Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
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 Post subject: Volvo windshield.
PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:23 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2009 8:24 pm
Posts: 7
What was written on there in condensation that caused such a mess between Avril and the Mad Stork?
Something Orin might have written post-coitally, as he's described as doing?
Or evidence of Avril's liaisons?


(praying I didn't miss something obvious)


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 Post subject: Re: Volvo windshield.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 12:22 am 
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I don't have the book in front of me, but I think I remember, early on, the narrator either stated or implied (it seemed to me) that what was written on the window was "Joelle." This is an impression that stuck with me through the end, but given that I can't remember anymore details, I may have imagined it.


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 Post subject: Re: Volvo windshield.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 1:05 am 
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That would make sense. Had Orin written her name on the windshield after Xing her in the car, Avril may have thought Himself was involved with her- even though Himself apparently had no sexual interest in Avril.
And if the creepy incesty Orin-Avril type things are in fact correct, maybe that reality of Orin with Joelle would be a smack in the face to Avril.


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 Post subject: Re: Volvo windshield.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 1:38 am 
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I'm pretty sure I remember the words 'the name of that near-eastern attache' somewhere towards the middle of the book (around the JvD episode), but I couldn't say exactly where. Anyway I'm 70% sure it was Avril writing the name of one of her affairs on the windshield and not Orin.

Remember also that Orin reports to Hal finding footprints on the windshield when he took the car out in the mornings of Y.T.M.P.


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 Post subject: Re: Volvo windshield.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:06 am 
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i'm also pretty certain that it was jim who found the name on the windshield, when he borrowed avril's car. and that orin would not say if he knew whose name it was.


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 Post subject: Re: Volvo windshield.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 1:36 pm 
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I don't have the book in front of me and am posting in a busy Monday afternoon checking the boards quickly while I have a second kind of way but I thought it was described as Orin writing the name on the windshield when he sees Avril and someone x'ing in the car and Himself sees the name when he was in the car later. For some reason and I don't recall a textual reference so maybe I'm speculating here - I thought Orin saw Avril and Marlon Bain in the car and that's the name that was written on the windshield.


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 Post subject: Re: Volvo windshield.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:53 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 20
Location: Italy
I found a first relevant passage in n.80 (tagged on p. 288)
Orin Incandenza knew that Joelle van Dyne and Dr. James O. Incandenza weren't lovers; Mrs. Avril Incandenza did not know that they weren't lovers, although by the time of Joelle's acquaintance with him Jim wasn't in a position to be lovers with anybody, neurologically speaking, though it's not clear to Joelle whether Avril even knew this, since Jim and Avril hadn't been intimate with each other, i.e. conjugally, for quite some time, though Jim hadn't known the precise reason why Avril was so sanguine about their not being intimate until the incident with the Volvo, where apparently Avril had been with someone (Orin would not say who or whether he knew who) in the Volvo and had idly — and disastrously, whether w/ unconscious intent or not — and presumably post-coitally idly written the person's first name in the steam of the steamed-up car window, which name had disappeared with the steam but had reappeared the next time the window had steamed up, which had been when James had been driving to this very brownstone, to shoot Joelle in the weird wobble-lensed maternal 'I'm-so-terribly-sorry' monologue-scene of the last thing he'd done, and then never shown her, and had ordered the cartridge's burial in the brass casket w/ him in the same testament in which he'd willed Joelle an absurd (and addiction-enabling) annuity, which Avril'd never have lowered herself to the level of contesting, but which could hardly be expected not to have solidified the appearance that they'd been lovers, Joelle and Jim.

and then, around p. 900, the wind­shield story
Orin alleged in Y.T.M.P. that when he took the Moms's car in the morning he sometimes observed the smeared prints of nude human feet on the inside of the wind­shield.

It is funny like everybody recalls quite different (and interesting) details.


