Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
It is currently Sat Dec 16, 2017 1:46 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]


Forum rules


There are NO spoiler restrictions in this forum. Caveat emptor.



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 23 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Eschaton
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 7:40 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:42 pm
Posts: 4
This is one of my favorite sections of the entire book. Let's discuss it here. Just wanted to cordon off some real estate for the similarly-minded--I haven't even gotten to it yet in this read! (this is my second time through).

So let's twist the beanie. Commit SACPOP. Crunch some numbers. Can't wait to hear everyone's thoughts.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Eschaton
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 7:45 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:42 pm
Posts: 4
Actually, I didn't realize this is OK re: the position of the spoiler line. Can someone with the powers to do so move this to the daily posts section? Seems more fitting there.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Eschaton
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 10:42 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 5:27 pm
Posts: 20
I think you can keep it here; the big Eschaton fiasco is closer to the end, isn't it?
I loved this section, and couldn't help but think of all the kids I knew growing up. We had a close-knit neighborhood and would spend all summer at the park that was the center of our street's giant loop. We invented crazy games, for sure, but nothing with as much mathematical detail or with such contrivances. I just kept thinking, these are mostly high school students and boy do they need some attention from the opposite sex!
But I really love how serious the whole thing gets, and how eschaton is the drug of choice for (most of) these kids; it's the thing bigger than themselves that they choose to become obsessed with. And i have to say that I laughed my ass off when the brawl erupted and the older guys just sat and watched. Such a great metaphor for life, and addiction, and enabling.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Eschaton
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:24 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:56 am
Posts: 10
I love how the section starts out kind of dry with the detailed explanation of the game's rules and terminology and formulas for determing scores etc., and then starts to spiral out of control until end ups being a Lord of the Flies type situation with total anarchy.

Also, I really want to play Eschaton but I'm pretty sure the math is way too involved for me. :oops:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Eschaton
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:34 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:24 am
Posts: 5
Location: Chicago, IL
Since it takes place in the Eschaton section this seems like the best place to ask this question: does anyone know the significance of the "mint-green advertorial Ford sedan" parked near ETA on p. 327? I can't imagine it'd garner so many adjectives if it didn't belong to another character. It's still there towards the end of Eschaton, although I'm presently unprepared to dig for that page number. I do recall that it's advertising some kind of aspirin. Any ideas?

_________________
http://torridly.org


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Eschaton
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 5:21 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 7:58 am
Posts: 14
interrobang wrote:
Since it takes place in the Eschaton section this seems like the best place to ask this question: does anyone know the significance of the "mint-green advertorial Ford sedan" parked near ETA on p. 327? I can't imagine it'd garner so many adjectives if it didn't belong to another character. It's still there towards the end of Eschaton, although I'm presently unprepared to dig for that page number. I do recall that it's advertising some kind of aspirin. Any ideas?


Flip back to p. 107: "Steeply's car for all field assignments was this green sedan subsidized by a painful ad for aspirin upon its side..." IIRC these aspirin ads come up again later.

Not sure, however, what the significance is of Steeply observing the Eschaton debacle.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Eschaton
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 5:40 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:33 pm
Posts: 42
infinitedetox wrote:
Not sure, however, what the significance is of Steeply observing the Eschaton debacle.


I was wondering exactly the same thing. He doesn't see Hal play until that Tuesday, and I can't imagine any interviews were scheduled until the next day.

One thing I did think of is that Steeply seeing the breakdown of the Big Buddy/Little Buddy system (i.e. the little buddies are free to make their mistakes without the big buddies interfering and thus annihilate their game) is a point in Marathe's favor since these little buddies aren't being taught (in this particular scene) how to choose their actions beyond their immediate impulses. Troeltsch is the only one to even suggest intervening, but Pemulis stops him. The others are transfixed as spectators the way the audience at a sporting even always is.

And then after this scene, we get the discussion about how AA is entirely about alcoholics learning to choose to stay in the system.

_________________
"Because so that was let's see."


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Eschaton
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:16 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2009 6:42 pm
Posts: 9
I just finished the Eschaton section today. It was quite a bit of fun to read since the brief aside regarding the game during Orin's tennis to football switch and what a great lobber he was.

There's an amazing game called Defcon that I think has a free demo (http://www.introversion.co.uk/defcon/) which is based off the graphics from the movie War Games that is basically a computerized version of Eschaton, the goal being to doll out more INDDIR than SUFDDIR and thus be victorious based on having "lost least." So it's awesome to think of playing this on 4 tennis courts and having actual physical skills involved.

This section was just incredible for making me laugh so hard over Hal's marijuana thinking, Ingersoll's perfectly reasonable but dick move, and the whole idea of the territory vs map concept.
And then I can't stop laughing at the mass chaos that erupts, the Utter Global Crisis, and kids going mad, even at Ingersoll lying there "resembling some sort of animal that's been run over in the road."

Of course all that enjoyment comes crashing to the ground when Lord's head goes through a monitor (which brings to mind Himself's father skidding across the court on his knees) and Hal "feels at his own face to see whether he is wincing" which is such a disturbing example of apathy that I can't help feel sick and be very concerned that things are about to get very difficult for our hero from here on out.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Eschaton
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:57 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:33 pm
Posts: 42
monsterbeard wrote:
Of course all that enjoyment comes crashing to the ground when Lord's head goes through a monitor (which brings to mind Himself's father skidding across the court on his knees) and Hal "feels at his own face to see whether he is wincing" which is such a disturbing example of apathy that I can't help feel sick and be very concerned that things are about to get very difficult for our hero from here on out.


Reading your comment I just realized that Lord ends up a cross between Himself's Dad and Himself, er, himself. What with his head being stuck in a box.

This is now shockingly obvious to me, but I had completely missed the connection. Thanks!

_________________
"Because so that was let's see."


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Eschaton
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 7:17 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:01 pm
Posts: 82
Location: Mansfield, MA
Oh yay for this discussion!
Note on p.328: "It is not a matter of the principle of thing, ever, in Eschaton." That changed, huh, Pemulis?
"Jaysus!" So Irish, reminds me of my dear, departed grandmother. :)
"...let Lord let Ingersoll eliminate Eschaton's map for keeps..." Love the whole redo of the "map eliminating" theme.

A tidbit from p.202 of "Elegant Complexity": "Eschatology (from the Greek eskhatos, 'last') is Christian theology's doctrine of the Last Judgement---or what your present behaviour will earn in the future". Thanks, Greg! Ahhh, foreshadowing!

The first time I read this section, I focused on the game itself. This time, I was pissed off at the upperclassmen letting the game get so out of control (anarchy!) and allowing the less experienced (in life and in the game) Little Buddies to get hurt. Hal is in that nasty "paralytic stasis" of marijuana thinking, Struck is passed out, Pemulis, hopped up on Tenuate, lets his Irish temper get the best of him and washes his hands of the entire matter, Axford secretly enjoys Ingersoll's humiliation, and ignores the fighting to try and relight the weed. Troeltsch initially tries to stop the carnage, but yields to the Peemster's order to stay put. All the older guys are under the influence of something, be it booze, Bob or 'drines, that possibly (probably?) affects their ability to deal rationally with the situation unfolding in front of them.

Contrast this situation to Gately's handling of his crisis situation outside Ennet House later on in the book (for those who've read it).

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


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 23 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
Translated by Maël Soucaze © 2009 phpBB.fr