6759Has Anyone Actually Read Infinite Jest? | Lit Hub
Has Infinite Jest become the kind of book that people own but haven’t read? Is it like War and Peace or The Recognitions or Gravity’s Rainbow or Middlemarch or The Magic Mountain or The Man Without Qualities? Why has Infinite Jest, supposedly such an influential novel, become a paper weight, a talking point, a bench-mark of high- and low-brow intellectuality? Why has no one (or, more accurately, why does everyone think that no one) actually read the thing?

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  1. Jonathan–
    When I got your fb friend request, I was curious (had read a few of your pieces here & there) & glanced through some of these posts (I’m explaining why I’m saying this on 12/4)–and was struck by your list of “is it likes” here, which left me wondering what it says about either me or that remark that not only have a read all of these, some a few times, they’re some of my favorites, marking ecstatic moments in reading and life. Is it, really, that everyone only *thinks* no one’s read them–or that people in general don’t read much at all? Are people, really, not reading these books?
    Suddenly I feel very isolated.
    Ellen

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