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: Page 67 -Please Play
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 3:44 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2009 2:42 am
Posts: 75
How do we interpret this dream? Why does Hal's mom have a "delicate fist upraised and tight in total unconditional support"? A fist? No opponent? No real place to serve the ball? And then whispered the "Please Play" from the umpire?


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 Post subject: Re: Page 67 -Please Play
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 8:11 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:48 am
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Location: Orlando, FL
The dream is the first section that prompted me to start taking notes and I'm so glad to be past the spoiler mark to discuss it - thanks for opening this thread. When I read it I had an almost visceral reaction and immediately felt that it represented the book - too convoluted to take in all at once with the wildly twisted boundary lines the plot lines. I thought the spectators were the readers, waiting expectantly, mom is in full support and Hal is is the author. The whisper is a plea to just dive right in. As others have posted, one way to read the book is to relax and trust in his ability to resolve things that seem completely unrelated. "Please play" could be for us to please just read and trust. What do others think?


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 Post subject: Re: Page 67 -Please Play
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 11:37 am 
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Page 72
Kate Gompert describes her suicidal thoughts by saying "I don't hate myself. I just wanted out. I didn't want to play anymore is all."

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 Post subject: Re: Page 67 -Please Play
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 12:08 pm 
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lizb wrote:
Page 72
Kate Gompert describes her suicidal thoughts by saying "I don't hate myself. I just wanted out. I didn't want to play anymore is all."


I caught that too. Just more of the books intercomplexity and self reference. As I read the section on Kate Gompert I found myself comparing her to Ederdy although that's a bit out of the page 73 limit so I suppose I'll come back to it later :)


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 Post subject: Re: Page 67 -Please Play
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 1:33 pm 
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All interesting points about "play". When Kate Gompert says she doesn't want to play, it just lands like on you a ton of bricks. We try to make simple sense of people with depression. She takes all of those simplicities apart one by one and explains what it really feels like and that she just doesn't want to participate anymore. How incredibly sad.

To add to it, Schtitt appears to be saying that what makes us alive is "the chance to play, yes?" - pg 84, 85


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 Post subject: Re: Page 67 -Please Play
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 3:39 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:10 am
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i thought the dream seemed like an awareness all at once of the infinite possibilities that Schitt was describing to Mario. So in his dream, Hal is picturing tennis the way that Schitt and Himself saw it.

And it is daunting.


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 Post subject: Re: Page 67 -Please Play
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 5:14 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:21 pm
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Location: Fresyes, CA
testforecho wrote:
How do we interpret this dream? Why does Hal's mom have a "delicate fist upraised and tight in total unconditional support"? A fist? No opponent? No real place to serve the ball? And then whispered the "Please Play" from the umpire?

Maybe the lines are the baffling complexity and vastness of Hal's mind, all of the intellectual non-tennis stuff. Hal seems to be a natural at tennis, he doesn't have trouble with it, but has issues with everything else. The tangled complexities of the rest of his inner world are laid out on the court, with no one to help him sort them out, no one to "bounce" them off of, because Hal is so closed up. Hal's form of repartee isn't with words, it's with a tennis ball and an opponent.

The umpire reminds me of Himself, trying to get Hal to speak.

He also has a somewhat angelic vision of his mother. We don't really yet know what the relationship between the mother and the sons is like, if she is a stage mother, if she is distant with them, or if they resent her.


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