Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
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 Post subject: Re: WHAT IF.....Orin is Mario's father?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 2:11 pm 
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troybob wrote:
I can't recall descriptions of physical similarities between CT and Mario;


It's there. P 314, Mario's hair looks like CT's, Mario's skin is "an odd dead gray-green", CT has a "gray-green complected scalp".

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 Post subject: Re: WHAT IF.....Orin is Mario's father?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 3:38 pm 
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jackd wrote:
troybob wrote:
I can't recall descriptions of physical similarities between CT and Mario;


It's there. P 314, Mario's hair looks like CT's, Mario's skin is "an odd dead gray-green", CT has a "gray-green complected scalp".


Nailed it. As ambiguous and debatable some things in IJ seem to be, I really think that the evidence really points to CT being Mario's father.

I do think there is a lot to be said about the mentions of incest in the book, though. Whether it's Pemulis' older brother, the Raquel Welch girl mask, or Molly Notkin's musings and attempts to sexualize the maternal themes of the Entertainment- there might be something in there. Incest could just play into a theme of domestic horrors (possibly the worst thing you can do to your child other than kill them, really- once again, theme of the Entertainment). Maybe the argument is that some levels of abuse and control over a child- even of the non-violence and non-sexual variety- can be tantamount to rape.

It also makes me think about a couple of Himself's films, "Death in Scarsdale" (like "Death in Venice," which has its own pederast themes) and "Accomplice!" The latter being the most disturbing of the two, it really makes you wonder what Himself's artistic intent was. We feel obligated to shoehorn all of JOI's films into some other part of the book's narrative, so where do these fit?


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 Post subject: Re: WHAT IF.....Orin is Mario's father?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 1:33 pm 
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I'm still puzzled by "the first birth of the Incandenzas' second son" on page 312. I at first read this mean Mario must have a second birth, a rebirth of sorts, but no such thing is ever described.

But in this light it kind of makes sense if Mario is fathered by someone else. Then the second birth is that of the real second son Hal.


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 Post subject: Re: WHAT IF.....Orin is Mario's father?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 9:41 am 
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I'm no doctor, but I don't think this is a physical possibility if Mario is 18 and Orin is 26. I think CT is Mario's father. But it could also be any of the men Avril cheated with.


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 Post subject: Re: WHAT IF.....Orin is Mario's father?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:54 pm 
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Quote:
I believe you're alluding to the young woman who was molested by her foster father, but only after he heinously abused her younger and profoundly deformed sister. He made HER wear the Raquel Welch mask!


That whole part was crazy grotesque...the girl telling that story had to run away because one time she took off the mask and the victim appeared to be smiling...


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 Post subject: Re: WHAT IF.....Orin is Mario's father?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:03 pm 
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Quote:
That whole part was crazy grotesque...the girl telling that story had to run away because one time she took off the mask and the victim appeared to be smiling...


that was probably one of maybe three of four times that i just had to put down the book and do something happy for a while. that and matty pemulis' resminiscence, the death of the broom-loving antitoi, and probably the shooting-up-drano scene near the beginning of the book.


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 Post subject: Re: WHAT IF.....Orin is Mario's father?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 9:23 am 
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Just remembered reading this elsewhere, great resource for DFW's thought process as he was working through the book.

From Steven Moore's page-by-page comparison of IJ's first draft to its published form:
Quote:
142-46 = IJ 312-17. In the margin next to the first sentence is the note (re: Mario): “Mutated because product of incest? Tavis w/ khaki skin and dinosaur eyes?”—an odd question since Tavis and Avril are not biologically related. (See IJ 314 for Mario’s khaki skin and dinosaur eyes.) The MS has the Incandenzas living in Beacon Hill, not the Back Bay.


The note is interesting, as a relationship with C.T. would not be biologically incestuous, (if DFW meant mutated because of moral-incest, then C.T. would be a good candidate), but Orin would be certainly the more-mutation-inducing-incest of the two. Then he goes on to compare Tavis and Mario, completely shooting the Orin+Avril=Mario thing in the foot. Good thought, though.

Edit: Forgot to post the link to Steven Moore's comparison: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropol ... _first.htm


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