Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
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 Post subject: Re: Have you finished yet? Because I have and I need to chat!
PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 9:36 am 
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I think their reaction is more consistent with him being sped up

Textual evidence! This is what I was lacking...but I agree with your take. After I wrote that I thought he was slowed down, I thought more about it and him being sped up makes a whole lot more sense. The thing that I wonder (and this is why I need to read the whole book again) - is..is Hal seeing other people move very slowly?


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 Post subject: Re: Have you finished yet? Because I have and I need to chat!
PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 12:04 pm 
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Fascinating stuff here. I wonder if the same concept might apply to the objects that start moving around at ETA - i.e., the theory that all matter is constantly vibrating, but inanimate objects are vibrating at a much slower rate. Could someone/something be making those objects vibrate more rapidly?


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 Post subject: Re: Have you finished yet? Because I have and I need to chat!
PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 12:10 pm 
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Location: Mansfield, MA
Ok, ok, I know a lot of people have jumped off the DMZ bandwagon as a possible cause of whatever happened to Hal, but these last few posts brought me back to p. 170 and the description of DMZ's effects, as researched by the Peemster:

"...DMZ resembling chemically some miscegenation of a lysergic with a muscimoloid, but significantly different from LSD-25 in that its effects are less visual and spatially-cerebral and more like temporally-cerebral and almost ontological, with some sort of manipulated-phenylkylamine-like speediness whereby the ingester perceives his relation to the ordinary flow of time as radically (and euphorically, is where the muscimole-affective resemblance shows its head) altered."

Ontological = having to do with being or existence, as in "I am in here"?

And now from p. 996, endnote 57:

"...quote from an Italian lithographer who'd ingested DMZ once and made a lithograph comparing himself on DMZ to a piece of like Futurist sculpture, plowing at high knottage through time itself, kinetic even in stasis, plowing temporally ahead, with time coming off him like water in sprays and wakes."

Could all be a red herring, but considering what we've been discussing, I thought I'd bring it up.

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


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 Post subject: Re: Have you finished yet? Because I have and I need to chat!
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:33 am 
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Could all be a red herring, but considering what we've been discussing, I thought I'd bring it up.

I doubt it's a red herring - I'm sure DFW did this on purpose to lend arguments to the "Hal took DMZ" argument which I don't know if anyone can truly debunk. It would also work if the mold metastasized (?) into DMZ and had the same effect as the pure drug would have.

DFW is an evil genius and I don't think we'll ever really know what happened to Hal. And I think after 2 weeks of finishing the book, I'm at the AA 'Acceptance' stage for that fact. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Have you finished yet? Because I have and I need to chat!
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:34 pm 
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I just finished today and after skimming this thread, then going back and skimming the Year of Glad at the beginning, my thoughts are:

-I like the DMZ angle on Hal, that it started with the fungus eating at the old house, and maybe didn't kick in until after he gave up Bob -- the Bob and internal-DMZ combo gave him a perfectly balanced chemical makeup. But once he quit the Bob, the DMZ took over, and his mind just moves too fast for everyone else.

-I think there is some sort of conflict happening between Canada (or maybe just Quebec), see page 16 near the top "ultra-mach fighter...slices the sky from south to north". I do not recall any other reference to military equipment or activity, so this stood out. This conflict may have something to do with Tine's affair with Luria, AFR and the Entertainment, the end of subsidized time, and Wayne not being in the Whataburger.

-I think Gately, Wayne, and Hal were digging up Himself's grave up in Quebec (where Avril's family was buried, right?) more likely to get the antidote to the samizdat. But for no good reason, I don't think the entertainment was ever fully unleashed on the American/ONAN public, but still getting it was important. Maybe Wayne is wearing a mask to hide his participation from other Canadians. Maybe he is wearing a veil. I think maybe Himself put his head in the microwave after viewing the anti-samizdat, which had the opposite effect, making him so sad that he needed to "jump out of the building".

-I think Joelle is not chemically disfigured, but is so beautiful as to be deformed. No good reason.

-I think Lyle is a wraith.

I know I will never get answers to any of this, but I really don't care. I loved this book, the underlying questions of "why do we treat each other and ourselves so poorly? why is it so hard to be earnest and compassionate?" and the psuedo reality he created was the gift that kept on giving throughout the story.

If anyone wants to start an Eschaton league, I'm in.


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 Post subject: Re: Have you finished yet? Because I have and I need to chat!
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 5:30 pm 
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It seems to me that Himself didn't kill himself at all, but was, in fact, murdered by Tavis. I'm drawing this from the Hamlet parallels and the fact that Wild Turkey was apparently planted on the scene as a red herring (I'm taking Himself and Joelle's words for it when the swear that he hadn't touched a drop in weeks). Has anyone else pursued this line of thinking?

I agree that Wraith No. 2 (the forehead-licking wraith) is Lyle, for obvious reasons.

J. v. D. is disfigured and H.I.D. (OMG, I just got that acronym: U.H.I.D. = "you, hid"). As we know, she received a maternally-flung facefull of paternal acid.

I keep catching on the image of Hal, Don, and J.N.R. Wayne at the grave-site pulling out himself's head. Something's not adding up here, for me. Does the unbalanced ecosystem of the concavity/convexity cause Hal's dormant intestinal DMZ factory to go into overdrive? Why is Wayne wearing a mask, apart from Wallace's theme of masks and non-representative facial expressions? I mean, I can see Stice wearing a mask, after the window thing. I don't think it's that Wayne is simply hiding from A.F.R./Canadians-in-general, because that seems symbolically empty somehow.

