Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
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 Post subject: AA=Irony Free Zone
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 6:44 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:36 pm
Posts: 42
Location: Korea
pg. 358 "How do trite things get to be trite? Why is truth usually not just un-but-anti interesting?"

pg.369 Don Gately "..Trying to concentrate on receiving the message instead of brooding on that odd dark moment of aphasiac terror."

pg.369 "The thing is it has to be the truth to really go over here....it has to be the truth, unslanted unfortified. And maximally unironic."

pg.369 "All of them remember the coyly sincere, ironic, self presenting fortification they'd had to construct in order to carry on Out There."

pg. 374 "The Why of the disease is a labrynth it is strongly suggested all AAs boycott, inhabited as the maze is by the minotaurs (Why Me? and Why not?) aka self pity and denial."

Here is where I find Truth, capital T. I remember in the commencement address he also talked about how boring, unexcited truth can be. Is it because we are so-so hyper aware of everything now that we're too busy deconstructing everything to realize to Keep It Simple? Is it because the world has for a while now shifted from the dichotomy of Good and Evil to Cool and Lame? I dunno, I'm just trying to throw stuff out there. I would love to hear what you guys think.


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 Post subject: Re: AA=Irony Free Zone
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:20 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 7:45 am
Posts: 47
Thanks for starting this discussion. I am only on page 110 but am going to give it a go today. I had to put it down for a couple of days. The first 80 pages or so hit me so hard that I started thinking that I couldn't read him - too much truth to take in one sitting or something - but he has described so many things about addiction that I had forgotton and he made me feel them again.
But - I'm going at it again today and see what I get. Hope to keep up this discussion.
I read the article written by Rolling Stone upon DFW's death. It explained a lot and gave a history of his depresson and addiction. Very helpful.


WideOpenandRed wrote:
pg. 358 "How do trite things get to be trite? Why is truth usually not just un-but-anti interesting?"

pg.369 Don Gately "..Trying to concentrate on receiving the message instead of brooding on that odd dark moment of aphasiac terror."

pg.369 "The thing is it has to be the truth to really go over here....it has to be the truth, unslanted unfortified. And maximally unironic."

pg.369 "All of them remember the coyly sincere, ironic, self presenting fortification they'd had to construct in order to carry on Out There."

pg. 374 "The Why of the disease is a labrynth it is strongly suggested all AAs boycott, inhabited as the maze is by the minotaurs (Why Me? and Why not?) aka self pity and denial."

Here is where I find Truth, capital T. I remember in the commencement address he also talked about how boring, unexcited truth can be. Is it because we are so-so hyper aware of everything now that we're too busy deconstructing everything to realize to Keep It Simple? Is it because the world has for a while now shifted from the dichotomy of Good and Evil to Cool and Lame? I dunno, I'm just trying to throw stuff out there. I would love to hear what you guys think.


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 Post subject: Re: AA=Irony Free Zone
PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:27 am 
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Posts: 4
I find it interesting that in IJ, expressions of kindness, compassion and authenticity are found mostly in the pain and suffering of AA participation, while the pursuit of pleasure (Substance use, cruelty, The Entertainment) leads straight to misery and death.

Is DFW making the argument that the pursuit of pleasure is a path to devestation, and that only the courage to reject the comfort of irony enables us to understand what is real about our lives?


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 Post subject: Re: AA=Irony Free Zone
PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:43 am 
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Posts: 10
I was reading an interview with Wallace in which he talked about the use of irony and satire. He said that they mainly serve a negative, destructive function, and that, in the case of early post-modern writers, it served a purpose - to attempt to overthrow a corrupt existing power structure. However, once that is done, people need something that is positive and constructive and irony is not of any use in that situation.

It is said that Kublai Khan was told by one of his Chinese advisors "One can conquer an empire on horseback, but one cannot govern it on horseback."


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 Post subject: Re: AA=Irony Free Zone
PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 11:41 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:36 pm
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Maybe he's trying to make us think about our how we relate to our thinking. DFW could be trying to get us to think about how addicting our thought patterns are. We get attached, tangled in knots from ideas.


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