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: 30 April YDAU, Marathe, Steeply: Double, Triple, Quadruple
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 9:56 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:21 pm
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Referring to the bottom of page 87 through the break at the top of page 95 (Spoiler warning says 94, but the natural break is on 95.)

My larger question:

Can someone tell me what the hell is going on here?

My smaller questions:

Have we yet been told what O.N.A.N. stands for and is? There are at least two organizations in the book whose acronyms start with ONAN, but have more letters after. Is this a different ONAN? What is it?

Someone explain about the French Canadian thing and the Middle Eastern connection and the Wheelchair Assassins. This is where I started to get totally lost last time.

Also, do I really have get all that double spy/triple spy/do they know you know I know they know you know crap? That's like trying to figure out how all the royal families of Europe are related by playing Telephone.


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 Post subject: Re: 30 April YDAU, Marathe, Steeply: Double, Triple, Quadruple
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:03 pm 
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Also, does anyone else think "the Entertainment" that was so engrossing and deadly that was referred to in this section (and before) was of JOI origin? Was JOI really capable of making something that entertaining? He was probably capable of making films that could cause a Middle Eastern medical attaché to involuntarily wet himself. Was this film Infinite Jest III? This is the thing I have been most curious about ever since it came up. What was in the package, Middle Eastern Medical Attaché?!?!


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 Post subject: Re: 30 April YDAU, Marathe, Steeply: Double, Triple, Quadruple
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:28 pm 
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O.N.A.N will be explained later in the book.

I'm trying to remember when the middle eastern/wheelchair assissin connection was....I thought there was a footnote that explained the orgins of them pretty well...


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 Post subject: Re: 30 April YDAU, Marathe, Steeply: Double, Triple, Quadruple
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:23 am 
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It explained it, but it did not explain it to me as if I was eight years old, which is what I need. Should I reassign this to the "questions you may think are too stupid to ask" section?


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 Post subject: Re: 30 April YDAU, Marathe, Steeply: Double, Triple, Quadruple
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:24 am 
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ontoursecretly wrote:

Also, do I really have get all that double spy/triple spy/do they know you know I know they know you know crap? That's like trying to figure out how all the royal families of Europe are related by playing Telephone.


I wouldn't get too wrapped up in trying to completely understand this - it's an intentionally confusing way of describing Marathe's loyalties, but only insofar that it's meant to be humorous. It's just Wallace's way of highlighting how ridiculously convoluted Marathe's role has become.


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 Post subject: Re: 30 April YDAU, Marathe, Steeply: Double, Triple, Quadruple
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 5:43 am 
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My quick question about this: how do you pronounce 'Marathe'? As if it's French? Would it make it similar to "Marat"?
(oops, I've just checked my also-open Wikipedia page and it turns out "Marathe" is an Indian surname pronounce "Ma-ra-they," with a hard T. Clan of warriors, acc. to same entry. I had never heard of this name.)
But I wonder if the echo of "Marat" is also in there, given the Quebec/French-language connection. (Marat being the French Revolutionary murdered in the bathtub). Could be an ironic echo.

Maybe I'm finally overreaching here. but DFW seems to invite us to.


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 Post subject: Re: 30 April YDAU, Marathe, Steeply: Double, Triple, Quadruple
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:31 am 
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Thanks for the pronunciation guide, I was pronouncing... actually reading to myself, so I guess I wasn't pronouncing it per se, his name as (Ma-wrath) thanks for the heads up. As far as O.N.A.N. it's Organization of North American Nations. Which makes me wonder about Mexico but that is for another topic I suppose. Finally, what I would like to hear is everyone's thoughts on who do you think comes out on top in the debate or argument that Steeply and Marathe have. While Marathe looks down on Steeply as an ignorant American I think it's Steeply who walks away the winner after this meeting. Thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: 30 April YDAU, Marathe, Steeply: Double, Triple, Quadruple
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:41 am 
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Marathe seems to have contradicted his contention that love is a choice when he betrayed (?) his region's cause for his wife's health, and Steeply seems to be reminding him of that. It seems to develop an conundrum, and I wonder if alternate motivations for his betrayal will be revealed.


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 Post subject: Re: 30 April YDAU, Marathe, Steeply: Double, Triple, Quadruple
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:42 am 
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On page 89, there is endnote 39. In endnote 39, a footnote sends you to endnote 304. I presume from another (non-spoiler-free) forum, that it's sort of up to the reader to decide to read 304. For those who would like to learn more right now about ONAN and the Wheelchair Assassins, I recommend reading endnote 304.


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 Post subject: Re: 30 April YDAU, Marathe, Steeply: Double, Triple, Quadruple
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:13 am 
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On another take on O.N.A.N, Onan, son of Judah, book of Genesis, refuses God's order when he refuses to complete coitus with his sister in law after her husband, Er is slain by God for some transgression (onanism is masturbation/ uncompleted coitus).


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