Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
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 Post subject: Professional Conversationalist
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 5:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 10:49 am
Posts: 13
Can someone help clarify the connection between the professional conversationalist at the begining of IJ (page 17) and the professional conversationalist Hal discusses with Orin over the phone whom he saw after their father's suicide(page 252)?

Each passage references Diplomas, "full bore", the conversationalist's mustache. Hal was roughly the same age at both times and the location of the doctor's offices seems to be the same.

Sorry if this is obvious. Any help would be appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: Professional Conversationalist
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:43 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:33 pm
Posts: 42
I always read them as being the same professional conversationalist. The specific referencing of the hands in both parts is what I'm drawing on for that. I think on p. 17 he's just reflecting on some of the more significant events in his life and that professional conversationalist apparently figures fairly heavily in his mind.

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 Post subject: Re: Professional Conversationalist
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 1:35 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 20
Location: Italy
They are not the same.
The first one is probably (I'm pretty sure of that) just Himself disguised as a Professional Conversationalist.
This is also outlined, as usual, in a movie by Himself, cfr. n. 24:
"It Was a Great Marvel That He Was in the Father Without Knowing Him. Year of the Trial-Size Dove Bar. Poor Yorick Entertainment Unlimited. Cosgrove Watt, Phillip T. Smothergill;
16 mm.; 5 minutes; black and white; silent/ sound. A father (Watt), suffering from the delusion that his etymologically precocious son (Smothergill) is pretending to be mute, poses as a 'pro­fessional conversationalist' in order to draw the boy out. RELEASED IN INTERLACE TELENT'S 'HOWLS FROM THE MARGIN' UNDERGROUND FILM SERIES — MARCH/ Y.T.-S.D.B —AND INTERLACE TELENT CARTRIDGE #357-75-50"

The second one is a "grief-counselor" and the meetings took place after the suicide of the Mad Stork. Maybe, Himself used his (of the grief-counselor) office to meet Hal? r


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