Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
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 Post subject: P. 958-960; who is this?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2009 8:47 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:37 am
Posts: 6
I'm probably [definitely] missing something obvious here, but for the life of me I can't figure out who the character giving his AA speech is on the pages above [he self-identifies as "Mikey, alcoholic and addict and a sick fuck."]

My original idea was that this was a Pemulis, either the father or a son, but then I remembered that the father was dead and spoke with a heavy accent. Then I thought maybe it was Michael Pemulis pulling some sort of weird and elaborate joke in light of his traumatic recent expulsion [about which I have some questions, namely that I can't find any closure about it], but that didn't seem to make any sense.

Anyone? I first read this at 2:00-3:00 A.M. on a red-eye plane, on a first-time-reading no less, and that was a few weeks ago, so the whole affair is fraught with peril.


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 Post subject: Re: P. 958-960; who is this?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 4:52 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:49 pm
Posts: 36
I believe this is Mikey's only appearance in the book. I think the significance is the phrase that indicates Mikey is "blurred a bit through the linen" which probably means Joelle is watching his speech. I think this means that Joelle was spooked by a cop car outside Ennet after her interview with Steeply and chose to find solace in a meeting. I also thought that this near the end of the book while we're worried about Gately and Hal and Joelle, Wallace wanted to remind us that hard lives go on in the recovery world for anonymous (to us) people like Mikey.


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 Post subject: Re: P. 958-960; who is this?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:23 am 
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I also find this section to be somewhat hopeful. It's another story from AA — but this isn't about how someone hit rock bottom and did horrible horrible things. This is a story from after the horribleness (the cast just came off his son who Mikey apparently hit) and how AA is, in fact, changing his behavior and for the better. He gets angry. Instead of getting physical he walks away, prays to his HP and then returns to apologize. Apology isn't accepted, but Mikey's doing what he needs to do.

The fact that JvD is there makes me think that we're supposed to see her in this light as well — she's doing what she needs to do. It may be going too far, but to me it implies that DFW is saying JvD is going to be alright.


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