IJ quote of the day 30

Hey, looky. We’re at post 30, and page 450ish. We’re just trucking along, aren’t we? And by we, I mean me, because I don’t think there’s a single Infinite Summer reader out there checking my whiny-ass blog for quotes.

Nevertheless, here you go, of legions of followers who aren’t reading David Foster Wallace’s book and don’t care:

Page 445 Bob Death, the South Shore biker, wields the joke about the old fish: “this wise old whiskery fish swims up to three young fish and goes, ‘Morning boys, how’s the water?’ and swims away; and the three young fish watch him swim away and look at each other and go, ‘what the fuck is water?'”

This, of course, is the zen proverb (though the profanity might not be standard proverb text; not sure) Wallace uses in his Kenyon speech, the one reproduced now as a book, This is Water. This quote made me cry, again, about this sweet, thoughtful man and his intense pain. He seemed so aware, I find in each page of Infinite Jest, of intense human suffering. I hope to heavens it wasn’t his water.

4 thoughts on “IJ quote of the day 30

  1. I’m checking your whiny-ass blog for quotes and I’ve been enjoying what you pull.

    I finished my second read of IJ last spring though. I’ve been following Infinite Summer and a couple other InfSum blogs anyway because my read was recent enough.

    Keep it up, the book’s going downhill now. In terms of speed and events for the characters, not in terms of quality.

    Congratulations on the impending THAT. As the father of a 2.5-yo boy, I’ve also appreciated the Peanut tales.

    • Thanks, Trevor. This is a reread for me of Infinite Jest, and I appreciate how it’s picking up. I’m a bit ahead of the Infinite Summer crowd, as Peanut had a fever last week and I shot ahead of my barely-keeping-up pace. Gately just drove past a certain Central Square establishment that figures in many future scenes. And last night I avoided reading the Allston scene that still gives me nightmares, twelve years after my first read.
      2.5, eh? Oh, man. Oooooooh, man. Good luck with that. ;-)

  2. I read these too. It’s just so far out of my league that I don’t know what to say.
    But I strived to write a short story about a water nymph from her point of view and wondered if she knew what water was, so I like this quote. I need to think mo-
    Oooh, shiny penny.

    • LOL
      And if it’s not a shiny penny pulling you away from your deep thoughts, it’s “ah, one of the kids just threw up/hit someone/colored the cat/screamed something incoherent.”

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