Having whipped through This Is Water in about 45 minutes last Sunday afternoon, I am ready to move on to my next selection. Tonight I begin reading Consider the Lobster. How did I choose this collection of essays for my next subject? It was a rather simple procedure that happened like this:
I own three of DFW’s books: Consider the Lobster, A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, and Infinite Jest. I lent CTL and ASFTINDA to a friend to read. See, he and I and another friend had formed a writers’ group to help each other improve our craft. Since I was often referencing DFW in our discussions, and I have tried to model some of my essays after his style, and since neither of the others had really heard of DFW, I lent my friend the books so he could understand what I was talking about.
I then asked for one of the books back (I said it didn’t matter which one) so I could continue my reading for the “Letters” project without having to go to the library or bookstore.
I went by his office yesterday morning to pick up the book. He asked which one I wanted; I said it didn’t matter. So we left it up to chance. He put the books behind his back and shuffled them around and I chose whatever book was it his right hand.
It was Consider the Lobster.