Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
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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: Re: Endnote 24
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 6:50 am 
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Posts: 28
Hugh G. Rection wrote:
When I read the "It Was a Great Marvel That He Was in the Father Without Knowing Him", it occurred to me that perhaps some of his so-called fictional films were, in fact, documentaries, and that "Cosgrove Watt" was in fact Himself Incandenza, a name which sounds like "incandescent" which has a light connection with Watt (if you'll excuse the pun). Which means that Smothergill would have to be Hal, filmed without his knowledge by secret cameras. This is starting to sound like very unfounded speculation, so I'll stop now. The point is it got me to start thinking about Himself's relation with reality and family, and I suppose that's what DFW intended.

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I'm going to respond to your post although your name is insane and a bit off-putting.. Just a bit..


You'll have to send all complaints of immature names to DFW, carol. That was his doing.
I am so totally red in the face... Ms smarty-pants offers her humble apologies


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 Post subject: Re: Endnote 24
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 1:13 pm 
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I'll admit that I didn't read the entire filmography. I can appreciate DFW's attention to detail, but I just can't force myself to read all of that.

Is there any information that is important to the plot that I need to glean from the list other than the subsidized timeline? I just saw all the attempts that J.O.I took at making Infinite Jest.

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 Post subject: Re: Endnote 24
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 2:20 pm 
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From the filmography you get the sense that a lot of the films he is making is actually is part of his life. For instance, It Was a Great Marvel That He Was in the Father Without Knowing Him seems to be the section back on pages 27-31 where Hal goes to the "professional conversationalist" whom we suspect is really Himself in disguise. It also helps with the time line a little, since the works are in chronological order. You get a sense of which subsidized year comes when. I found it to be an interesting read.


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 Post subject: Re: Endnote 24
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 3:35 pm 
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Of all the films, the one I would most love to see is Safe Boating Is No Accident. The plot summary had me laughing out loud.


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 Post subject: Re: Endnote 24
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 4:12 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:21 pm
Posts: 63
Location: Fresyes, CA
I think our Mr Rection's comments about the names (Watt, Incandenza sounding like incandescent) is right on the money. It makes me wonder why Hal is "Smothergill"—are we talking smothering like a fish out of water, smothering like a cockroach trapped under a tumbler, or smothering by an overbearing mother? All are possibilities, and support the idea that the films are documentaries.

R. Kamidees wrote:
I'll admit that I didn't read the entire filmography. I can appreciate DFW's attention to detail, but I just can't force myself to read all of that.

Is there any information that is important to the plot that I need to glean from the list other than the subsidized timeline? I just saw all the attempts that J.O.I took at making Infinite Jest.

There becomes a point during the Year of the Tucks Medicated Pad [how absurd I feel typing that, but sort of good, too, you know?] when Himself's films become obviously autobiographical and perhaps confessional. As for ones important to the plot, for those who are maybe wiser than we realize and didn't read the entire filmography, the only one that is directly important to the Incandenza family at this point, other than It Was a Great Marvel, is (At Least) Three Cheers for Cause and Effect. It stars Cosgrave Watt (possibly Himself himself), Pam Heath, and 'Hugh G Rection' [not the one we know and love from the boards]. The plot is summarized as: "The headmaster of a newly constructed high-altitude sports academy (Watt) [at least meant to symbolize Himself, but possibly Himself actually playing himself] becomes neurotically obsessed with litigation over the contruction's ancillary damage to a V.A. hospital far below, as a way of diverting himself from his wife's (Heath's) poorly hidden affair with the academically renowed mathematical topologist who is acting as the project's architect ('Rection').

We know some of this happened. How much happened, or how much did Himself think happened?

There is another film which I think becomes important to the plot, or parallels the plot, or comes up again (I read about 1/4 or 1/3 of the way through the book a few years ago) but I think mentioning it would be a spoiler. Actually, there are probably many films that will pop up in the future plot, but there's one specifically I know of.

Okay, tear it up, guys.


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 Post subject: Re: Endnote 24
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 6:57 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 6:38 pm
Posts: 22
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Certainly there's the "beginning to figure out the subsidized years" factor, and as one who was pretty into experimental film, I find the whole thing totally hilarious.
You've got to love the allusion to Hamlet as well (which, thanks to inf.sum., I see is a common thread in IJ): "dramatic noncommercial, nondramatic ('anti-confluential') noncommercial, nondramatic commercial, and dramatic commercial works" (985), cf. Polonius's "pastoral-comical, historical-pastoral, tragical-historical, tragical-comical-historical-pastoral" (II.2).


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 Post subject: Re: Endnote 24
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 8:20 pm 
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Please, please, please let the outsized feral infant return later in the book. (Stand Behind the Men Behind the Wire, The Desire to Desire)


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 Post subject: Re: Endnote 24
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 8:33 pm 
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Refidnas wrote:
Of all the films, the one I would most love to see is Safe Boating Is No Accident. The plot summary had me laughing out loud.


To say nothing of the title.

The highlight for me was the critic that credited The Joke with "unwittingly sounding the death-knell of post-poststructural film in terms of sheer annoyance."


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 Post subject: Re: Endnote 24
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 9:08 pm 
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I think there could be an entire game of making up ridiculous additions to endnote 24. I was amazed at how funny it was and how worth it to read.


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 Post subject: Re: Endnote 24
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 5:17 am 
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Location: Toledo, OH
From a personal standpoint, one of the things that I kept noticing throughout the descriptions was the use of either closed captions or embedded interpreters in the films. My deafness certainly made me think about the communication barrier Himself seems to have, even if it's more self imposed. Compare the actual physical inability to hear things demonstrated, for example, by the subjects in Union of Nurses in Berkely to Himself's refusal (or possible psychological inability) to hear anything being said by Hal back on page 31. I wonder how much he associates himself with the Deaf, especially with so many of his films being silent anyway.


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