Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
It is currently Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:52 am

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]


Forum rules


There are NO spoiler restrictions in this forum. Caveat emptor.



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 69 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 3, 4, 5, 6, 7  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Things that has made you LOL
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 9:44 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:42 pm
Posts: 4
Just mentioned this over in the Eschaton thread too, but, damn, so good;

Pemulis is bug-eyed with fury...and is literally jumping up and down in one spot so hard that his yachting cap jumps slightly off his head with each impact, which Troeltsch and Axford confer and agree they have previously seen occur only in animated cartoons.

pg 337


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Things that has made you LOL
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 4:25 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:19 pm
Posts: 5
w/r/t wrote:
Just mentioned this over in the Eschaton thread too, but, damn, so good;

Pemulis is bug-eyed with fury...and is literally jumping up and down in one spot so hard that his yachting cap jumps slightly off his head with each impact, which Troeltsch and Axford confer and agree they have previously seen occur only in animated cartoons.

pg 337


This sentence exemplifies perfectly my love for Wallace's style (and why I'd probably read a four page narration of Hal's bowel movement without complaint).

At the most basic level, we get an absurd, cartoonish image, perfectly suited to Pemulis' established state of mind. The image comes across crystal clear both because its described in detail, and because it reminds us of something we have seen before, in cartoons, sitcoms, etc. Then, for for fun, we get the little ironic self awareness in pointing out the images cartoonishness. But not from the author. Instead of creating an image and then immediately calling that image into question, an obnoxious practice rampant in "smart" comedy and literature, Wallace lets his characters do the winking, giving us additional ways of identifying with them, and no reason to accuse him of smugness.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Things that has made you LOL
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 8:04 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2009 7:54 pm
Posts: 11
so, so many, including lots already mentioned (in particular, feral hamsters descended from Ward & June, "something smells delicious!", the sad fate of S. Johnson -- especially the description of the remains as "a nubbin"). reading this thread, by the way, i see for the first time another of DFW's ingenious intra-linkages -- Hal (tries to) tell the U-AZ administrators that he's the type who jumps in a cab and says "the library, and step on it" -- which is perfectly true, since he did exactly that when going to research what grief counselors want to hear.

anyway, a few others:

1. JOI's original ETA motto, translated "They Can Kill You, But the Legalities of Eating You Are Quite a Bit Dicier" (p 81 & n.32)

2. the section on the old Ennet House rock-eating initiation tradition, particularly the passage: "...have the life-forms out of the corner of your eye be your only distraction from the chainsaw-racing chatter in your head, sitting there, and have some old lady with cat-hair on her nylons come at you to hug you and tell you to make a list of all the things you're grateful for today: you'll wish you had some feldspar handy, too." (p. 138)

(oh, and btw, since it starts on the next page, it occurs to me to mention that while the whole workers' comp/bucket-o-bricks story is, admittedly, humorous, it is not, in fact, a DFW original piece. It's a very old urban legend -- examples back to 1895 are known -- that has surfaced as newspaper accounts, mock workers' comp claim forms, sketch comedy routines, etc, and gained big circulation with the advent of email -- as did many urban legends, actually. see http://www.snopes.com/humor/letters/bricks.asp for the interesting history of the myth. i forget where, at the moment, but i recall thinking "that's an old urban legend, too" somewhere else in the book, maybe it will come to me or I'll come across it and add it here. Doesn't detract from the humor of that section, to me anyway, it just feels like DFW was using the background radiation of urban myth the same way he does pop cultural artifacts, advertising, literature, etc -- part of the scenery & referential meta-language dialogue with the reader.)

edit: I just remembered the other urban legend DFW incorporates in IJ -- the story of Gately's "toothbrush revenge" on the A.D.A. is another myth, although much more recent than the bucket o' bricks story (see http://www.snopes.com/racial/crime/toothbrush.asp ).

