April 12th, 2011 / 4:46 pm


  1. Frank Tas
  2. jon

      my pary are with the father who lots his chrilden

  3. Frank Tas

      Apparently asking the question “Would Woody Allen use the term ‘lol’ in any Internet correspondence?” is inappropriate. Yahoo! is pretty uptight for having an exclamation point in its name.

  4. Kyle Minor

      Two t’s in Elliott.

  5. Heather Christle
  6. deadgod

      E – li – ott . . . E – T . . . E – li – ott . . . E – T.

  7. reynard

      yesterday i read that t.s. eliot rejected george orwell’s first book and today i read that he also rejected his second book and also animal farm and probably others, on behalf of faber & faber

  8. mimi
  9. M. Kitchell

      i like the idea of the decontextualized “first page” as offered to a completely “random” (to an extent) “sample.” on one hand he responses are ultimately puerile & naive & hopelessly self-indulgent/righteous, but on the other hand, it’s sort of a way to test a sort of intersection between pretense, or whatever. like, i’m sure even people who love DFW would not necessarily immediately recognize the first page (although this seems to include enough narrative details that i’d think if you had read the book you’d recognize it). so yeah, both depressing & sort of interesting as an experiment i’d say. i’d like to see more stuff “tested” like this.

  10. Trey

      the same guy has done two things by Barthelme. these things are ok for a little while for the reasons you listed (and also, ok, to get a little laugh at the answerers’ expenses) but I like them best when someone doesn’t recognize it and is still impressed, like the guy in this one who says he’d love to read more, or the girl who responds to Barthelme’s The School (not knowing it’s The School) and says, “I think this is really good. What am I saying? It’s better than ‘good.’ It’s great. … Thanks for such an awesome read at three o’ clock in the morning. On Yahoo Answers, no less.” that seems positive and happy to me, except that in this particular instance the person doesn’t tell these positive responders what they’re reading. I wonder if “Woody Allen” from the link will ever pick up a copy of IJ and realize it’s what he wanted to read.

  11. Anonymous

      shit, thanks

  12. reynard
  13. Carolyn DeCarlo


  14. who watches the watchmen?

      remarkable? all i see here is far-flung evidence of the Net’s propensity to over-inflate egos prone to intellectual sloth, give anyone who wants one a widely-accessible platform to expound at length upon anything with a presumed air of authority.

      that, or the goalposts of lit crit should be stretched to infinity to account for such random samplings of opinion–maybe not so random, perhaps just coming from whoever bothers to speak up. it’s incredibly easy to argue as invalid every Yahoo!Answers charge leveled against this first page even if each bears real, heartfelt merit.

      that said, the whole of IJ does in fact read like vonnegut…. vonnegut suffering from elephantiasis, anyway. /2ยข

  15. Tummler

      I once had a good time copy-pasting the final sentence of James Joyce’s “The Dead” to random strangers on Omegle. One person’s response was something like, “dude fuck u and ur emo bullshit poetry”

  16. Anonymous

      it’s a play on the newsweek blurb — “Truly remarkable… what weird fun Infinite Jest is to read.”

      i look forward to you calling me vague

  17. deadgod

      I posted this link recently; worth – for a laugh – a revisit (this “museum of hoaxes” site is pretty cool): http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/archive/permalink/the_steps_experiment/ .

      I’ll bet you could give me the first pages of ten literary novels that I’ve read, with the proper nouns taken out, and I’d misidentify two or three of them. – or ten famous fragments of poetry that I ‘know’.

  18. deadgod

      Mistakes, for sure. – but Eliot did edit and publish Nightwood (he bowdlerized it slightly, to evade it being censored), he published David Jones, and he blurbed All about H. Hatterr. I guess Orwell wasn’t peculiar enough for ol’ Laughing Tom.

  19. deadgod

      Mistakes, for sure. – but Eliot did edit and publish Nightwood (he bowdlerized it slightly, to evade it being censored), he published David Jones, and he blurbed All about H. Hatterr. I guess Orwell wasn’t peculiar enough for ol’ Laughing Tom.

  20. Ryan Call
  21. Ryan Call
  22. kb

      My favorite part is “faces do not resolve into place.”

      A sort of chuckle and finger wag at (Wallace) for being eluded by an eternal Truth that is perfectly clear to the subject making the comment. This is not criticism.

  23. reynard

      pretty sure it was his politics actually, i never was able to get too into nightwood i dunno why, actually i thought the language was not that interesting, but i see why it was important and yeah it was a good call, interesting though that he was willing to go one way politically, not the other, maybe he was right actually

  24. mimi

      Holy Toast!

  25. mimi

      Holy Toast!

  26. who watches the watchmen?

      hm. had no idea. guess i missed that article.

      i think ‘obscure’ is the word you’re looking for.

      nothing wrong with obscure.

      or vague.

      as long as there’s a point to employing either.

      or not.


  27. who watches the watchmen?

      i like how this commenter apparently doesn’t see the inherent contradiction in putting these two sentence right next to each other: “No discernible voice/tone in this writing. Rambling descriptions.”

      not criticism indeed. more like a recycling of instructional-sounding tropes.