You know, poor old dirt farmer introduced me to the concept of slurping, (to paraphrase inarticulately, to slurp is to fall to one’s knees in empathetic emotive gaga-ness while digging something (usually art). As in, I slurp Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace. Or I slurp Counting Crows’s Recovering the Satellites. Different than the herkies, and much more like something dripping into your soul.
So now I need a colloquial antonym. it can’t be spit, because we don’t tolerate spitting in this house. The opposite of slurp isn’t regurgitate, though hurl, as in both fling and emesis, is a frontrunner. But I need to think of the counter-term for slurping because I have decided to go public with my dislike of Thomas Pynchon novels.
In an old post I discussed the ten books other people love that I loathe . It was a blog meme, it brought me good traffic, I wish it had been twenty books so I could throw in The Notebook and The Da Vinci Code and all such schlock. The meme reminded me of my new, mid-life willingness to put down a book I don’t enjoy and never come back. But that list was for really nauseating texts, and my two decade resistance to Pynchon is now just a great big “I don’t care enough because I’m just not that into you.” I know he is important for postmodernism. But Wallace has done it better, without the Boomer narcissism wash that leaves self-absorbing goo all over your fingers when you’re done.
So I give up. I’ve reread the The Crying of Lot 49 this week and got a third of the way into V, and I just don’t care anymore. It was hard enough to force myself through the second half of Crying, but I was in Iowa and finished my other two books. I can’t bear to finish V. And life’s too short.
So I’m on to Why Your Child is Smart, a compelling look at why our education system crushes the love of learning in really bright creatures (small children) and how to fix that by rethinking what they need (hit: not to simply be controlled, as is currently the goal) and then I’m going to loll around in A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again. I was so intensely in love with Inifinite Jest that it made me want a PhD in lit. I was so brought back into the world of the living and thinking and feeling and aching with Consider the Lobster that I can’t bear to wait to read the few remaining Wallace texts I haven’t yet fawned over. So after a brief read on what’s important for my current job, I’ll read another text that will jack me all up with hope for my former and future job in academia. Which will, hopefully not involve teaching Pynchon.