June 23, 2008

Brief Moments of Clarity, Many Moments of Fuzz

I've read David Foster Wallace plenty. Probably more than six-hundred pages plenty. That's not a lot compared to what I've read of, say, Coupland or Vonnegut, but it's still a couple of books worth. ANYWAY. I've read about half of Brief Interviews with Hideous Men and I've got to be honest with you - I either don't get it or it's just too out there for my liking. I kind of feel the same way about seeing a David Lynch movie (who Wallace writes an INCREDIBLE essay on in another book). Some of the short stories are completely readable and intelligent and hilarious (in a twisted sort of way) and some of the others, well, are kind of like this:

"The fuzzy Hensonian epiclete Ovid the Obtuse, syndicated chronicler of trans-human entertainment exchange in low-cost organs across the land, mythologizes the origins of the ghoslty double that always shadows human figures on UHF broadcast bands thus:"
-- Brief Interviews, 235

And that little ditty is the opener for a story called "Tri-Stan: Sold Sissee Nar To Ecko." Critics think he's brilliant, writers say he is breaking new ground in literature. And while I generally agree, some of the work here is for the few. For something more accessible to the many, check out his essay on going on a cruise. It's called, "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again" - which is one of many essays in his book of the same title.

So all this to say, I'm going to mark that I've read this book and I'm going to give it a 4/10, but I've really only read about half of it.


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