Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
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 Post subject: Narrative trajectory
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 10:53 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 5:27 pm
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HI all reading ahead! I have a question/topic to discuss. When Don Gately is driving to the crosstown grocery to get veg for the newbies, did you notice how as he's driving the narrator describes where the car is going, describes the buildings it passes, and then the narration actually goes into the Antitoi Bros storefront? This was crazy (the scene with the AFR, yes, but also the narrative tool of the car driving through town to change the scene to something we need to witness. Mastery of narration, I think , but also, what the eFF? How can any narrator do this- be in Don's head, be outside of Don's head, and then just lead us somewhere else? I felt like I was superman flying over the city, listening in on bits and pieces and then landing when I sensed danger. Anyone have any thoughts on this, and other narrative ploys?


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 Post subject: Re: Narrative trajectory
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:58 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 1:11 pm
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I'm still trying to wrap my head around not just his talent at doing just that, but his apparant intention to make this weird fluctuating narrator status into a "thing." Sometimes Hal is clearly the narrator. Sometimes we get a good old omniscient narrator. Sometimes the narrator is abstract but clearly focusing on the internal goings-on of one character, which might be a major character,such as in most of the Gately or Joelle sections, or a minor one, such as when the engineer of the Madame Psychosis show is our viewpoint for that section. And, Spoiler! "in a move that probably becomes most obvious in this week's reading during the Eschaton section, even the endnotes seem to start to drift between omniscent and personal narration." A truly tricky thing to pull off.


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 Post subject: Re: Narrative trajectory
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 12:00 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 5:27 pm
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I Know! And I have finished,Spoiler! "" and I can tell you that when the narrator makes it's first person self known again, it is a shocking voice. I mean, I was shocked when I read what I was reading. Because I wasn't used to hearing someone say "I", and "me", and... the first person was then remarkably a foreign voice. So is that why DFW chooses a diff. style throughout? hmm.


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 Post subject: Re: Narrative trajectory
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:22 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:49 pm
Posts: 17
doubtful geste wrote:
I'm still trying to wrap my head around not just his talent at doing just that, but his apparant intention to make this weird fluctuating narrator status into a "thing." Sometimes Hal is clearly the narrator. Sometimes we get a good old omniscient narrator. Sometimes the narrator is abstract but clearly focusing on the internal goings-on of one character, which might be a major character,such as in most of the Gately or Joelle sections, or a minor one, such as when the engineer of the Madame Psychosis show is our viewpoint for that section. And, Spoiler! "in a move that probably becomes most obvious in this week's reading during the Eschaton section, even the endnotes seem to start to drift between omniscent and personal narration." A truly tricky thing to pull off.


Someone mentioned something in another thread and I've been trying to find the reference, but can't. But the flying "good old omniscient narrator" in this section suddenly says to the side (pg 476), Spoiler! "" "Has anybody mentioned Gately's head is square?"

This one sentence has been haunting me ever since.

To which others is this good old omniscient narrator speaking to? Are there a group of good old omniscient narrators sitting around in the clouds at an omniscient narrator's AA meeting talking to one another, or is this narrator we as readers are now becoming fond of returning to, almost depending on for clarity and order, one of the characters in the story?

mm


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