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: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 7:20 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2009 12:08 pm
Posts: 24
Joelle and her obsession with film is also interesting as was Orin's obsession with viewing himself kicking the ball. Viewing the world through a lens serves as a filter and removes the videographer from being a participant of the experience and makes them an observer. It creates a safe distance or detachment from what is being experienced. Perhaps her veil serves a similar function? Or maybe it does just the opposite and allows her to experience things that her "transhuman beauty" would prevent her from doing. Not sure, could be either, could be both, just spit-balling here.

I do enjoy reading other peoples thoughts so thanks to everyone who has replied to this post.


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 7:47 pm 
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Posts: 71
Quote:
Viewing the world through a lens serves as a filter and removes the videographer from being a participant of the experience and makes them an observer. It creates a safe distance or detachment from what is being experienced.

As noted in the Blair Witch Project!:
Quote:
Josh: I see why you like this video camera so much.

Heather: You do?

Josh: It's not quite reality.

Mike: Reality says we've gotta moooove.

Josh: No but its totally like filtered reality man. It's like you can
pretend everything is not quite the way it is.


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 7:59 pm 
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Posts: 71
Is there anything yet indicating the timing of Joelle donning the veil? If she is doing it because of her beauty and not some perhaps-acid-induced deformity, I wonder if it is connected to the film stuff she did with JOI, in that perhaps the infantile regression induced by the samizdat actually happened to someone while they were putting the film together, such that she feared the effects of her own beauty.

The filmography does not indicate she is veiled until The Night Wears a Sombrero, and before that point she was being cast, I'm guessing non-veiled, as a catatonia-inspiring vision.


Last edited by troybob on Sun Jul 19, 2009 8:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 8:08 pm 
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Posts: 32
Quote:
I also got the feeling she may have been molested by her dad - the description of the two of them at the movie theatre was kind of suspicious. maybe that has something to do with it.


Lots of speculation here, but: I didn't think there were really any implications of that. I thought their relationship was sincere. The primary purpose of the description of the past here seemed to lie in the phrase "so taken care of." It seemed like Joelle was yearning for the kind of protection that her father and films once brought her when she was a child. She found that same protection in Orin, and then sought the protection again in drugs after she and Orin broke up. Unfortunately all this protection never prepared her to be able to live her life on her own, so she entered the same state of inaction through obsession with/addiction to something—a state familiar to many of our other characters—, and then eventually she committed suicide.

Quote:
Joelle and her obsession with film is also interesting as was Orin's obsession with viewing himself kicking the ball.


I felt like Orin's obsession here—almost masturbatory in nature—along with Joelle's continual participation in J.O.I.'s films were what drove Orin and Joelle apart. In fact this shift from what seemed like a genuinely loving relationship to such lonely activities (particularly Orin's, though Joelle seems to alienate herself once she begins to don the veil) seems to perfectly epitomize the themes that IJ is getting at. Not surprising since these two characters seem so pivotal to IJ's central plot (if it can be said to have a central plot).


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 9:28 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:25 am
Posts: 89
Location: Brooklyn
joel wrote:
Quote:
I also got the feeling she may have been molested by her dad - the description of the two of them at the movie theatre was kind of suspicious. maybe that has something to do with it.


Lots of speculation here, but: I didn't think there were really any implications of that. I thought their relationship was sincere. The primary purpose of the description of the past here seemed to lie in the phrase "so taken care of." It seemed like Joelle was yearning for the kind of protection that her father and films once brought her when she was a child. She found that same protection in Orin, and then sought the protection again in drugs after she and Orin broke up.


But pg. 237 specifically said that Orin "never made her feel quite so taken care of." I'm not sure what I think about their relationship. Some of the language seemed to imply that it was based more on some kind of mutual... compulsion, nearly, than love. On pg. 296, Orin told his friends that he was "by all indications" in love with somebody, which doesn't exactly sound heartfelt.

Also, even though the text doesn't directly discuss the possibility that Joelle's father molested her, I came away with that impression too, so there must be something that would leave more than one person with an uneasy feeling. Maybe her hand in his lap on pg. 237? Or the line that Orin "never made her feel about to be entered by something that didn't know she was there and yet was all about making her feel good anyway, coming in." There's definitely a sexual undertone there, but at the same time, the "didn't know she was there" seems to refer back to the films she watched, as though her experience watching films was in some way sexual in nature.

Anyway, I don't have a formulated opinion here, so I'm not trying to argue with you - I'm just wary of every determination I make and end up playing Devil's Advocate to myself, too.


