The response to the Infinite Jest Deathmarch so far has been heartening, with lots of folks coming out of the woodwork to say, yes, I would like to commit the next ~20 weeks of my life to a cage match with one of the more notorious Big Books of our day. History tells us that not all of you will be there at the finish line, but I prefer to practice Positive Visualization and say that – to quote Funkadelic – everybody’s going to make it this time.

As a little warm-up before the official start next Friday, I’d like to invite you to read and comment on the introduction by Dave Eggers that appears in the edition most of us will be reading (you can also read it here). I admit to complicated feelings every time I see the name “Dave Eggers.” I used to know him, briefly, and have been somewhat nonplussed to watch him become the one writer of my generation who the average person could name. Not displeased exactly – I can’t say he doesn’t deserve it, because he is a talented and hard-working guy – but the schadenfreude, it is always lurking….

In any case, he knocked it out of the park with this intro. Reading it got me fired up about reading Infinite Jest and also somewhat comforted my fears that my long-suffering brain would not be up to the challenge.

Note that commenting this week is strictly voluntary, and not doing so will not count against you in terms of the Grand PoobahTM status one attains by commenting every week of a March. Now have at it.