Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
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 Post subject: DFW tattoo (contains a potential spoiler)
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:04 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:03 am
Posts: 13
Unfortunately, I’m a bit too caught up with work and raising a child and other self-assigned reading assignments along with the myriad other sorts of complications and minutia that float our days to take part in Infinite Summer. However, that hasn’t prevented me from visiting the forums and following along as you all experience (or, for some of you, re-experience) IJ for the first time – and quite frankly, I’m jealous.

I read IJ for the first time back in 96, a time in which my life was eerily similar to Mr. Don Gately’s. I won’t bore you with the details, but like Don, I was well on my way to becoming hopelessly addicted to an illicit substance, with little to no regard for my continued existence. All or most of this had to do with an (failed) attempt to self-medicate against the fickle whore that is depression – blah and blah and blah – you’ve heard it all before.

To make a long story short, and without even the slightest hint of hyperbole, IJ, or more to the point - David Foster Wallace – pretty much saved my life. It’s true, IJ became my bible, I carried it everywhere, quoted it endlessly, sang it’s praises, spent weeks and months (and now years) teasing out all its secrets, in short - I was (and still am) obsessed. Finally, I thought, here is someone who gets it – here is a person, so obviously struggling with his own demons, that truly understands what it is to be capital-h human. Reading IJ was like tapping an inner-voice that, though always there, could never really find the correct words or means to express itself. As an atheist, it was the closest I had ever come to a religious experience.

So, when I bumped up against word of David’s death, I wilted – I crawled into bed with my wife and sobbed – I just sobbed. I have never experienced such strong emotions related to the death of someone I did not personally know. I continue to well up when talk turns to Wallace.

I’ve also harbored a life long interest in tattoos/tattooing, and, at one time, gave serious consideration to becoming a tattoo artist – however, as someone who is not a big fan of needles, in addition to my fear of screwing up, thereby pretty much scarring someone for life, multiplied by my own lack of confidence with regards to my inability to not screw up, well, let’s just say I chose a different path. The quote is taken from IJ (I won’t tell you whereabouts or the context in which it appears) and the ellipses - a device Wallace often employed to express a character’s speechlessness - symbolizes my inability to fully express both my sorrow and David’s fall into silence.

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...the world's pain and its beauty moved in a relationship of diverging equity and that in this headlong deficit the blood of multitudes might ultimately be exacted for the vision of a single flower. - Cormac McCarthy


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 Post subject: Re: DFW tattoo (contains a potential spoiler)
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 1:00 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2009 5:07 pm
Posts: 19
Lovely tattoo. That too is my favourite sentence of the entire book. Such beautiful words. They make me cry.

And I too will leave it at that so as not to spoil the experience of reading those words for anyone else.


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 Post subject: Re: DFW tattoo (contains a potential spoiler)
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 2:01 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:01 pm
Posts: 82
Location: Mansfield, MA
Hugs to you, good old neon. Even thought I never knew him, I miss him too.

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"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you." DFW


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 Post subject: Re: DFW tattoo (contains a potential spoiler)
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 5:02 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:36 am
Posts: 36
I assume, since you two love it so much, you can tell me the page number that passage is on? I'm just not sure if I've read it or not yet (which is not to say it's forgettable, there's just so many beautiful sections). I'm on page 710.


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 Post subject: Re: DFW tattoo (contains a potential spoiler)
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 6:45 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2009 5:07 pm
Posts: 19
You haven't read it yet. Keep reading. I don't want to spoil it. Such a gorgeous sentence it is.


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 Post subject: Re: DFW tattoo (contains a potential spoiler)
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 8:12 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:11 am
Posts: 6
Nice timing to see this post, since I was just reading about Tiny Ewell's obsession with tattoos.


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