “a-ha” moments where I manage to find something in the text that speaks of something else, is the similarity in voice of Celie (TCP) and Clenette (IJ), which brings on a whole conversation about the rightful (or wrongful) appropriation of dialect, and which further links with a small section in Wallace’s “Authority and Usage” essay. There certainly is plenty to think about on the forty-five minute bicycle ride home from the train station, the latter part of which involves riding down a few hundred yards of pitch-black, serial-killer kind of country lane. It’s a good job I like reading.

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