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 Post subject: Re: Volvo windshield.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 6:00 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:01 pm
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Location: Mansfield, MA
Goodness. I can't imagine neat freak Avril doing the deed in the Volvo with the perspiration-drenched Marlon Bain. Marlon's correspondence with Steeply seemed to indicate that he hated Avril anyways, called her a "mind-fucker" and all, and despised how she treated her family.

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


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 Post subject: Re: Volvo windshield.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:27 pm 
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Hal mentions a Bain on pg 957 with the lists of other former paramours of Avril and I assumed it was Marlon since he was Orin's age, and because he (marlon) relays his hatred for her. Plus wouldn't the sweat add to the moisture inside the car for easy writing onto the windshield :D


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 Post subject: Re: Volvo windshield.
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 9:14 pm 
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Forgive the perversion in the following assertion, but I am almost positive what I'm about to say is right.

It was Orin. (I know, right?)

Let's look at sweat and steam imagery for a bit, shall we? Someone brought up Bain as being infamously sweaty, but isn't Orin freakishly sweaty as well? Pg.42: "He cranks the condo's AC way down at night and still most mornings wakes up soaked..." Pg. 43: "[describes state of bed after Subject...] His side of the bed is soaked."
And the roaches asphyxiating, yeah? Pg. 45: "After a couple days the glass is all steamed up and the roach has asphyxiated messlessly..." Pg. 46: "[the subject] asking what exactly is the story with the foggy inverted tumblers on the bathroom floor, commenting on his night-sweats... Even when alone, able to uncurl alone and sit slowly up and wring out the sheet..." You get the idea.

Not only is Orin's introduction awash with steam imagery, his finale is too. Pg. 971: "[this bit actually comes from before the scene were Orin is totally owned, just the sentence before the break in the page] the then-Head Trainer suffered the terrible accident that resulted in all locks being taken off E.T.A. saunas' doors and the saunas' maximum temperature being hard-wired down to no more than 50*C." Pg. 971: "The air inside the huge glass was pretty clearly limited, as well, because there was already CO2 steam on the sides." Pg. 972 (and here comes a big one): "[after kicking at the glass with his ultra-leg] There were now smeared footprints on the glass." Remember Orin finding footprints on the car some mornings in the winter? No accident Orin found it - whether DFW was simply tying Orin, steam, Avril and footprints together, or implying that Orin had been repeatedly sleeping with her, I can't say.

Also, let's not forget note 110, basically the most Oedipal portion of the entire book. Not only does Hal berate Orin for "[disowning] her - worse, sicker, tells himself he's convinced himself she doesn't even exist, as if she never existed, but by some coincidence has this rapacious fetish for young married mothers he can strategize into betraying their spouses and maybe damaging their kids for all time...", the letter-exchange between Orin and Avril, in which Avril refers to Orin (not once, but) twice as "Filbert," (1006). Sound like "an unbelievably humiliating little family pet name" (1042, n. 234), dunnit? Which Orin claims belongs to Hal, even though we see many conversations between Avril and Hal, and as far as Avril gets to a pet name is "Hallie." But the only time Avril has ever directly addressed Orin, in conversation, she has referred to him as Filbert.

Alsoo, remember Emily Dickinson? Pg 1007, n. 110: "... not every Dickinson poem is singable to 'Yellow Rose,' O." A little out-of-the-ordinary intellectual, for Orin, yeah? What could have piqued his interested in E. Dickinson, eh?* Not only is she "the canonical agoraphobic poet" (Avril=agoraphobia incarnate), but "Hal and Mario's mother had done her undergraduate Honors work at McGill on the use of hyphens, dashes, and colons in E. Dickinson" (1005, n. 110). Orin also calls from a locker-room, with its own very steamy imagery billowing up in our minds.

There's more, I think, but I'm tired and not making as much sense as maybe I should.

Oh, and Orin's response to the "Filbert" letter, (pg. 1006) has 13 (by my count) grammatical errors, clearly inserted just to piss Avril off.

*God, sorry, way too many "?"s in this thing.


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