Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
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 Post subject: Confused - Did Joelle relapse in the end?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 5:28 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 9:20 pm
Posts: 1
p.973 "had to kick Pat's little girl out of the house for using something synthetic again"
Does this mean Joelle relapsed? If not, who else was Pat's little girl?
And if so, do you believe it is true or just Gately's feverish dreaming?
I apologize if this question was already covered. I didn't find it discussed anywhere which tells me either:
1. I'm completely off
2. It is so obvious no one else needed clarification

Like many of the simple questions and more advanced theories regarding the book, I couldn't just let it go. This book consumed me and my thinking for the month that I spent reading it (July-August 2009). To watch everything collapse in the "end" (or more correctly, spin wildly out of control) instead of having it resolve into a blissful sunset...this just made me think about the book more.
Props/kudos/backslaps to DFW for sticking with a true conclusion of more questions, rather than a chick-flick-level resolution.


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 Post subject: Re: Confused - Did Joelle relapse in the end?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 6:39 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 6:24 am
Posts: 7
Location: Chicagoland
I assumed that "Pat's little girl" is her own daughter, since her husband (Mr. M) is involved, and since her "home"--and not the "house"--is referred to (she was "in a too shaky place spiritually to even leave home . . . "). Although Joelle refers to the house as "home" too--on p. 958. Hmm . . .

Like others, I think we're meant to believe that because she goes to an AA meeting at the end (the one where Mikey the angry dad speaks), Joelle will be OK. Or at least I really want think so.


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 Post subject: Re: Confused - Did Joelle relapse in the end?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 1:48 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:52 am
Posts: 21
I was wondering about that myself, thanks for posting this. I can't find any ev to point either way. But I guess this is Wallace making a point that things are quite up in the air and nothing is set in stone, even though, maybe, in the real long term scheme of things, things look like they might be leaning towards getting better.


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 Post subject: Re: Confused - Did Joelle relapse in the end?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 7:18 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:17 am
Posts: 14
Location: Central Vermont
Having finished the book a couple of days ago, I'm coming to terms with the fact that loose ends seem to be part of the point of IJ. I agree that JvD remains "on the path" at book's end, and that her presence at Mikey's meeting is a sign that she hasn't strayed from the sober course. I'd like to believe also that Hal's mention of Don Gately in the first section of the book is a subtle suggestion that yes, Joelle continues on the healthy path, too. The more the experience of the book sits with me, the more brilliant Wallace seems to have been in his presentation of the never-ending cycle of existence, way beyond the textbook-ready nature/human nature stuff. The number of ways in which he applies the annular model is staggering. I guess we all have to practice or deal with our own rituals/cycles/obsessions, one day/ minute/second at a time just to continue giving life meaning. I'm very eager now to read Wallace's "Westward the Course of Empire Takes its Way" and "E Unibus Pluram" for added commentary on this wild culture we're a part of.


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