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:37 am 
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Posts: 47
dioramaorama wrote:
dws wrote:
I do not find it believable that Joelle v.D. veils herself because of her beauty. She seemed to wear her beauty effortlessly in college, so why the disguise now? Also, hardcore addiction has a way of destroying any natural beauty an addict may have been blessed with at birth.


She wears it effortlessly in college but we still don't know what happened between then and when she became Madame Psychosis. I think it's possible that the drugs and her involvement with JOI could have changed the way she thinks about her beauty.

I also got the feeling she may have been molested by her dad - the description of the two of them at the movie theatre was kind of suspicious. maybe that has something to do with it.

but all that's not to say
Quote:
i think she veils herself because of her beauty
. i have no idea.


Perhaps her beauty is her veil.


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:43 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:48 am
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Location: Orlando, FL
beatnik wrote:
I came away from the Joelle section thoroughly convinced that since O. was "dodger of flung acid extraordinaire," she was the exact opposite.


This was my immediate reaction too - that she did not dodge the acid. I'm a first time reader, so I actually have no idea if this is the case, but my gut reaction as the various threads start to come together is that perhaps she was disfigured during an attack by a separatist group. Or maybe acid was used during the Language Riots?

Joan


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:21 am 
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Location: Brooklyn, NY
stephaniejane wrote:
Also, even though the text doesn't directly discuss the possibility that Joelle's father molested her, I came away with that impression too, so there must be something that would leave more than one person with an uneasy feeling. Maybe her hand in his lap on pg. 237?


"when she was of back-pocket height and prettier by far than any of the peach-colored titans they'd gazed up at, his hand in her lap her hand in the box and rooting down past candy for the Prize"

That's what made me uneasy. This jumped out at me when I first read it, and then I had to re-read it like three times to make sure I understood what was or wasn't being said. I think it's because a page or two back the description was of her hand in his lap... so reading this just gave me the sense that something was off that I couldn't quite pinpont. It kind of had the same effect as Hal's face-in-the-floor dream. And I think what made her feel "taken care of" was standing in line at the movies, anticipating that feeling of being totally absorbed. The parallel is between the entertainment and the drugs.


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:16 am 
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Quote:
Or the line that Orin "never made her feel about to be entered by something that didn't know she was there and yet was all about making her feel good anyway, coming in." There's definitely a sexual undertone there, but at the same time, the "didn't know she was there" seems to refer back to the films she watched, as though her experience watching films was in some way sexual in nature.


Good point about the sexual undertones here, though I think "never made her feel about to be entered by something that didn't know she was there and yet was all about making her feel good anyway, coming in" is a parallel to, not a contrast with, the feeling that she got from her father and watching films. She repeats in italics the phrase "so taken care of" with both and seems to be emphasizing the similar feeling she got from them. I.e., the films did know she was there and yet were all about making her feel good. Thus, her relationship with her father, films, and Orin all made her feel secure. The sexual undertones imply pleasure without objectification or forgetting the love inherent in the relationship, and it's said w/r/t Orin, so it certainly has literal sexual meaning there. However, I feel like it would only be fair to take it as a metaphor for the nonsexual pleasure she got from her father and film, rather than a literal indication of molestation.

With that being said, it is still possible that her father molested her. You said,

Quote:
Some of the language seemed to imply that it was based more on some kind of mutual... compulsion, nearly, than love.


and I think you make a good point. In any case, the "compulsion" consistently lies on Joelle's side. Her relationships constantly act as protections for her. This doesn't necessarily mean that the relationships aren't sincere and loving, only that they may have been too much so. I'm convinced that Orin truly felt that he loved her*, though we don't know enough about her father to conclude that he hadn't, as you say, molested her. I think it's still possible for all of the hand-holding and hand-in-lap stuff to simply involve a father being physically close to his daughter, emphasizing the protection element, etc. But if he did molest her, I think it's still possible for her to have found protection in her relationship with him, similar to all of the other protections she later found.




*
Quote:
On pg. 296, Orin told his friends that he was "by all indications" in love with somebody, which doesn't exactly sound heartfelt.


I can imagine someone saying something like this in all glee to his friends, heartfelt in all intentions. I understand that you can see it as an almost scientific, impersonal calculation of his love, though I feel like it's simply a phrase he used to create emphasis.


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 11:11 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:36 am
Posts: 36
I don't really want to clarify things because that would amount to a spoiler but I will say, since a thread has been made about her, that I adore Joelle.


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