Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
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 Post subject: we need to have some non-spoiler-free forums
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:05 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 7:41 am
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For anyone who's already read this book, it is going to be incredibly difficult to talk about even the first few pages of the book without wanting to reference things that come "later." We need a series of forums for the appropriate pages that can include spoilers.


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 Post subject: Re: we need to have some non-spoiler-free forums
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:09 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:01 pm
Posts: 82
Location: Mansfield, MA
I would love that. I'm finding so many puzzle pieces and clues I missed the first time around, but am now connecting to later events in the book and I want to see if I'm totally off-base. I'd like to be able to discuss these things with some IJ experts who've been through the book several times or haunt the listserve.

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


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 Post subject: Re: we need to have some non-spoiler-free forums
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:17 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 7:59 pm
Posts: 37
This forum IS "non-spoiler-free", as it says in the description: "All things Infinite Jest. WARNING: There are no spoiler restrictions in this forum."

I'll add something at the top of each thread, just to make this clear.

Matthew


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 Post subject: Re: we need to have some non-spoiler-free forums
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:19 pm 
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Yeah, I see the delineation. I'm thinking maybe we could just get parallel forums. So we could have a spoiler-free daily discussion forum, and a spoiler-filled daily discussion. Or not. This way is good too.


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 Post subject: Re: we need to have some non-spoiler-free forums
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 5:02 pm 
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Part of the non-spoiler discussion is about what's happening with Hal at the beginning of the novel. I've said that the first part of the novel is the last thing to happen chronologically. In other words, if DFW were putting things in chronological order, the beginning would come last.

Sorry I don't have my copy of IJ in front of me, but towards the end of the novel, Hal's doper friend (Paul Pemuliss, I think is his name; his most memorable nickname is Pencil Dick) has scored some industrial strength DMT ("it's like LSD on LSD" is a near-quote). He got it from the two dumb Nucks who are offed (one of them by means of a stake pounded from anus to mouth) by the Wheelchair Assassins. Even Pemulis is scared by what he's scored, but he and Hal (and maybe some others) make plans to take it during the WhattaBurger Open in Arizona. And that's where the novel ends--aside from Gately's adventures (which are also out of chronological order).

The novel begins in Arizona. The WhattaBurger Open is over. Hal is being interviewed by an admissions committee who don't believe his grades. Apparently, he's been completely fucked up by the STP. He's still Hal on the inside, but what's on the outside is much different.

What do the rest of you think? And what I really want to know is if the PGOAT by the "low ph accident" in her father's basement that Hal's brother witnessed.


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 Post subject: Re: we need to have some non-spoiler-free forums
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 5:06 pm 
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Ooops. What I really want to know is if the PGOAT is scarred by the accident. That's not scared, as in afraid, but scarred--like her face melted off.


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 Post subject: Re: we need to have some non-spoiler-free forums
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 6:52 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:01 pm
Posts: 82
Location: Mansfield, MA
Scribbles on my margins during the reread follow. Anyone in the know want to comment? Or even to tell me I'm totally off base.

1. During the college interview, the Dir. of Composition (p.9) "seems abruptly to have actuated, emerged as both the Alpha of the pack here and way more effeminate than he'd seemed at first.." That particular guy is also the one that wrestles Hal to the floor and holds him down, saying to Hal, "It's all right! I'm here!" I was wondering if it could be Steeply.

2. Was Orin the one who sent the samizdat to the medical attache in Boston, hoping that maybe Avril would be with him and watch it? The medical attache wasn't staying at the usual hotel, he was outside of the city, maybe in a place where he had had assignations with Avril in the past? The film was traced through the place in LA where Orin lived when he played for the Saints, and it was mailed from AZ. Who else would know to write "Happy Anniversary" on the envelope, as in April 1st, the date Jim killed himself?

3. During the "professional conversationalist" section, Jim hysterically speaks of having the cartridge implanted in his head, along with other horrific stuff done to his body. Torture by the AFR? Sounds like their methods.

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


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 Post subject: Re: we need to have some non-spoiler-free forums
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 1:50 pm 
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EverbodyHurts, nice stuff.

I don't think Steeply is one of the Directors, although it's not impossible. The one who reminds me of Steeply is the woman in the ER with the t-shirt, the "barnwood skin and a trucker's cap and a bad starboard list....she had an almost parodic Quebecois accent".

I really like your theory #2. Between Steeply connecting the attache to Avirl on p91-92 and Himself referencing her "cavorting with...over thirty Near Eastern medical attaches" on p30, we have a connection between Avril and the victim that Orin could well have known about.

Dunno about #3, though. I'd want to see some explicit connection between Himself and the A.F.R.

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