Also, I don't think that Hal's facial/self-presentation problems were directly triggered by his THC-withdrawal. I'm basing this supposition on the whole, "my son, the mute" thing that Himself keeps going on about. I think they're connected.

I agree with the above poster. IJ would have been an amazing book without all of this, the details and puzzles here being icing on one hell of a cake.


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 Post subject: Re: Have you finished yet? Because I have and I need to chat!
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 6:07 pm 
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Aerodynamics wrote:
It seems to me that Himself didn't kill himself at all, but was, in fact, murdered by Tavis. I'm drawing this from the Hamlet parallels and the fact that Wild Turkey was apparently planted on the scene as a red herring (I'm taking Himself and Joelle's words for it when the swear that he hadn't touched a drop in weeks). Has anyone else pursued this line of thinking?

I keep catching on the image of Hal, Don, and J.N.R. Wayne at the grave-site pulling out himself's head. Something's not adding up here, for me. Does the unbalanced ecosystem of the concavity/convexity cause Hal's dormant intestinal DMZ factory to go into overdrive? Why is Wayne wearing a mask, apart from Wallace's theme of masks and non-representative facial expressions? I mean, I can see Stice wearing a mask, after the window thing. I don't think it's that Wayne is simply hiding from A.F.R./Canadians-in-general, because that seems symbolically empty somehow.

Also, I don't think that Hal's facial/self-presentation problems were directly triggered by his THC-withdrawal. I'm basing this supposition on the whole, "my son, the mute" thing that Himself keeps going on about. I think they're connected.


1) I have not followed that logic on Himself being murdered, though I must say it is really compelling. I'm not sure how I feel about C.T. as a murderer, though. Unless that's part of his pathological 'openness'- that he's capable of hiding something like that. But supposing Himself wasn't being metaphorical in saying there was something in his head, that would solve the issue of 'if he put something in his head, why would he blow it up?'

2) When I first read it, I assumed that JNRW might have been on the AFR's side. And my immediate association is that it could have been an AFR mask. Maybe he's got family in there or something. Either that, or a gas mask, maybe. I just always found it interesting that of all the students she could have been Xing, Avril picks the other Canadian.

3) Another interesting point. The THC-withdrawl could be a factor, but I agree. I believe it to be something in regards to his beginning to understand how Himself felt. Assuming that Himself actually did quit drinking, the Conversationalist bit would have been not long after he met Joelle/she got him to quit drinking, so Himself would have been recently sober as well. Maybe Himself and Hal do both have these extreme neuro/somatic/physical issues after quitting their respective substances.
As for Hal's self-presentation problems during the U of A interview, I assume it's from viewing the Entertainment, thereby getting into the Mad Stork's head completely. Supposing Hal and Gately actually did go dig up JOI, I'm almost positive the wraith stories would have been related to Hal. So Hal knows the Entertainment was meant for him. Maybe it affects him differently than everyone else. JOI spent a good portion of the end of his life trying to communicate how he felt through various films, which were often panned or disregarded. Hal tries to speak, and everyone just hears screaming and gutteral sounds.


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 Post subject: Re: Have you finished yet? Because I have and I need to chat!
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:58 am 
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Quote:
2) When I first read it, I assumed that JNRW might have been on the AFR's side. And my immediate association is that it could have been an AFR mask. Maybe he's got family in there or something. Either that, or a gas mask, maybe. I just always found it interesting that of all the students she could have been Xing, Avril picks the other Canadian.


The assumption that John Wayne is working withthe AFR is probably an accurate one. Just prior to Marathe's foray to Ennet House there is a discussion of the AFR infiltrating ETA with an instructor and a student. Also, if you read endnote 304 carefully (just read it last night myself and enjoyed it just as much as I did in my first read of IJ but I digress) in the discussion of the Cult of the Next Train there is a reference to the only person in the history of the game who did not jump who clearly is one of JNRW's ancestors.
Perhaps Hal was subjected to a "technical interview" by the AFR with JNRW's assistance in an effort to obtain the elusive master cartridge that was buried with Himself.


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 Post subject: Re: Have you finished yet? Because I have and I need to chat!
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:59 am 
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Quote:
2) When I first read it, I assumed that JNRW might have been on the AFR's side. And my immediate association is that it could have been an AFR mask. Maybe he's got family in there or something. Either that, or a gas mask, maybe. I just always found it interesting that of all the students she could have been Xing, Avril picks the other Canadian.


The assumption that John Wayne is working with the AFR is probably an accurate one. Just prior to Marathe's foray to Ennet House there is a discussion of the AFR infiltrating ETA with an instructor and a student. Also, if you read endnote 304 carefully (just read it last night myself and enjoyed it just as much as I did in my first read of IJ but I digress) in the discussion of the Cult of the Next Train there is a reference to the only person in the history of the game who did not jump who clearly is one of JNRW's ancestors.
Perhaps Hal was subjected to a "technical interview" by the AFR with JNRW's assistance in an effort to obtain the elusive master cartridge that was buried with Himself.


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 Post subject: Re: Have you finished yet? Because I have and I need to chat!
PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:19 pm 
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A few things:

a) I thought JNRW was wearing a mask simply because they were so close to the Convexity and it was mad toxic there.
b) What's with the PGOAT's last scene. Is the cop car the ADA's ride?
c) Who's the final AA's "Mikey"?


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