What *is* the antonym of slurping?

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.

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11 thoughts on “What *is* the antonym of slurping?

  1. I taught Pynchon this term and it made me like Crying of Lot 49 ever so much more than I did when I read it on my own. Maybe it’s because my class ROCKED, by which I mean those students were brill and they made everything seem like so much fun.

  2. And ps: “slurp” is such a delicious word in that context! It drives me mad when my kids are slurp soup but your kind of slurp has a much nicer connotation.

  3. @ ink What a gift this almost over semester must have been, then. What great news. And I completely agree with the linguistic slurp versus the Spouse and soda slurp. Ugh. But podf did make the word take on volumes of delicious meanings for me. I heart bloggers.

  4. I looked at his blog–what a cool voice! Will have to check out more entries.

    And I heart bloggers, too. Especially you! Can’t tell you how excited I am whenever I see that you have a new post. You rock. :)

  5. You make me smile. You also read much more high-brow (aka brillant) writing than I do. One of these days I’ll go back to that, but right now I have to read to rest and relax, though I’m reading a self-help book because my BFF is making me. Shh. Don’t tell. Any ways, I slurp your blog.

  6. I love this slurp. And laughed at loud because slurp is the word my partner always has used instead of breastfeed or nurse. As in, “I think the [fussy] baby needs a slurp.” I like to think my three kids slurp me. :)

  7. @fae embrace that book. there’s no judging other people’s free reading books here at naptime writing. You could read the Best of O Magazine if you wanted, and I wouldn’t say anything. ‘Cuz you probably borrowed it from me. I read it last week during nap.
    @jen now I’m laughing out loud. that’s hilarious, both in the bfing sense and in the podf sense. Glad your kids slurp you! ;-)

  8. It seems that the antonym, like slurp, should be onomonopoetic, so I’m just going to sit here at my kitchen table making rude noises until I come up with something. I’ll let you know.

    I also slurp this blog, but I’m a little bummed about Pynchon. I picked up The Crying of Lot 49 on sale at Powell’s a couple weeks ago, I think (though can’t remember for sure) because I read about some DFW connection (with Pynchon, not specifically Lot 49). I’ll still probably give it a shot sometime soon – it’s short and not much of a commitment. We’ll see.

    Also, have you read DFW’s book on infinity? Unbelievable. He is an incredible teacher and his care for his readers is evident on every page. Sigh…

  9. @dbj I think, then, “retch” will be my stand-in antonym.
    And you’re welcome to Pynchon. I don’t think you’ll hate him. I don’t. and I see the connection in that DFW did a much better job on the conspiracy thing.
    I haven’t read the infinity book. He was a math superstar, and I love math, but I fear it’s probably out of my realm. I’ll try.
    When my DFW conference paper gets published I’ll send you a copy. I think you may be interested.

  10. Pingback: IJ quote of the day 37 « Naptime Writing

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