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: IJ invading all other aspects of life...
PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 4:49 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2009 2:42 am
Posts: 75
EverybodyHurts wrote:
After work today, I went to my local cable office to trade in my broken remote for a new one. There were about 5 or 6 people ahead of me in line, and it didn't bother me one bit. I read some e-mails and did some surfing on my Blackberry. I felt bad for the young lady in front of me though. In the maybe 10 minutes we waited together, she must have sighed loudly and melodramatically at least 20 times, as if they'd hear her and allow her to cut to the front or something. Is it weird that I thought to myself, "What would DFW do in this situation?" Maybe I should have tried to engage her in conversation to ease her tension, but I'm not at that point yet, I don't think. I did feel badly for her, thinking she must have been in a rush to get someplace, maybe wanting to pick up her kids at daycare or something. Whereas before I probably would have found her annoying, I now felt some empathy for her. I guess that's something I have DFW to thank for.

This is water. This is water. :-)

I think one thing that makes IJ so appealing and so perspective tweaking is it doesn't tell people how to live. It seems to indirectly force one into thinking of the other person. For 981 pages (+endnotes) your are in someone else's head and the head you are in is one you'd never think to get into. At the end of the book you respect and maybe admire these unlikely characters, their thoughts, and their feelings.

After the book it's easier to think that the person in line at the supermarket also has thoughts and feelings that deserve respect.

 Post subject: Re: IJ invading all other aspects of life...
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 1:43 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 1:35 pm
Posts: 25
mikek wrote:
i was standing in line to get my picture taken for a substitute-teaching job; each prospective teacher was sitting down on the chair, signing their name, getting their picture taken no problem, and getting up.

when it was my turn, i sat down in the chair and smiled. the photographer frowned and told me, "smile." i smiled wider. she took the picture, then looked at the screen with an unpleasant expression on her face. she said, "um, let's try that again." then she said, "be sure to smile this time." she took another picture, looked perplexed, and said "well, i guess that's good enough."

I think that's a little too close for comfort!

Forget your troubles, c'mon, get happy...
-Leland Palmer

 Post subject: Re: IJ invading all other aspects of life...
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:36 am 

Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 12:59 pm
Posts: 5
There were many instances and slices of life I saw myself observing while reading IJ. IJ is kind of biblical in that sense. I too caught myself watching the Wimbledon and got a little spooked while watching a match between Federer and another player that I don't recall the name of. What struck me was seeing Federer's opponent punch his racket's string until his knuckles bled. I saw Synechdoche, NY when I started reading IJ and I saw many similarities, which makes me guess that Kaufman is probably a Wallace fan. And when I read Kevin Kelly's article called Chosen, Inevitable, and Contigent about the failure of video phone technology, I thought for a second that Kelly plagiarized Hal's essay on "videophony". :)

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