Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
It is currently Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:07 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]


Forum rules


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%).



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 18 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Putative Curriculum Vitae of Helen P. Steeply...
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:59 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 9:45 am
Posts: 21
The names are also so frickin hard to pronounce.

I suppose it is a bit more true to life to have a mixture of strange names instead of everyone named Smith or Brock or some such easy name. I often imagine that first day of school when the teacher is struggling through roll call. A real collection of people have varied and sometimes difficult names. I know mine gets mispronounced about 70% of the time. How about your name?

These tough names are like textual speed bumps! I invariably have to slow down and figure out at least how to deal with it in my head in order to breeze over the name the next time I see it.

I swear I'm gonna end up dropping my mental transmission by hitting one too fast.

_________________
First read.
Reading on Kindle and iPhone.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Putative Curriculum Vitae of Helen P. Steeply...
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 12:15 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 7:08 am
Posts: 48
Hadn't considered Helen and Hugh being one and the same, but it really makes sense, considering the drag. Makes Orin's description of her hilarious, too (p. 246): "Not all that tough or hard, but physically imposing. Large but not unerotic. A girl and a half in all directions..." and "She's more imposing than like most of our starting backfield. But weirdly sexy. The linemen are gaga. The tackles keep making all these cracks about does she maybe want to see their hard profile." (Which last, by the way, made me crack up.)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Putative Curriculum Vitae of Helen P. Steeply...
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 12:53 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2009 6:22 am
Posts: 14
Location: Norwalk, CT
The CV says that Helen Steeply is close to two meters tall, and ( I forget) somethign like 140kgs, that suggests it is Hugh in drag. maybe taking his cover disguise too seriously by having an affair with a man?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Putative Curriculum Vitae of Helen P. Steeply...
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 6:50 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:33 pm
Posts: 42
One thing I find interesting is that Orin and the football players find Helen attractive, while the narrator had, during the first Steeply/Marathe scene, said something rather different. "But he appeared huge and bloated as a woman, not merely unattractive but inducing something like sexual despair." (p. 90)

Although that Steeply/Marathe scene seems to be narrated mostly from something like Marathe's perspective, so maybe it's just Marathe's appraisal of Helen.

_________________
"Because so that was let's see."


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Putative Curriculum Vitae of Helen P. Steeply...
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 9:38 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:14 am
Posts: 12
Also, Marathe knows its Hugh in drag, so he sees "Helen" not as a woman but as a man. Orins description comes off as all the right details of masculinity, only, somehow weirdly sexy =P.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Putative Curriculum Vitae of Helen P. Steeply...
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 3:07 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:50 pm
Posts: 71
With the stuff about the affair included, I think this is not an actual resume-like CV that one would give out; it seems more like this is the kind information that Steeply would memorize for his cover. The element of the affair is like a little added detail, something Steeply could throw into a discussion on his career, to lend it some faux legitimacy--and subtly aid in the other lie, that Steeply is a woman and not a man.

The 'heartless' article on p 142 is listed as the "ONLY PUTATIVE PUBLISHED ARTICLE", which isn't consistent with the CV. Also (to repeat something I mentioned a while back), the publication titles are all units of time listed in longest-to-shortest order, which would be too coincidental to be real.

Also, the timing of the CV inserted in the middle of Joelle's walk (her having just passed the film-cartridge display) would seem to indicate that Steeply is there with Joelle, perhaps following her, or monitoring the display (in kind of a cinematic way, as if the camera is diverted toward something else it catches in the frame). I'm not sure if the overall timing of the novel supports that, though.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Putative Curriculum Vitae of Helen P. Steeply...
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 3:27 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:12 am
Posts: 19
Location: Los Angeles
troybob wrote:

Also, the timing of the CV inserted in the middle of Joelle's walk (her having just passed the film-cartridge display) would seem to indicate that Steeply is there with Joelle, perhaps following her, or monitoring the display (in kind of a cinematic way, as if the camera is diverted toward something else it catches in the frame). I'm not sure if the overall timing of the novel supports that, though.


Interesting thought! I couldn't for the life of me figure why it was thrown in the middle of the Joelle section, but with him being an agent this might make some kind of sense.

With that said, what significance would you place on the list of subsidized years also being placed in the middle of the Joelle section? Or are the two breaks unrelated? I was quite curious about this section's structure after finishing it.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Putative Curriculum Vitae of Helen P. Steeply...
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 4:14 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:50 pm
Posts: 71
Quote:
...what significance would you place on the list of subsidized years also being placed in the middle of the Joelle section?


I was thinking about that as well, and it's just a stretch: When this chapter starts (p 219), Joelle is already at Molly Notkin's place, and so her walk is being told in flashback. (In fact, the entire chapter is a strange back-and-forth of chronology, even after the line on p 222 "No more back and forth.") In the start of the paragraph before the chronology: "Joelle van Dyne is excruciatingly alive and encaged, and in the director's lap can call up everything from all times." Just before the chronology she is getting high; then, right after the chronology, the text starts in the middle of a reminiscence about Orin (a flashback within a flashback). So the presence of the chronology might indicate a point at which Joelle is high and, knowing that she has decided on suicide, she is flashing back on those years, in a life-passing-before-her-eyes kind of way.

More obliquely and reaching: The guide Elegant Complexity goes into some detail with the chronology and discusses society's "compulsions and regressions" as represented by the names of the years. Just before the chronology Joelle is reflecting on her "powerlessness over this cage"; then the chronology might be referencing a different kind of 'cage' society is becoming trapped within; then the narrative picks up with the "husks of Lemon Pledge" from arms and legs, including "five-holed masks", which are vaguely cage-like, though more encasing than encaging.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 18 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
Translated by Maël Soucaze © 2009 phpBB.fr