Saturday, April 16, 2011

Dissing the Hipster...

..continues.  Clipping a hipster is now as easy as those fish in a barrel we always hear about.  Just a pause here...has anyone ever seen live fish in a barrel?

Seems that David Foster Wallace is getting a bad reputation and unfortunately he is no longer amongst us  to defend himself thanks to the Hipster element.  Boston's Phoenix fills in the facts.   People Holding "Infinite Jest" provides photos and comments a la The Unhappy Hipster (h/t to Michael @ Execupundit for cluing me in the latter hilariously quippy site).

This post all started thanks to a tip from the Somerville Scout.

..so, if you're a DFW fan ( I confess...his verbal theatrics are a wonder), you may be wanting to read your Pale King at home or, if in public, wrap it in Kraft paper or discarded IRS forms.

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Comments:
So far as I'm concerned, Geoff Dyer neatly sums up my own attitude towards the work of DFW: "I have always felt well disposed towards ... I liked the idea of ... But I am allergic to his writing." I certainly don't have any animosity toward readers who enjoy DFW's shtick. In fact, I'm a little disappointed that DFW is now the singular hallmark for current day hipsters. Doesn't reading Kierkegaard in the pub count for anything anymore?
 
In that Geoff Dyer piece, he also writes about Bruce Chatwin, another one of those "Must Read Genius" authors that tragically died at a young age. I agree with you about Dyer's take on DFW completely. Dyer sums it up perfectly when he was riffing on DFW's tennis writing and notes that "He is the least Federer-like writer imaginable". Economy of scale is not his metier, for sure.
...but still his writing is tempting. It's the dessert that you know will kill you. My reading experience is solely with this short stories; I've got to get into mental and physical weight-training if I were to tackle his door-stop books.

Kierkegaard? Was anyone ever taken but as a twit if seen reading "Fear & Trembling" while quaffing a brew?
 
Guilty as charged: "seen as" because I very much was.

I've certainly been tempted to take a stab at the Infinite Summer exercise. Back in '09 I even went so far as to heft that sucker off the bookstore's shelf and give it 10 minutes' consideration. Then I looked around at some of the other massive texts I hadn't yet managed to finish: War & Peace, The Red & The Black to name just two.

In the end I couldn't bring myself to actually purchase the thing, though I'd sooner take a shot at IJ than I would the posthumous pub, simply because it does sound as if DFW didn't just restrain "boredom" to the subject of discussion.
 
Ha!
Long long ago when summers, lugubriousness, & indolence were all possible thanks to the concept of "Having Summers Off", I cheerfully dove into "War & Peace" and Stendahl's book and thoroughly enjoyed myself (or at least as much as a teenager in alleged deep thought can admit to). Loved "The Red and The Black" so much I even started his "The Charterhouse of Parma". If I recall, I dumped that for something more fun, most probably one of Vonnegut's books (which seemed to spring up like dandelions in those days).

Speaking of Stendahl, have you ever come across Stendahl's Syndrome? What a fabulous tag for a condition most of us have been afflicted with at one time or another.
 
That actually sounds like what I get after a late night of surfing the web. "There's too much! Too much!"
 
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