I picked up these four books recently, since I'm uncultured and trust places like 4chan to help me out with that kind of thing. Should I read these in order of publication date, or a different order? Bear in mind that I'm a fairly slow reader, so any one of them will be an undertaking.
Have you read a lot before this? If you haven't read a lot of "literature," these are probably not the best places to start.
Infinite Jest is probably the easiest to understand of the 3. Ideally you read them in order of publication.
I've not read House of Leaves so no comment there.
If you are an absolute newfag and only selected these books because of the memes, then I doubt you will get much out of them. If you want to dive right into a doorstopper then you'd have been better off with something like Crime and Punishment, War and Peace, Les Misérables or Don Quixote. They are more straightforward and flat-out better desu
House of Leaves is a pretty easy read but isn't very good
Infinite Jest is slightly more hard but is really good
haven't read the other two. don't know why a "slow reader" thinks it's a smart idea to read a one-thousand page book that probably takes 50+ hours to read, but w/e
OP here, I'm not exactly a newfag except when it comes to actually having read pinnacle books like this. I have a lot of lit-inclinations, read and write a lot of essays, dabble in philosophy (i.e. follow links and laugh at shitposts on this board), but want to get into longer-form works. I figured these would be good places to start.
>Don Quixote is on my list but I need to beef up my spanish and tackle a few more contemporary works before diving into that one
>feel free to laugh, but pic related is the only true long-form book I've read all the way through
well hey senpai, if you can at least wade through hofstatdter levels of wankery, you might make it.
also look for a good english translation of don quixote. Or just read tristram shandy.
You always get an introduction. Notes are generally there, but often minimal. The only notes in A Letter Concerning Toleration refer to whatever Bible passage that Locke is drawing from.
However, some editions have extensive notes and commentary, such as the Hackett edition of Hobbes's Leviathan, which is the only edition of Leviathan that I would recommend.
So a general rule for Hackett is that the less pages in a work, the less notes, whereas the larger works could have very many notes.
Many of the philosophy books that I own are from Hackett publishing and I think they're a good publisher.
>the Hackett edition of Hobbes's Leviathan, which is the only edition of Leviathan that I would recommend.
The Oxford World's Classics one is also good. Nice paper, nice binding, nice introduction and critical apparatus.
>House of Leaves
good entry level stuff, contrived but an interesting narrative, read it first.
little more difficult but accessible to anyone of any background read it next
fairly difficult if the other high-lit type things you've read are the above but manageable for anyone as well, never it's really not daunting
never read it, don't think I'm enough of an asshole yet to read it, so I can't say anything about it other then you should probably wait, and start with the greeks
I read it over the course of my last two years of high school. He posits a few things about computers that are pretty irrelevant today, but most of the first ~700pages aren't concerned with that. There are long stretches of dry parts, but at that age, having not read any other lit, the book was mindblowing and literally changed my worldview. Now, I'm not sure that it would have the same effect. That's not to say it isn't just as clever, or smug, or interesting in the sense of combining sentiments and knowledge from different fields, though.
My recommendation, if the length is intimidating: Read the first one or two chapters entirely, the dialogues (the short italicized chapters in between all of the meaty ones), all of the rest of the chapter introductions, and then critical analyses of the book that you find online.
House of Leaves is a pleb book for patrishes. So read it before your taste gets too good, but also don't read it until you're up on a few references; so I'd say:
Infinite Jest -> House of Leaves -> Gravity's Rainbow -> Ulysses
Is learning languages just to read books in them a meme? It takes years to become proficient at a new language. I have to think most people, especially monoglots getting a late start on language acquisition could scarcely come up with a better interpretation of the text than any of the academics who translated it did. Should this be done with all languages? Should someone learn Dutch, for instance to read a book by a dutch author?
this is a good path. I'd probably say start with HoL though.
Alternately, you could read a more entry level work by the same authour as a gateway to the harder books. For example, try Lot 49 before reading GR, Dubliners before reading Ulysses
I read Crying of Lot 49 not too long ago and fucking loved it, which is why I was excited to get GR. But I'm also in the process of getting through a lot of DFW essays, so if IJ is more accessible that might be a better place for me to start.