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: The face in the floor
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 10:43 am 
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Posts: 21
stephaniejane wrote:
bloatedsack wrote:
iwearshoess wrote:
Those Marathe/Steeply parts are the key to understanding "The Entertainment," and they get much more interesting when they start to make more sense (which, I promise, they do).
...

Please don't post like this in Daily Discussions.
...

Thank you.


Agreed! I've been avoiding these forums for that exact reason. I'm giving them another chance again because I'm missing out on a lot, but I almost wish there were two separate forums, for people reading this for the first time and then repeat readers, so we would be able to express ideas without possible spoilers.

There's supposed to be two separate forums, Daily discussions (with spoiler line) and General (without spoiler line). There's still a bit of leakage though. Matthew (the admin) asks us to go ahead and report spoilers so he can remove the offending posts.

Personally, I don't mind the re-readers' perspectives as long as they keep the contributions below the spoiler line.

Here is Matthew's post for reference:
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=240

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 Post subject: Re: The face in the floor
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 3:25 pm 
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Location: Brooklyn
Quote:
Personally, I don't mind the re-readers' perspectives as long as they keep the contributions below the spoiler line.

Here is Matthew's post for reference:
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=240


Right, but what I meant was that when I read the Daily Discussion forum, despite the spoiler-line restrictions, I noticed that people tended to give more information anyway, which I guess is what his post addresses and hopefully will help. I didn't even touch the other forums.


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 Post subject: Re: The face in the floor
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:19 pm 
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Can someone help me out with which face in the floor reference is being referred to? I can only find the brief mention on pg. 254 of Hal's troubling dream: "I kept dreaming of a face in the floor."

But I get the impression you guys are referring to something else. Can you list page numbers for this other mention? If I'm wrong, then nevermind.


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 Post subject: Re: The face in the floor
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:42 pm 
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Location: Mansfield, MA
It's first referenced pp. 61-63 as a recollection of a dream, we assume to be Hal's.

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 Post subject: Re: The face in the floor
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:42 am 
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Location: Los Angeles
Re: the floor. Remember that there are also keys on the floor? You're supposed to pick up the keys in front of you as you do serves in the morning (I think this is in the part about Mario's film about the Feral Prodigy) and now Hal can only keep his keys on the floor --- ?? I always wondered whether this wasn't a connected thing. On the floor, and also "the room's fifth wall" from the professional conversationalist scene. "KNIFE" written on the mirror in a nonpublic bathroom. Stuff kind of emerging out of the floor, out of the walls --- ???

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 Post subject: Re: The face in the floor
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:52 pm 
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I wonder if I'm missing something and should re-read that passage (and a couple other passages referencing the face in the floor), as it just doesn't give me the willies. It only strikes me as slightly odd. It's entirely possible that I find different things creepy, and there have been a few moments in the book when I've had to put it down and just walk away for a little bit, but I'm a little piqued by this discussion.


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 Post subject: Re: The face in the floor
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 10:39 pm 
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leegoesplaces wrote:
I wonder if I'm missing something and should re-read that passage (and a couple other passages referencing the face in the floor), as it just doesn't give me the willies. It only strikes me as slightly odd. It's entirely possible that I find different things creepy, and there have been a few moments in the book when I've had to put it down and just walk away for a little bit, but I'm a little piqued by this discussion.


It could be that it's just not the sort of thing that creeps you out.

But do go back and carefully read from 61-63, because this is a feeling I've had so many times before and, as he so often does, DFW articulates it so nicely:

"I am coming to see that the sensation of the worst nightmares, a sensation that can be felt asleep or awake, is identical to those worst dreams' form itself: the sudden intra-dream realization that the nightmare's very essence and center has been with you all along, even awake: it's just been...overlooked; and then that horrific interval between realizing what you've overlooked and turning your head to look back at what's been right there all along, the whole time..." (61-62)


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 Post subject: Re: The face in the floor
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:32 am 
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The Face in the Floor sequence creeps the heck out of me. Lately when I've had to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom or something I get that image stuck in my head and I have to turn all the lights in the house on.

What's so powerful about that section for me is the way that Wallace describes the notion of something absolutely evil, but evil only for you. It's like your own personal evil. The FintheF isn't there for the other kids in the dorm, only for Hal.

I remember getting these crazy fever-dreams when I was a little kid, just like weird abstract things that didn't really mean anything but which were utterly terrifying to me. There was a feeling of isolation that would accompany them -- I knew that when I'd try to go to bed those dreams would be waiting for me, and nothing my parents could do would be able to stop them. The dreams were evil for me and only for me.


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 Post subject: Re: The face in the floor
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:59 am 
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Location: Los Angeles
It's especially creepy because it rockets you back into childhood, with all its uncontrollable, overwhelming fears (of monsters, for example.) Laura Miller said something interesting about that the other day, about looking after her niece or nephew and realizing hey, this kid actually believes in monsters, like I used to, and that was hella scary, come to think of it.

I particularly love the last line, for that reason: "believing with all your might."

One of the greatest things about this book is the purity and clarity of all its different voices; the way he tried to honor everyone.

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 Post subject: Re: The face in the floor
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 7:49 am 
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leegoesplaces wrote:
I wonder if I'm missing something and should re-read that passage (and a couple other passages referencing the face in the floor), as it just doesn't give me the willies. It only strikes me as slightly odd. It's entirely possible that I find different things creepy, and there have been a few moments in the book when I've had to put it down and just walk away for a little bit, but I'm a little piqued by this discussion.


I feel the same way. I've been reading this thread with a touch of confusion, because I actually found this section boring and a bit tedious. It didn't even come close to touching me. I was much more creeped out by DFW's description of Kate Gompert's depression, or Poor Tony seizing on a train. Guess I'm a realist when it comes to my fears.

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