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Infinite Summer • View topic - The Sponsored-Year Concept

Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
It is currently Fri Feb 28, 2020 4:33 am

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The Inficratic Oath: first, post no spoilers. Limit your I.J. discussion to only those events that take place on or before the page 981 (100%).



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 Post subject: The Sponsored-Year Concept
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 1:46 pm 
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Posts: 20
I've really been enjoying the forum interpretations of the first 50 or so pages so far. I'm reading IJ for the first time and enjoying it immensely, at both character/plot and linguistic levels (such as the great "shamen" as plural for "shaman" --funny).

I'm taking the risk of starting a thread on this topic although not having read too far I don't know how important it will be...but what do you make of the renaming of the years according to sponsorship by various products?

On the one hand, it's a funny po-mo/late-capitalist kind of joke--like broadcasting commercials onto the moon or something--to have years named after commodities.

But why are the years important enough that they provide the titles for the sections/chapters, at least so far?

One effect is that replacing numerals with names for the years means that we can't tell when the years (and thus presumably, the chapters set in those years) stand chronologically, in relation to each other: we don't know if the Year of the Depends Adult Diaper comes before or after the Year of the Trial-Size Dove Bar, and how much later or earlier (sorry don't have the book in front of me and can't remember the exact names for the years).

I will admit that I cheated a bit and have one spoiler bit of info which i found out by reading ahead in the endnotes--for those who've read it, just think of the filmography. Reading that made me think that the mystery of the year-names is just that, a mystery to which we'll be given clues little by little.

Any other ideas?


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 Post subject: Re: The Sponsored-Year Concept
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 2:30 pm 
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From what I was told, in the future companies can purchase the right to that year, so instead of 2009 it could be The Year Of Preparation H. It provides a time line, you just have to figure out what that time line is.

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 Post subject: Re: The Sponsored-Year Concept
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 2:37 pm 
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it also seems to make a comment on how selling our time makes us lose our place. or lose our reference point.


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 Post subject: Re: The Sponsored-Year Concept
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 2:48 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: The Sponsored-Year Concept
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 3:40 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: The Sponsored-Year Concept
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 5:50 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: The Sponsored-Year Concept
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 8:30 pm 
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Location: North Dakota
I think we ought to consider why certain companies were chosen by DFW. Did he label each year to give us clues/convey an additional layer of meaning? I have my own thoughts on this but I can't share them now given that we're only on page 52. I'd just like to open this line of debate up.


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 Post subject: Re: The Sponsored-Year Concept
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:15 pm 
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Part of it is that no matter what you call time, how you divide it up or name it, is all very arbitrary. Why is "2009" less arbitrary than "Year of Glad"? The progress of it is just as inevitable, either way.

We're being asked I think to consider how we are marking the passage of time, whether it's really possible to mark it in a meaningful way and also, how kind of shallow and pathetic our little concerns are compared to the inexorable pressure of time ... I want to say more but can't spoil for those who are reading for the first time. But I think it is fair to say that it's important to try to keep track of the details in this book, if you can, and are so inclined. You will have more fun.

Though it's possible and more than possible to enjoy the book just by "letting it wash over you."

Best to all,

Maria.

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 Post subject: Re: The Sponsored-Year Concept
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 11:17 pm 
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At first it reminded me of sports sponsorships. There is the seriousness of the competition or event, and then there's the quotidian household product. It kind of does the same thing to the years.


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 Post subject: Re: The Sponsored-Year Concept
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 3:56 pm 
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