This Is What Happens When You Read “Infinite Jest” For The First Time

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been personally victimized by David Foster Wallace?

1. You feel like such a hipster whenever you see the book taking up a ton of space on your bookshelf.

Fox / Via hercampus.com

2. But you decide that if you really want to call yourself cultured, you should probably quit using it as a doorstop and read the thing.

Fox / Via giphy.com

Can’t be that bad, right?

3. As you read, you laugh out loud, cringe in horror, and feel completely lost, all within the same sentence.

Morgan Creek Productions / Via giphy.com

All. The. Time.

4. But you still take the book everywhere you go.

Nickelodeon / Via giphy.com

5. People laugh at you while you try to read it on the treadmill.

GIFBIN / Via rack.0.mshcdn.com

“No, I’m not going to lift weights with this later.”

6. You keep a dictionary handy to look up all the words you don’t know. There are a lot. :(

ACT III Communications / Via tumblr.com

7. You decide that looking up words takes too much time/energy/fucks you don’t have, so you stop.

Tumblr / Via giphy.com

8. You have no idea what anything is supposed to mean.

HBO / Via media.giphy.com

9. So you decide that everything is super important.

NBC / CityTv / Via gifrific.com

10. You go from lovingly cradling the book like your first born child to threatening to hurl it into an active volcano.

NBC / Via p.gr-assets.com

11. But you keep reading anyway.

Warner Bros. / Via wordpress.com

12. You start to question your intelligence.

Fox / Via fanaru.com

13. You laugh at the thought of anyone choosing not to read the footnotes.

Warner Bros. / Via giphy.com

THERE’S SO MUCH YOU DON’T KNOW.

14. You can’t decide if you absolutely love or hate the existence of said footnotes.

Both. Definitely both.

15. You can’t interact with anyone unless it’s to talk about Infinite Jest. Everything else is irrelevant.

Warner Bros. / Via tumblr.com

16. When people ask you to explain the book, you tell them it’s impossible.

Tumblr / Via giphy.com
Amanda Goodwin

18. But when you do try to explain it, most of the time all you can manage is, “it’s so meta.”

Inception? Child’s play.

19. People think you’re really pretentious.

NBC / Via giphy.com

20. So you stay at home reading for hours on end, and forget to feed your cat.

BBC / Via giphy.com

21. It takes you an hour to read 10 pages.

Nope. It’s The Joke.

22. So you reward yourself with frequent breaks.

23. Then you decide to stop taking so many breaks because not reading means wasted brain cells and self-loathing.

24. As soon as you understand a reference, all of your faith in the book is restored.

NBC / Via giphy.com

YAAASS.

25. The book confuses you again.

NBC / CityTv / Via tumblr.com

DAMN it.

26. You resist the urge to look up spoilers because it’d feel like cheating on a S.O.

27. When your S.O. (or your cat) gets mad at you for spending all of your time reading, you get really impatient.

NBC / Via allgeektome.net

“THIS BOOK IS MY LIFE NOW. “

28. You either don’t sleep at night or go to bed at 4 a.m. because your body hates you.

Tumblr / Via rack.0.mshcdn.com

29. When you do sleep, you dream about the plot.

Fox / Via wordpress.com

30. You start to confuse real life, the plot of the book, and your dreams about the plot of the book.

CBS / Via tumblr.com

Sanity gone.

31. You have about three mental breakdowns ending in you making crying noises, laughing for no reason, screaming into the book ready to give your eyes paper cuts, or catatonically staring into nothingness.

NBC / Via giphy.com

Not to mention at least one HUGE existential crisis.

32. You just really want to cry.

Apatow Productions / Via giphy.com

33. You do not have the energy to cry.

Fox / Via giphy.com

34. You feel so isolated, exhausted, and hopeless but you also hate the idea of being around other people.

NBC / Via giphy.com

35. You can’t really articulate anything.

SNL Studios / Via blogger.com

36. So you internalize everything and drink yourself into emotional numbness.

Fox / Via tumblr.com

“If the high was worth the paaaiiiiin.”

IS IT, TAYLOR?! IS IT?

37. When that doesn’t work, you write a Buzzfeed article about it.

Spyglass Entertainment / Via giphy.com

Meta is love. Meta is life.

38. But when you discover that someone you know has read Infinite Jest too you FREAK OUT.

Tumblr / Via giphy.com

“OMG we should start a support group or something!!”

39. You question the purpose and meaning of LITERALLY EVERYTHING.

AMC / Via pinterest.com

Yeah, bitch!

40. You start to panic when you realize you have less than 100 pages left.

The WB / Via giphy.com

41. You come up with all sorts of theories about the ending.

History Channel / Via giphy.com

CONSPIRACY, I TELL YOU!

42. And the urge to Google it is SO STRONG.

CBS / Via tumblr.com

BUT you resist.

43. Then you finally get to the end.

What the actual fuck.

44. You decide you need a drink.

Fox / Via tumblr.com

Or 5.

45. But then the more you think about it, the more you realize how profoundly genius it actually is.

Warner Bros. / Via mrwgifs.com

46. And but so in spite of all the agony and frustration, you know one thing for sure.

NBC / Via tumblr.com

47. And nothing was the same after that.

OVO Sound / Via tumblr.com

Check out more articles on BuzzFeed.com!

This post was created by a member of BuzzFeed Community, where anyone can post awesome lists and creations. Learn more or post your buzz!

 
  Your Reaction?
  REACT WITH GIF
 

    Starting soon, you'll only be able to post a comment on BuzzFeed using a Facebook account or via our app. If you have questions or thoughts, email us here.

    Contributions

    Now Buzzing