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Never Read Passively

Currently reading

The Art of Fiction: A Guide for Writers and Readers
Ayn Rand, Tore Boeckmann, Leonard Peikoff
The Name of the Rose
Umberto Eco
David Mitchell
To the Lighthouse
Virginia Woolf
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
Edward Gibbon, Daniel J. Boorstin, Gian Battista Piranesi, Hans-Friedrich Mueller
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
Douglas R. Hofstadter
Perfect Wrong Note - Learning to Trust Your Musical Self
William Westney
The Prince
Niccolò Machiavelli
The Varieties of Religious Experience
William James
Twenty Questions: An Introduction to Philosophy
G. Lee Bowie, Robert C. Solomon

The Broom of the System

The Broom of the System - David Foster Wallace The best part of the book, and by telling you this, I am not really giving anything away, at least nothing that is pertinent to the plot of the book, is that there is a man-made black sand desert in Ohio, near Caldwell, Ohio, the Great Ohio Desert, where people go wandering, hiking, hiding, resolving existential crises, sunbathing and fishing in the desert's lake. It is "a blasted region. Something to remind us of what we hewed out of. A place without malls." It is often crowded and the best time to get there is early in the morning before the crowds gather. Once you come to terms with the G.O.D.,everything else falls into place. The desert is the great jest in The Broom of the System and the existence of the desert sums up Wallace's sense of humor. You might, as you're reading, be tempted to identify with Wallace's view of the human condition that is so perfectly characterized by the G.O.D., but find your mind resistant to identifying, either for fear of where identifying with Wallace and his desert will take you, or because the strangeness of it all is simply too strange. This temptation to identify with the G.O.D. and the mental resistance to said temptation can be mentally taxing and exhausting and not something that you will find yourself wanting to put yourself through for very long periods of time. If you give in though, and allow yourself to accept the desert and what it implies, reading The Broom of the System and DFW in general can actually be, if not enjoyable, humorous and something you can appreciate very much at an intellectual and philosophical level.