Monday, September 27, 2010

Infinite Jest

I've been reading Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace for some time now. Months really. It's the second time I've started it. I'm only 219 pages in. There's a good 981 pages total. Plus a good 100 pages of footnotes.

Anyhow, I was back on page 199 a few days ago. It's really taken me that long to understand the significance of a throwaway conversation he just kind of threw in to the background of one of many threads within this story. It's a perfect argument/anology for just kind of getting off your ass and doing something without fearing failure. Accepting failure. To somewhat paraphrase.

"Suppose I were to give you a key ring with ten keys. With, no, with a hundred keys, and I were to tell you that one of these keys will unlock it, this door we're imagining opening in onto all you want to be, as a player. How many of the keys would you be willing to try?"

"Well I'd try every darn one."

" Then you are willing to make mistakes, you see. You are saying you will accept 99% error. The paralyzed perfectionist you say you are would stand there before that door. Jingling the keys. Afraid to try the first key."

How perfect is that?

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