Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
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 Post subject: Re: Things we don't talk about
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:58 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 8:52 am
Posts: 24
I think the prescriptive thrust of Wallace's message on how to deal with the lonlieness and alienation is twofold: one is in paying attention ot and savoring the little things, like all those AA statements that seem trite but are much deeper than they seem on the surface. For me, it's those little things like enjoying a walk in the park, a conversation with a loved one - not taking that stuff for granted, those moments that may seem inconsequential.

Another path Wallace seems to perscribe revolves around Mario, I think. To me he's the most endearing and heartfelt character in the book, because despite all his deformities he's not afraid to walk around with a smile and be emotionally engaged in life (whereas everyone else in his family has sever issues with their emotions, particulary in sharing or displaying them in a meaningful way). The 2 biggest examples I can think of is at the end when mario was the only one in Boston who was not afraid of human contact with the athletic trainer posing as a homeless man. And earlier in the book, it went into the reason Mario loved madame P's show was because she talked about real things like love and heartbreak earnestly instead of ironically (when it brings up Pemulis' athiest prayer hotline joke). He seems to be the only happy one, because in a way he's simpler and not bogged down in all kinds of baggage like guarding his emotions, disguising things in irony, etc. Mario is a big key to the book from this perspective, IMO.


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 Post subject: Re: Things we don't talk about
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:28 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:36 pm
Posts: 42
Location: Korea
Thank you for your insights regarding Mario! What you say rings true. Mario is one of the (maybe the only?) genuinely content, happy characters of the book. He's beloved by everyone at the ETA, Hal deeply respects him. Mario was even able to have JOI open up to him! I shall continue thinking about Mario.....


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