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: Most essential (or just favorite) sentences/passages so far
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:14 pm 
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wyyy wrote:
I like his phrase "E Unibus Pluram," ...


This also happens to be the title of an amazing DFW essay on television and fiction, which I am surprised to find is reprinted online here; on glance it appears to be the entire thing.


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 Post subject: Re: Most essential (or just favorite) sentences/passages so far
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:44 pm 
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troybob wrote:
wyyy wrote:
I like his phrase "E Unibus Pluram," ...


This also happens to be the title of an amazing DFW essay on television and fiction, which I am surprised to find is reprinted online here; on glance it appears to be the entire thing.


Unfortunately, that's not nearly the whole thing. You're certainly right about the essay being amazing though. It's in A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, and anybody who loves Wallace ought to read it. It's a manifesto for most of his major concerns--I mean stuff that he wrestled with in virtually everything he ever wrote. It's basically a critique of intellectuals who bemoan the "dumbing-down" of culture at the hands of television. Wallace doesn't think we're dumbed down, but he does think we've been deeply changed. I won't ruin the experience of watching the argument transpire...


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 Post subject: Re: Most essential (or just favorite) sentences/passages so far
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 1:59 am 
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Location: County Wicklow, Ireland
Sutpen wrote:
troybob wrote:
wyyy wrote:
I like his phrase "E Unibus Pluram," ...


This also happens to be the title of an amazing DFW essay on television and fiction, which I am surprised to find is reprinted online here; on glance it appears to be the entire thing.


Unfortunately, that's not nearly the whole thing. You're certainly right about the essay being amazing though. It's in A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, and anybody who loves Wallace ought to read it. It's a manifesto for most of his major concerns--I mean stuff that he wrestled with in virtually everything he ever wrote. It's basically a critique of intellectuals who bemoan the "dumbing-down" of culture at the hands of television. Wallace doesn't think we're dumbed down, but he does think we've been deeply changed. I won't ruin the experience of watching the argument transpire...


You can read the full article by using troybob's link and then either using your US Library card (surely we all have one--ha!) or registering for a free temporary one at this same site.

Also, I'd like to thank Sutpen for giving me just enough incentive to read the article but not ruining the experience by revealing (spoiling?) the content of the argument contained within....


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 Post subject: Re: Most essential (or just favorite) sentences/passages so far
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 8:10 am 
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Sutpen wrote:
Unfortunately, that's not nearly the whole thing...

Sorry about that! Here is the full article in pdf format, actually scanned from the book.

Not to discourage one from buying the book, of course; it has other excellent essays!


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 Post subject: Re: Most essential (or just favorite) sentences/passages so far
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 1:41 pm 
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troybob wrote:
The sentence "The one-quotes "love" one-does-not-quote of Paris for Helen merely was the excuse." for the English equivalent of 'quote-unquote'.


Thank you! I just couldn't decipher what the hell he was talking about. Marathe's broken english has been challenging but often fun, even if I don't always get the joke.

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 Post subject: Re: Most essential (or just favorite) sentences/passages so far
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:09 pm 
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Quote:
I just couldn't decipher what the hell he was talking about. Marathe's broken english has been challenging but often fun, even if I don't always get the joke.


Yeah, I know too little French to know if I'm getting all the jokes! DFW makes a sly reference to it in Footnote 304 (p 1057): "...he keeps imagining the little hyphen of wrinkle Petrincourt gets between her eyebrows when she doesn't follow something and can't quite tell if it's your English's fault or her English's fault." I think DFW tries to do the same thing to the reader sometimes.


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 Post subject: Re: Most essential (or just favorite) sentences/passages so far
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:18 am 
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One of those moments that I laughed at, doubted my own reference, checked, and then laughed again after making sure (moments that happen often) was when the narrator was describing Orin's roach invasion and dead-bird-coronary-victim-in-the-hottub-which-is-definitely-a-bad-sign:

"Orin had inherited none of the Moms's phobias about disorder, hygeine. (Not crazy about bugs though - roaches)" (44)

but then 2 paragraphs later, when discussing his strategy of deroachifying his apartment:

"After a couple of days the glass is all steamed up and the roach has asphyxiated messlessly and Orin discards both the roachand the tumblers in separate sealed Ziplocs in the dumpster complex by the golf course up the street." (45)

None of the phobias? "Not crazy?"


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 Post subject: Re: Most essential (or just favorite) sentences/passages so far
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:58 am 
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I cannot recommend A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again highly enough. The great thing about Wallace’s non-fiction, aside from its sheer brilliance and humor, is that many of the themes explored in IJ are touched upon, and in some cases, fleshed out a bit.

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 Post subject: Re: Most essential (or just favorite) sentences/passages so far
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:48 pm 
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Still haunted by "The sun like a sneaky keyhole view of hell." in the section on Orin.


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 Post subject: Re: Most essential (or just favorite) sentences/passages so far
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:52 pm 
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Fav: DFW's expressions like "batshit-sounding" (p. 123)
"own-perceptions-doubting" (p. 125)
and "freeze his low-profile balls off " (p. 132)

My favorites tend to be things that I want to ape, to slip into my own vocabulary now and then.


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