3. the story of the woman getting her artificial-heart-in-her-purse snatched & yelling "she stole my heart!" to which a duo of Boston's finest remarked "happens all the time." (pp.142-44)

4. the whole idea of this guy being President (he's English, after all...): http://www.johnnygentle.co.uk/photos_ga ... rannie.htm

5. the cocktail party chatter about the filmmaker who served gourmet food spiked with ipecac & then filmed the resulting projectile vomiting (p. 233)

6. pretty much all of the Hal/Orin phone conversation starting at p. 242, but (in addition to "smells delicious") the following in particular: (a) when O c/n name his latest "subject," Hal notes "Boy, you really put the small r in romance, don't you"; (b) H: "I think it came out generally at the funeral" O: "I keep getting your point, if you're wondering"; (c) O: "'Reconstructed the scene' as in the scene when you found him was somehow . . . deconstructed?" H: "You of all people, O. You know that was the one word he hated more than---"

... and, really, so many more, but that's what I've come up with while I'm in my second read through (perhaps I'll post again as I go through other big funnies in the coming days...)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Things that has made you LOL
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 11:34 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:31 pm
Posts: 17
I agree with many of these--but here's another recent favorite (I'm re-reading):

"E.T.A.'s staff counselor is the bird-of-prey-faced Dr. Dolores Rusk, M.S., Ph.D., and she's regarded by the kids as whatever's just slightly worse than useless. You go in there with an Issue and all she'll do is make a cage of her hands and look abstractly over the cage at you and take the last dependent clause of whatever you say and repeat it back to you with an interrogative lilt--'Possible homosexual attraction to your doubles partner?' 'Whole sense of yourself as a purposive male athlete messed with?' 'Uncontrolled boner during semis at Cleveland?' 'Drives you bats when people just parrot you instead of responding?' 'Having trouble keeping from twisting my twittery head off like a game-hen's?'--all with an expression she probably thinks looks blandly deep..." (437)

Okay I can't type anymore. But it's so funny, such a brilliant send-up of the mental health helping professionals, and also somehow sort of Christopher Durang/Nicky Silver hilarious.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Things that has made you LOL
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 2:59 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:12 pm
Posts: 3
The Man From Glad moving the mattress had me literally laughing out loud in a public place


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Things that has made you LOL
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 5:06 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 3:07 pm
Posts: 21
Lucien hears the squeak.

Quote:
Whimpering to his broom, Lucien disengages the mammoth Colt from his pants and finds that a length of black thread from the denim panel that surrounds his zipper has gotten looped around the barrel's sight-blade and comes ripping out with a long high squeak from the pants with the convulsive force of his drawing the weapon, so that his pants split open alongside the zipper and the force of his mammoth Canadian gut extends the tear all up and down the front so that the snap unsnaps and the jeans burst open and fall immediately to his ankles, puddling around his hobnail boots...forcing Lucien to take tiny undignified shuffling steps...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Things that has made you LOL
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 8:07 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 8:52 am
Posts: 24
My #1 lol moment was how he says it's a known fact sons answer the phone in the same way as their fathers did (because to me it seems true)...after that I cracked up for every "mmmmyyyyyyyyyyeeeelooow". Also the Gately farting thing was a hillarious closing to that chapter at Ennet.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Things that has made you LOL
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:50 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:50 pm
Posts: 71
Endnote 269--Bain's responses to Helen Steeply's questions--is informative about quite a bit, but I think it is really funny in Bain's phrasing: "...he erased his own cartography...", "...you have to take what Orin says in a fairly high-sodium way." But also, I love how he keeps changing Steeply's name over the course of the response...Steepley, Steeples, Starkly, Starksaddle, and even Bainbridge.

(It also contains one of my favorite lines, "Defining yourself in opposition to something is still being anaclitic on that thing," which captures, for instance, why I dislike being labeled an 'atheist' within a belief system that I do not participate in at all, one way or the other.)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Things that has made you LOL
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:27 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:49 pm
Posts: 17
pg. 844 AA Humor from the Crocodiles:

“What’s an Al-Anon Relapse?” asks Glenn K.
“It is a twinge of compassion” says Jack J., who has a kind of facial tic.
“But what is an Al-Anon Salute?” Jack J. asks back.
The three all pause, and then Jack J. puts the back of his hand to his brow and flutters his lashes martyrishly at the drop-ceiling…

Bud O. is waggling his ginger disapprovingly at Glenn J. to signify an Al-Anon Handshake…

Glenn J. gives a lengthy impression of an Al-Anon mom watching her alcoholic kid marching in some parade and getting more and more outraged at how everybody’s out of step except her kid.


Great stuff on every page.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Things that has made you LOL
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:47 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:49 pm
Posts: 7
While funny, I doubt that any of them are original. I can vouch for all except the last dating back at least to the mid-80's. (I think I'm turning into a crocodile in my old age.)


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 69 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 3, 4, 5, 6, 7  Next

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
Translated by Maël Soucaze © 2009 phpBB.fr