Monday, January 10, 2011

A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace

I recently read the book "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again". It is written by David Foster Wallace. The only other book of essays I've read was by Bertrand Russel and I read it five years ago. So, you can see, I'm not too keen on reading essays. But this was something else. One of the best books I've read!

The essay that I loved the most, was the title essay that was published in Harper's Magazine in 1996, which is otherwise titled as "Shipping Out: On the (nearly lethal) comforts of a luxury cruise". The author is on a ship named the Nadir and is extremely bored of the "absolutely nothing" that he is doing there, that he is supposed to enjoy! It's a long essay, but it's remarkably funny. I was hooked from the start till the end!

Every thing about the word 'luxury' makes me cringe - which is one reason why this was the perfect book for me. Another is that I'm not fascinated much by the ocean; I love nature, but there is only a finite number of minutes for which I can look at endless blue water and not get bored. And I'm not into fish! I've never been on a cruise, and I really don't think I ever want to be; specially not now after reading this book!

I read about the essay somewhere, before I got my hands on the book(or my mouse...or cursor?) and there was this quote: my single biggest peeve about the Nadir: they don't even have Mr. Pibb; they foist Dr. Pepper on you with a maddeningly unapologetic shrug when any fool knows that Dr. Pepper is no substitute for Mr. Pibb, and it's an absolute god-damned travesty, or, at best, extremely dissatisfying indeed. The total randomness of this is what made me want to read the essay! And I wasn't dissatisfied at all!

For me on a list of five Supposedly Fun Things that I'll Never Do, on the fifth position will be 'going to a fancy restaurant, where you have to eat teenie portions with knives and forks'; and the remaining four positions on the list can be filled by one thing: shopping! What about you?!

9 comments:

SONIYA said...

OK: Finally, my serious comment, as requested:
I like the flow and the increasing ease of your writing...a good indicator is that the number of superfluous details / description continuously decreases, so that you are ultimately left with an elegant and compact post, which makes (almost)as much sense to the reader as it does to you!

One 'development area': Along with ease, your writing has also started to develop a 'world weariness' that is quite uncalled for...don't be too hasty in dismissing things...it's a trap that anyone who attempts to take a 'different' view of things can fall into :)

But the posts keep getting better! Be regular :)

вєѕρє¢тα¢ℓє∂_ωαи∂єяєя said...

It was a great read! makes me want to read this book, which I'll!!

and about the food part- Its teenie portions of 'pretentious' food!! :P

Priya said...

Soniya, Thanks for finally taking the effort to read my blog :) Like I said, a post about my(?) "world weariness" is already forming itself in my head, so I'll tell you when it's done :D

@вєѕρє¢тα¢ℓє∂_ωαи∂єяєя - Ah, pretentious!! That's the exact word I was looking for!! Don't you hate such places?

вєѕρє¢тα¢ℓє∂_ωαи∂єяєя said...

I hate? I don't even think about standing in front of those places, not only because of their food, but there's a hole in my pocket even if I get a glimpse of those places!! :P

p.s.- am waiting for the whole 'weariness' post too.. stalking you regularly, mind you!! :D keep it coming!

Priya said...

Haha, yep same with me! Though I hate the whole package you know..I guess the more it costs the less it is in quantity!
Ah, that post will be coming up, next or the one after! I'll definitely look forward to your comment :D

Blasphemous Aesthete said...

Perhaps, I haven't listed them down yet. But I can't say shopping would be fun for me. They say falling feels like flying and from the short heights I have fallen, I know its is blissful until we crash. So I think I would not want to jump from a height onto solid ground without a parachute. :P

Cheers,
Blasphemous Aesthete

Priya said...

Well since you probably won't live to tell if you liked it or not; yep, that seems like an 'only supposedly fun thing'!
Thanks for stopping by my blog :)

Victor Guerra said...

Your flow of thoughts seem straight from ur heart and you seem to have a good taste for literature. You sould write more.

Priya said...

Well, thank you! I'm working on that; being more regular, that is!

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