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: Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:00 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2009 5:46 pm
Posts: 23
JRLSberro wrote:
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?

p283 mentions Orin visiting Joelle's home and seeing her father's "incredible Pyrex collection of every solution in the known world that can turn blue litmus paper red". AKA, "acids". :-O

Assuming this isn't just a red herring though, it still doesn't prove anything; maybe she threw the acid at him, and missed, and neither of them is scarred...


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:38 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:25 am
Posts: 89
Location: Brooklyn
joel wrote:
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.


I had forgotten it, but I think the line that Dioramaorama quoted, ""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," is what had me feeling as if her father may have crossed the line. The capitalization of the P in Prize seems pretty charged. And yeah, if their relationship was sexual, I think it would make sense that she took such like, comfort in his presence - that seems likely from a psychological standpoint.

Still, I have no idea, and I think it's very possible that Orin truly did love her as well. I just second guess everything I read since the language is so intentional - one or two words might belie the page that surround them and hint at something developed later in the book. Or not.. I'm waiting to see!


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 3:22 pm 
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It doesn't seem all that unlikely to me that she dons a veil because she's beautiful. I can see how donning the veil helps her actually get close to and relate to people, rather than being an alienating element. The section talking about the beginning of her and Orin's relationship makes it clear that Orin felt very intimidated by her and was sure she'd never be interested in someone like him. The section actually comes out and says that she was "almost universally shunned", calling her "hideously attractive" (290).

I'd wager that what really happens after college is not that someone throws acid in her face, but that something goes down in her relationship with Orin that changes how she wants to interact with the world.


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:37 pm 
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Remember that in her Madame Psychosis show, the UHID pamphlet she's reading from says, "[t]he fatally pulchritudinous: Welcome. The Actaeonizing side by side with the Medusoid." In the litany of deformities listed during the show, these stand out a bit to me.

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


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 3:53 am 
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levingard wrote:
Remember that in her Madame Psychosis show, the UHID pamphlet she's reading from says, "[t]he fatally pulchritudinous: Welcome. The Actaeonizing side by side with the Medusoid." In the litany of deformities listed during the show, these stand out a bit to me.

I was going to say exactly the same. That's why I'm in the 'too pretty' camp.


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:49 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 9:00 pm
Posts: 18
Location: Salt Lake City and no, I'm not one, either.
We know that Joelle was already using cocaine when she & Orin got together in college, and however many years later, her drug addiction led her to her own personal cliff, in Molly Notkin's apartment. If not the victim of 'flung acid,' perhaps the addiction has led her to incredible beauty sadly lost, which is what she hides with the veil.


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:23 pm 
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Posts: 48
For what it's worth, we know that Joelle was already wearing the veil when she was working in J.O.I.'s films--the recent section on Mario explained as much (for he talks about getting Big Red Soda Water for his dad's veiled intern). So I'm still firmly on the side of her wearing the veil *BECAUSE* of her beauty. Consider what she suffers from in her suicidal thoughts: Too Much Fun. Is it that far of a leap to say that one can have Too Much Beauty? Or, re: Marathe, have Too Much Freedom? If we're all addicts, re: Day, then we're all guilty, deep down, of Too Much, and Too Much, unchecked, is the essence of addiction. It implies a loss of control. Hence the U.H.I.D.'s theory that by wearing the veil, one can take *back* control by living secretly in the public's eye.


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 2:27 pm 
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Posts: 24
I honestly think it could be either or and I think at this point I wouldn't mind if the issue is left unanswered.

However, given the seeming autobiographical nature of some of the films in the J. O. I. Filmography I would like to draw attention to one of his films entitled Safe Boating Is No Accident " ...struggling with his romantic conscience after his fiancee's ('Psychosis''s) face is grotesquely mangled by an outboard propeller"

Granted it's a film so they could have put make up on her face, and maybe being someone freakishly beautiful she would jump at the chance to play the role of someone who had been disfigured.

Curiouser and curiouser.


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:31 pm 
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I've been following this thread and I just finished the section about Mario's own (arguably) hideous and improbable deformities, from pages 312-317. The very end of the section mentions that a "veiled legate from the Union of Hideously and Improbably Deformed showed up ... to discuss with Mario ... of the openness of concealment the veil might afford him ..." Aside from having a rather large head and being homodontic, I dont think Mario has any actual facial deformities, so needing to hide his face would be unecessary. The UHID member was also veiled, although it was never stated what hideous and/or improbable deformity(s) he was stricken with. The veil seems to be their badge, their outward sign of membership, as well as having some sort of empowerment through obfuscation thing associated with it. The reason Joelle wears the veil might not necessarily be due to her debilitating beauty or to an injury she may have suffered and might not even relate to either of those things.


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 4:10 am 
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Posts: 47
Could it be possible that the veils are not physical veils but psychic veils?

Possibly the veils are a barrier experienced by the observer, but not the observed?

I don't recall any passages where the person with the veil consciously removes it or does anything with it. Or even acknowledges it. The veils are seen by the observer or the person they are 'interfacing' with somehow.

I keep thinking that the beauty or deformity is seen by the observer and experienced by the viewer and not by the person who is beautiful. It is reflected to them via the viewer. Thus the veil is only a reality to the observer and not to the person who is veiled. This turns the idea of a veil sort of inside out. The veil is not being used by the wearer but is something projected onto the veiled person by the viewer. And the barrier or veil is created by whatever it is that causes the viewer to react by projecting a veil or barrier onto that person. Beauty is definitely something that could fall into this category. Also, anything intimidating to the viewer. The veil is experienced and felt and reacted to by the viewer, not the veiled. The veil is not in the control of the veiled. It is in the control of the "beholder" or the viewer.

The veils do seem to go in and out of reality. Sometimes the veils are there and sometimes they are not. With no explanations. No continuity. They seem projected onto the person being veiled.


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