Saturday I marked the 1 year aniversary of David Foster Wallace‘s death by working on my novel and beginning, yet again, the author’s fist book, the novel Broom of the System. This was the 6th or 7th time attempting to read it through. In the past I never got more than 100 or so pages into it. Not sure exactly why. Unlike Infinite Jest it is not incredible dense, although it has a wonderfully dynamic plot, not to mention impressive wordplay and humor, which has become all the more apparent to me this time around; for some reason I seem to have found the groove the story. This happens to me a lot with book. I’ll start them and not be able to get into them only to return later to readily devour them. Of course, in most cases I don’t usually return a half a dozen times or more. DFW is a different case, though. Even though in the past I wasn’t quite getting what I was reading my instinct told me that this was work that was worth coming back to as many times as necessary until I finally got it, which seems to be the case this time.
Reading the book Understanding David Foster Wallace, a critical review of his work up to Infinite Jest, I think helped a lot. No doubt now there will be more books on his work to come. Also, his unfinished novel, The Pale King, is due to be released in 2010.
In any case, perhaps once I get Broom under my reading belt I can finally attempt IJ. Got about 400 page into it this summer before dropping out. But that was my first serious attempt at the monolithic novel. I’ll be back.