Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
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 Post subject: The title, and Plato's knee-jerk reaction
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:18 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:16 am
Posts: 19
How would "Infinite Jest" be translated in French? I can't help myself from translating it in a knee-jerk reflex: VASTE COMEDIE. This is dangerouslyè close to "vaste blague," something so totally absurd that no one could in their right mind take it seriously. VASTE COMEDIE swings back into something "better," something in the vicinity of serious art: tragedy, comedy, tragi-comedy. Yes, if I were translating this book, (that hasn't arrived yet) let's say: if I were reading this book in France, I'd keep the question of the title's translation front and center: VASTE COMEDIE? Perhaps that's too spatial, too extensive for something so intensive, recursive and repetitive, something so intimately related to intimate time consciousness. Perhaps the vastness of this translation would thus be tantamount to a miscomprehension. I'll haveto wait and see, and perhaps consider the variations available from out of the "chansons de geste" tradition.

Another thread for later. Wallace's novel, which at a time that is in the end "my" time (how can I say such a thing -- it's because of the incredible importance of the generational divide in everything I've been reading over the past 48 hours on our author) would have been considered an excellent example of poetry, and would thus have had to be exiled from any city or polity concerned with the well-being and spiritedness of its denizens. Plato would have gone to impossible ends to keep this book out of his ideal city. I can't possibly say so yet, but I anticipate feeling that his motives for such a gesture of radical censorship were very well-taken, and underline and buttress all of the otherwise boring discussions on meta-fiction and postmodernism. I've tried to say too much in a single sentence. Let me try again: this is a novel that Plato would have placed under his pillow, next to Aristophanes, but once up and around and minding his own business, he would have burned every copy of this book he could find.


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 Post subject: Re: The title, and Plato's knee-jerk reaction
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 8:19 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:49 pm
Posts: 17
tomcollins wrote:
...this is a novel that Plato would have placed under his pillow, next to Aristophanes, but once up and around and minding his own business, he would have burned every copy of this book he could find.


Kudos Mr T. Collins.


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