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: Lemon Pledge
PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 12:08 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:52 am
Posts: 12
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Hey, I appreciate all the comments. I pulled the Gatsby reference out of my ass, but I do see that there is thematic commonality as I begin to discern the themes in IJ. And BTW, I really learned to appreciate my high school English teachers. Had it not been for them, I would probably be reading some crappy murder mystery or vampire love story or something (what those teachers called "mental masturbation"), rather than plowing through IF.

I just read Kevin Guilefoile's post of 7/8/09 and it struck me that the Lemon Pledge thing could be an urban legend, perhaps invented by DFW, and likely intended to be understood as such.

Ron Kershaw


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 Post subject: Re: Lemon Pledge
PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 12:35 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:17 am
Posts: 14
Location: Central Vermont
Having read a bit further since my last post (to the early 200's), I see what was perhaps another reason to include LP. Being beyond the current spoiler point, however, I'll bite my tongue . . .


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 Post subject: Re: Lemon Pledge
PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 1:33 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:43 pm
Posts: 11
I actually asked a representative of Johnson Wax if there was any truth to The Lemon Pledge story. She looked at me as if I was from Mars.. Love the Iraq Lemon Pledge story but perhaps they were sent so our soldiers could teach the Iraqi women how to be good American house wives.


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 Post subject: Re: Lemon Pledge
PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:12 am
Posts: 19
Location: Los Angeles
I don't know if there's any significance to the Lemon Pledge yet, but I found the description of its use funny as hell. I think DFW was a writer who had comedic timing down to a T.

Perhaps because it's so outlandish (I seriously doubt that it really works as a sunscreen), and the picture that it created in my mind (a kid spraying himself with furniture polish in a locker room) hasn't left for days, DFW used it because he knew it would be like a great punchline to a joke... lots of jokes use hyperbole to emphasize the funny, and maybe that's what he was doing here.

Not stating there is no meaning or significance to the Lemon Pledge though! Some of the ideas posted above are quite interesting - but I think my main take on this will still be the comedy of its use.

vtjackalope - would be interested to hear your theory when you can comment on this.


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 Post subject: Re: Lemon Pledge
PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:19 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:21 pm
Posts: 63
Location: Fresyes, CA
vtjackalope wrote:
As a high school English teacher who has taken on Infinite Jest as my summer reading this year, I've been enjoying tremendously the astute observations that new and veteran IJers have offered. If I might offer my two-cents' worth regarding Fitzgerald, what the Eckleburg billboard represents in Gatsby is the absence of judgment...

Oh no, I started something. *searches for appropriate emoticon* I like your interpretation. Of course, both can be true at the same time. But I like yours, especially because it includes the Owl-Man, and I've always been fond of the Owl-Man. Gatsby wouldn't be Gatsby without Owl-Men, A Confederacy of Dunces wouldn't be itself without wiener carts*, and IJ wouldn't be IJ without Lemon Pledge.

*Please, please do not start a discussion on wiener carts. No matter how enjoyable said discussion might be.


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 Post subject: Re: Lemon Pledge
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 5:37 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:17 am
Posts: 14
Location: Central Vermont
I must confess that Dunces still sits in my "must read before too much longer" pile (where it's been for far too long . . . ). I have to resist going off on my beloved AmLit tangents but doggonit, IJ keeps revealing itself to have been influenced by some of the best of the bunch as DFW put his own brilliant touch on this wacky & wild North American existence. I've been reminded of Gatsby several times since joining this thread, and I've got to believe that Melville's in there, as well (he himself having been influenced by Hamlet and other Will S.), e.g. w/r/t the various masks that man tries to hide behind and/or "strike through." I've vowed to refamiliarize myself with Hamlet once finished with IJ. As far as the humor factor that facetioushorse discusses, I'm totally on board with that; the moment of "insight" I had yesterday merely involves a connection enabled by the image of body-shaped chunks of Lemon Pledge that another contributor also alluded to, and that come up again in another context. Overall, I've been blown away as never before in Wallace's work with his use of the language in brilliantly original humorous and/or metaphorical ways (e.g. the "incisionish" nature of a jet's vapor trail, early on). Thanks for the responses; I'm quite new to this kind of online forum-participation thing and am happy for the added incentive to stay with the novel for the duration this time . . . (By the way, how do you include a piece of another entry in your own, as you did mine, ontour?)


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 Post subject: Re: Lemon Pledge
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 9:27 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:30 am
Posts: 30
vtjackalope wrote:
(By the way, how do you include a piece of another entry in your own, as you did mine, ontour?)


You press the quote button, which is to the bottom right of the post.

_________________
"It is easy to put on a show & be cocky. . . Or I can show you some really fancy movement. But to express oneself honestly, not lying to oneself. . . now that, my friend, is very hard to do." --Bruce Lee


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 Post subject: Re: Lemon Pledge
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:54 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:17 am
Posts: 14
Location: Central Vermont
You press the quote button, which is to the bottom right of the post.[/quote]

Thanks. I also liked your post regarding "our culture's ridiculous commodification" and your take on "Pledge." Hey, why not? From all the feedback posts I've read, part of what makes IJ so special is the amount of speculation it inspires.


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 Post subject: Re: Lemon Pledge
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:04 am 
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vtjackalope wrote:
polymathicj wrote:
You press the quote button, which is to the bottom right of the post.


Thanks. I also liked your post regarding "our culture's ridiculous commodification" and your take on "Pledge." Hey, why not? From all the feedback posts I've read, part of what makes IJ so special is the amount of speculation it inspires.


Thanks. I'm finding that IJ is much like a Rorschach test. Everyone sees something a little different in DFW's "inkblots." I don't think there are wrong answers when it comes to interpretting art, only different answers. After all, human experience is subjective, so how can art be anything but the same?

_________________
"It is easy to put on a show & be cocky. . . Or I can show you some really fancy movement. But to express oneself honestly, not lying to oneself. . . now that, my friend, is very hard to do." --Bruce Lee


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 Post subject: Re: Lemon Pledge
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:59 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:17 am
Posts: 14
Location: Central Vermont
polymathicj wrote:
After all, human experience is subjective, so how can art be anything but the same?


Well put. It's the teachers who supported this in my own past whom I've attempted to emulate in the present . . . (I could go all "Grecian Urn"/"Thrill of the chase" here but will refrain . . .)


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