Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
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 Post subject: Things we don't talk about
PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 7:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:36 pm
Posts: 42
Location: Korea
One of the arching themes in this book is loneliness and how the characters deal with it. I cannot help but think that the only characters that deal with it openingly are those in AA. They have been broken down, they're vulnerable and defenseless. Mario notes as he is walking around, how his fellow E.T.As deal with the taboo by rolling their eyes or being sarcastic. We can take irony to infinite levels without having to expose vulnerable sides. This might be too personal of a question, but how do you deal with the ups and downs with being human? I am really taken with AA characters with the book with exception being Randy Lenz and his ways to find there.

I know that I have recently started practicing Buddhism and have found some passages that really connect with it in here. Living in the present. Living as if each breath is your last. Making eye contact with a stranger is just a small thing you can do to reaffirm your own and the other persons humaness.


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 Post subject: Re: Things we don't talk about
PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 5:35 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:01 pm
Posts: 82
Location: Mansfield, MA
Seriously, how sad and messed up is the Incandenza family? Generations of selfish, domineering, controlling women disguised as loving "motherly" concern, and lines of men destroyed by impossible expectations and goals foisted upon them by weak, alcoholic fathers who continuously lay blame and tear away at their self-esteem in such a passive aggressive manner?

And no one talks about how fucked up everything is. Everyone enables everyone else's bad behavior. That Thanksgiving dinner scene on p. 744 was one of the saddest things I ever read. :(

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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: Things we don't talk about
PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:36 am
Posts: 36
WideOpenandRed wrote:
This might be too personal of a question, but how do you deal with the ups and downs with being human?

I'll let you know when I get there.


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 Post subject: Re: Things we don't talk about
PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:29 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2009 1:10 pm
Posts: 28
but how do you deal with the ups and downs with being human?

I have to say my internal weather beats me up pretty bad. I cope
like I have never ever had a bad day before and I'm convinced it will be there
forever..
A bit like Kate Gompert..that's how I feel about my downs..
the ups are no problem


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 Post subject: Re: Things we don't talk about
PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:02 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:36 pm
Posts: 42
Location: Korea
I need to be mindful of everyone I have interacted with. I need to remind, remind, remind myself of others right for happiness and that cliches/truth, do tend to be bland and uneventful. Much like the ETAs routine, repetition seems to reinforce behavior, now if we do it with mindfulness, then we will be golden. It's easy to slip into our head and eventually live there on a full time basis. Meditation helps me atleast, breathing in the universe grounds me. Bowing for Buddha reminds me that I am only a tiny ant on this place.

Holy crap, rainy season has approached with a vengence here in Korea :shock:


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 Post subject: Re: Things we don't talk about
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:23 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 8:10 am
Posts: 11
Great thread and I'll have more to say tomorrow.

WideopenandRed: Re: Buddhism ... I presume you've read This is Water. If not, I can send you a copy in the form of a commencement speech David delivered at Kenyon (you've likely read it, it was all over the web right after he died.)

I think David was working toward mindfulness, it seems paradoxical considering the storm that is IJ, however looked at another way, READ another way it becomes, as you say, golden.


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 Post subject: Re: Things we don't talk about
PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2009 1:00 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:36 pm
Posts: 42
Location: Korea
thisiswater: I have read his commencement speech. It's the reason I got into DFW in the first place.

How ironic is it that I am typing this at a Temple stay. The internet is everywhere these days!


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 Post subject: Re: Things we don't talk about
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:31 pm
Posts: 17
This is so so lovely, as a thread. So, thanks.

I think Buddhism/meditation/mindfulness is excellent. I think another way, maybe, is to read and write--for me, that always helps with loneliness. To consider the way that other people experience the world. To love. It is hard not to talk about this without resorting to cliches, or words/ideas that have become "trite" or cliche.

Thanks again, really.


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 Post subject: Re: Things we don't talk about
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 12:27 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:36 pm
Posts: 42
Location: Korea
Not a problem! I remember DFW mentioned this, as does JOI in the book, that Truth (with a capital T) tends to be unexciting and bland. If it was exciting and mindblowing, we wouldn't have to search. To use a cliche, which I wholeheartedly embrace, the chase is better than the kill.


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 Post subject: Re: Things we don't talk about
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:08 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:52 am
Posts: 21
Thanks for this thread.

I think I just try to stick to worshiping something healthy, for me Orthodox Christianity because I grew up with it, sort of, and I know enough about it, and it works better than if I were on my own.

And trying to keep my soul clean, as my mom says. Soul, mind, you know what I mean. Trying not to Entertain 'those' thoughts; Let Them Go as Wallace said in IJ.


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