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Show and tell


Apologies for the unartistic photography of my carpet+lampstand.

  • Pictured L to R, clockwise: Receipt from buying IJ on w/ white space now taken up by the contents of very helpful page 223;
  • Copy of IJ (used, excellent condish, two bookmarks);
  • Merriam-Webster dictionary that has been used/abused since the fifth grade, first page is now the abbrev. page;
  • 2 library slips on which I write words I don’t know or don’t think will be in the M-WD (the yellow one was the holds slip from the first library copy of IJ I’d started but had to abandon in the move on page 196 and is written on both sides, white one is from the current library and can only be written on one side)
  • LOTR/Frodo themed journal I’ve had kicking around since middle school that was specifically dedicated to recording sporadic thoughts, funny quotations, persevering self-encouragement about IJ
  • I think there’s also a black Bic pen somewhere between the novel and the journal on the cream carpet.

I’d hoped to have some kind of deep thoughts recorded about IJ that I’d look back at later and feel smart or at least surprised that I knew where the novel was going. Even in such a non-linear novel I can’t shake my normal linear reader-predicter routine. Most of my entries have consisted of some form of “Jumping into IJ again. Here we go!” and then page numbers with quotations and “haha” or “Yay Mario!” scrawled next to it. I make a point of writing down at least an allusion+pg# for every section that makes me laugh aloud. I cackled today at Lenz being chased by the flaming cat. I actually felt rather guilty for thinking it was so funny, but when DFW puts it like in such academic/frank terms “…on which the alight cat ran (as alight cats will, like hell)” I can’t help myself, animal cruelty or no. For all the sadness and down-right sickening elements the novel contains, it’s important to hold onto the bright spots (of which there are many, so the danger is limited to how bogged down you let yourself become. )
It might be good to have written out all my theories on how things work in the IJ universe, but it would take too much time away from actually getting through the novel. The folks at I-S recommended to either dig deep or stay near the surface of the novel–I’m doing my fighting best to stay snorkeling since I’m sure I lack the lung capacity for the kind of deep depth to which I’d want to swim.

Now the race is to finish before school starts. Counting today, I have 23 days until school begins. If IJ gets as exciting as they say after page 600 (the rumors whisper like pages of banned books in the library storeroom), it should be no problem.

One of my friends (my boyfriend, actually, in complete disclosure) is trying to catch up to me in pg#’s since I’d leapt ahead in my non-working, non-busy summer. I daresay he’ll catch me sometime this week, which I welcome since we’ll be able to discuss “current events” rather than my constant fear of committing spoilerage or simply saying “Oh yeah, I remember that.”

Here’s to you, IJ. May we never never ever give up.

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