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The Infinite Jest Challenge: Week 10

Published in Blog Archive, Infinite Jest.

Infinite Jest David Foster Wallace

I’ve done it! I’ve read Infinite Jest. For newcomers to the blog, this is the eleventh post in a series documenting the process of completing a challenge of reading David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest while losing the approximate weight of 14,243 American one dollar bills. My intentions were to read the entire book while on a stationary bike, and then continue with a full workout after each ride, with my eyes set on reading 1085 pages and losing 31.4 pounds in 100 days. (Well, that AND the 500 or so pages of Greg Carlisle’s Elegant Complexity, “A Study of David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest“.) Stay tuned as I’ll have a final post gathered shortly.

This week’s numbers:

  • This week I read 131 pages of main text, for an average of 18.7 pages per day. (Last week’s average was 15.7.) 
  • This week I biked an average of 26.71 miles per day while reading (up from 21.89 last week), for a total of 187 miles, and 1402.44 miles overall. 
  • Last Sunday morning I weighed in at 197.4, and yesterday morning I weighed in at 192.6, for a loss of 4.8 pounds this week. Total weight loss thus far is 23.8 pounds. 

Stray observations from the week’s reading:

  • “If a halfway-attractive female so much as smiles at Don Gately as they pass on the crowded street, Don Gately, like pretty much all heterosexual drug addicts, has within a couple blocks mentally wooed, shacked up with, married, and had kids by that female, all in the future, all in his head, mentally dandling a young Gately on his mutton-joint knee while this mental Mrs. G bustles in an apron she sometimes at night provocatively wears with nothing underneath.” I have had no fewer than a dozen imaginary wives, for what it’s worth. Various friends can corroborate this story. I believe my first wive’s name was Mikaela. I’m not convinced that she ever knew who I was. (862) 
  • “Parabnormal shit.” Like double-jointed ghosts. (870) 
Infinite Jest Page 884
  • What the deuce? (884) 
Infinite Jest Page 891
  • Hold the line. (891) 
Infinite Jest Page 891
  • Come again? (891) 
  • “Getting whapped by the nearest sidewalk — as in you’re walking innocently along down a sidewalk and out of nowhere the sidewalk comes rushing up to meet you: WHAP.” I know the feeling. (904) 
  • “It was two days later he got pinched for assaulting one bouncer with the unconscious body of another bouncer.” If you’re gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough. (916) 
  • “She was a sort of sexual papoose.” (924) 
  • “The brutal questions are the ones that force you to lie.” Aren’t they though. (954) 
  • “He said he’d personally prefer that Orin wait until he’d found someone he loved enough to want to have sex with and had had sex with this person, that he’d wait until he’d experienced for himself what a profound and really quite moving thing sex could be, before he watched a film where sex was presented as nothing more than organs going in and out of other organs, emotionless, terribly lonely. He said he supposed he was afraid that something like The Green Door would give Orin an impoverished, lonely idea of sexuality.” (956) 
  • “Transvestals.” (977) 
  • “[It] was past cruel, it was somehow sadistic-seeming, like drilling a peephole in the wall of a handicapped bathroom.” That does seem cruel. (978/979) 
Infinite Jest Challenge Data

Pages Read: Monday 21, Tuesday 20, Wednesday 20, Thursday 20, Friday 20, Saturday 20, Sunday 10.

Infinite Jest Challenge Data

Miles on Bike: Monday 26.89, Tuesday 24.14, Wednesday 28.61, Thursday 29.37, Friday 28.57, Saturday 32.69, Sunday 16.73.

Infinite Jest Challenge Data

Calories Burned (Reading on Bike/Other Cardio): Monday 814/350, Tuesday 722/257, Wednesday 848/200, Thursday 879/0, Friday 817/0, Saturday 924/0, Sunday 444/745.

Infinite Jest Challenge Data

Weight: Monday 193.6, Tuesday 191.4, Wednesday 192.6, Thursday 193, Friday 191.6, Saturday 194.4, Sunday 192.6.