Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I had picked up that "Infinite Jest" was to critics wildly well-written, and a thousand pages long. I thought, "Maybe someday, but probably not."

Then I actually picked up a copy of "Infinite Jest" by David Foster Wallace.

It is about addiction. Vividly and funnily showing what a bummer all the forms of addiction are, how ickily they go on.

Some of it is something happening right now, other parts are science fiction, not happening now.

The process of one of the science fiction part is called, by one of the character, "Those are twenty-eight people we've lost forever."

Which is what addiction is, incluing real ones now in shared reality--people go away. That person, if they don't stop is gone, gone before they die.

Hunter Thompson sort of romanticizes drug use, in a harsh way, but he wrote, in "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," about a moment his drug buddy was on many drugs and holding a gun. Thompson backed out of the hotel room because you can turn your back on a person but you can never turn your back on a drug.

The person may be in there somewhere, but the drug is, for all practical purposes, all there is.

David Foster Wallace is specific any funny and gross about how the person goes away and the drug takes over. Most of the pulled reviews, including the one on the front cover about about good writing and humor.

I think it would be ok if the front cover said something like, "It's anti-drug and knowledgable and funny." Since much anti-drug stuff is stupid and wrong. Here's a guy who knows so much about addiction that he can detail the grosses moment in many addictions and make up new addictions for the immediate future.

Really, I should say, the book is not merely anti-drug, it's anti addiction. It shows how very many different kinds of addiction there are within and without the realm of addictions that have been made of interest to law enforcers.

I've read less than a tenth of the book. He may be on the way to saying we're all addicted, with vivid examples. But if he's saying we're all addicted, he's not saying, and therefore that's okay. It's not.