Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
It is currently Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:35 pm

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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: Putative Curriculum Vitae of Helen P. Steeply...
PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 5:55 pm 
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Location: Salt Lake City and no, I'm not one, either.
"Putative" meaning reputed, so am I going in the right direction by assuming that Helen is actually Hugh Steeply in dreadfully-drescribed drag? Might I further assume that his/her affair with an Executive Editor of Newseek is a fabrication, as well? Plus, there is no Erythema, AZ (at least in the real world), where Moment magazine's SW bureau is located, but the word is akin to "inflammation," which would support Orin's assessment of living in AZ.


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 Post subject: Re: Putative Curriculum Vitae of Helen P. Steeply...
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:25 am 
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Oh, I thought this was a relative. My first thought was Steeply's mom.

Time and pages will tell, I suppose.

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 Post subject: Re: Putative Curriculum Vitae of Helen P. Steeply...
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:25 am 
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And Moment magazine is where they find the discussion of the super-drug that Pemulis got his hands on.

So now we wait for THAT bit to come around full circle. It seems it all does, eventually...


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 Post subject: Re: Putative Curriculum Vitae of Helen P. Steeply...
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:03 pm 
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beatnik wrote:
"Putative" meaning reputed, so am I going in the right direction by assuming that Helen is actually Hugh Steeply in dreadfully-drescribed drag?


I could be remembering wrong, but I thought Helen Steeply was Hugh's alter ego when undercover for the anti-ONAN cell that he works for. When he was talking to Marathe I guess the reader was meant to assume that Hugh only went out in drag every once in a while when he really needed to get out into the field, but maybe, he actually lives this way, hes so deep undercover that hes actually lived and worked as a woman for several years, including having an affair with someone he worked with. Which, if I also remember correctly, didnt last very long, maybe because at that point his cover as a woman was blown?


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 Post subject: Re: Putative Curriculum Vitae of Helen P. Steeply...
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 3:23 pm 
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sobermoode wrote:
beatnik wrote:
"Putative" meaning reputed, so am I going in the right direction by assuming that Helen is actually Hugh Steeply in dreadfully-drescribed drag?


I could be remembering wrong, but I thought Helen Steeply was Hugh's alter ego when undercover for the anti-ONAN cell that he works for. When he was talking to Marathe I guess the reader was meant to assume that Hugh only went out in drag every once in a while when he really needed to get out into the field, but maybe, he actually lives this way, hes so deep undercover that hes actually lived and worked as a woman for several years, including having an affair with someone he worked with. Which, if I also remember correctly, didnt last very long, maybe because at that point his cover as a woman was blown?


That's what I though too, because the introduction to the article "she" wrote on pg. 142 says that it is "enormous, electrolysis-rashed 'journalist' 'Helen' Steeply's only putative published article..." All of those clues - enormous, rahsed from electrolysis, the quotations, putative - lead me to believe that it's Steeply himself.


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 Post subject: Re: Putative Curriculum Vitae of Helen P. Steeply...
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 4:05 pm 
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Yeah, you guys are right.
For some reason I was connecting 'Steeply' with one of the tennis students.

Duh... Steeply & Maranthe (sp?)

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 Post subject: Re: Putative Curriculum Vitae of Helen P. Steeply...
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 5:17 pm 
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Quote:
...the introduction to the article "she" wrote on pg. 142 says that it is "enormous, electrolysis-rashed 'journalist' 'Helen' Steeply's only putative published article...


Thanks, stephaniejane, for reminding me of that heading. I was so bowled over by the article's "She stole my heart!" angle that I'd forgotten who wrote it.


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 Post subject: Re: Putative Curriculum Vitae of Helen P. Steeply...
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:15 pm 
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beatnik wrote:
Quote:
...the introduction to the article "she" wrote on pg. 142 says that it is "enormous, electrolysis-rashed 'journalist' 'Helen' Steeply's only putative published article...


Thanks, stephaniejane, for reminding me of that heading. I was so bowled over by the article's "She stole my heart!" angle that I'd forgotten who wrote it.


I know, right? That was pretty distracting.

And it makes sense to confuse Steeply with a tennis student - there's Struck, Schtacht (sp?), then their instructor Schtitt - a lot of S's.


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 Post subject: Re: Putative Curriculum Vitae of Helen P. Steeply...
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:58 pm 
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Quote:
And it makes sense to confuse Steeply with a tennis student - there's Struck, Schtacht (sp?), then their instructor Schtitt - a lot of S's.


Don't forget Ortho Stice, another tennis player. The similarity of names does seem to be a particularly dastardly ploy on DFW's part.


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 Post subject: Re: Putative Curriculum Vitae of Helen P. Steeply...
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 10:31 pm 
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beatnik wrote:
The similarity of names does seem to be a particularly dastardly ploy on DFW's part.


The repetition of letters—c's, s's, t's, and h's—in names does seem to be one of DFW's ways of emphasizing the similarities between these characters: most of them play tennis and do drugs. At the same time, though, DFW rarely refers to these characters by their more normal first names, instead always using their more unusual last names. Part of this is probably functional: when you want to include hundreds of characters and not refer back to some of them for hundreds of pages, you need to refer to them by unusual (and therefore more memorable) names if you want your readers to have any chance of keeping track of them all. But I think this is also DFW's way of showing that, despite all of their similarities, they have their differences that make them individuals, which will become more apparent to us as the novel goes on and has the time to divulge details on each. It goes along with the whole pervading theme of the self. Chalk it up to DFW's skills to be able to show that there are similarities and differences at the same time with the same mechanism.


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