Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
It is currently Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:55 am

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  [ 73 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:17 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 1:34 pm
Posts: 24
I saw that too - there's no way that's a coincidence. It seems crazy to think that almost every word in a 1079 page novel was chosen for effect but I think we are underestimating the amount of cross-referencing and fractal imaging in the book, not overestimating.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:27 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2009 12:08 pm
Posts: 24
I'm really enjoying the developing realtionship between Joelle and Don. And the game of cat and mouse they engage in and Don's attempt to get Joelle to just say no. It culminates with the following passage:
Quote:
Don, I'm perfect. I'm so beautiful I drive anybody with a nervous system out of their fucking mind. Once they've seen me they can't think of anything else and don't want to look at anything else and stop carrying out normal responsibilities and believe that if they can only have me right there with them at all times everything will be all right. Everything. Like I'm the solution to their deep slavering need to be jowl to cheek with perfection.


Don doesn't believe.

I think she might have been this at one point but I don't know if she still is.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 12:34 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:48 am
Posts: 61
Quote:
Don doesn't believe.

I think she might have been this at one point but I don't know if she still is.




There does seem to be a nagging uncertainty about whether P.G.O.A.T. is wearing the veil because she is deformed in the conventional sense or rather due to the fact that she actually is so incredibly beautiful that she attracts the same type of uncomfortable attention from others that she would with a more conventional deformity. Her statement to Don Gately certainly references the danger inherent in viewing the Entertainment.

Quote:
Don, I'm perfect. I'm so beautiful I drive anybody with a nervous system out of their fucking mind. Once they've seen me they can't think of anything else and don't want to look at anything else and stop carrying out normal responsibilities and believe that if they can only have me right there with them at all times everything will be all right. Everything. Like I'm the solution to their deep slavering need to be jowl to cheek with perfection.


If you recall, her first relationship was with Orin because prior to that men were so stunned by her beauty they never entertained thoughts of wooing her knowing the pursuit of such a devastatingly beautiful woman was condemned to failure. The veil may be a device to assist her in avoiding that initial reaction. One can only imagine how the P.G.O.A.T., sans veil, would be received at Ennet House.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:35 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 7:08 am
Posts: 48
Yeah, I thought that at this part she was actually, at last, resolving for the avid reader the truth that she wears the veil not from any acid-scarring but because she actually *IS* that beautiful.

Also, anybody else delighted by the crush Joelle seems to be forming for Gately the second she finds out that he once placed football?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 2:00 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 6:47 am
Posts: 63
Location: Brooklyn, NY
illogicaljoker wrote:
Also, anybody else delighted by the crush Joelle seems to be forming for Gately the second she finds out that he once placed football?


I really want them to get married and go off to be happy and sober together! But somehow I get the feeling DFW probably won't be providing this much narrative closure.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:31 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 1:34 pm
Posts: 24
OK, so the character of Joelle Van Dyne is doing so many things at this point that I feel compelled to use an outline format:

1) She fills the role of Hamlet-analogue of Ophelia
a) She was virginal until she dated Orin (a Hamlet analogue along with Hal)
i) We don’t know yet if Orin dumped her but it seems likely
b) She worked with Himself on films (i.e. like she was at the court of the King.)
c) She tried to kill herself, like Ophelia, albeit unsuccessfully
d) She “takes the veil,” which in Hamlet would refer to becoming a nun – but even in the modern world she isolates herself from society
i) e.g. Hamlet shouts “Get thee to a nunnery” at Ophelia - we don't know what happened when Orin broke up with the PGOAT yet
e) She then becomes “Madam Psychosis,” similar to how Ophelia went mad in Hamlet
i) But she is not actually crazy -perhaps, as the Tick would say, she is "going sane in a crazy world"

2) She wears a veil which itself has multiple meanings:
a) In the first major scene told from her perspective, she gets heckled by passers-by about her veil.
i) The first one asks "Where"s the wedding?"
ii) The second one asks: "Where's the funeral?"
iii) These two events are the only socially acceptable times to wear a veil in our society and are parallel to the love / death duality / identity discussion expanded below...
b) The ancient Greek character Medusa wore a veil because she could turn men to stone by looking at them – Medusa is compared to “The Entertainment” by Marathe, and contrasted with it. The Greeks feared death and suffering, so they imagined Medusa to be ugly. But Americans worship beauty, and so we have the "Odalisque"
i) Joelle has always had the effect of disabling men who are near, so that they are afraid to talk to her here
ii) As the character in “The Entertainment,” she becomes much more like Medusa with the power to kill / permanently disable the minds of watchers
c) Medusa becomes another metaphor for addiction and “Too Much Fun” – an overpowering experience that renders the addict paralyzed and dead to the outside world
d) At the extreme, DFW seems to be saying, ugliness and beauty are almost interchangeable - the PGOAT is the incarnation, and the actress, of the characters in the art film about a battling Medusa and the Odalisque of St. Theresa

3) Wikipedia says "Odalisque" refers to a mistress or concubine, or a servant to concubines
a) The reference to St. Therese likely refers to the Ecstasy of St. Theresa, which is a sculpture by Bernini completed in 1652, depicting St. Theresa of Avila in religious rapture, but with sexual elements – eyes half-closed and mouth open, being touched by an angel.
b) The Entertainment is a sort of substitute for religious rapture itself, but in a dark, all-consuming way - the hellish opposite of a heavenly experience
i) Orin treats his "subjects" like concubines, as another way to find temporary rapture, in an addictive, escapist fashion.

4) The name Joelle Van Dyne is very similar to the Marvel Comics super-hero known as the “The Wasp” - secret identity Janet Van Dyne - a member of the Avengers who can shrink to the size of an insect, fly, and shoot electric blasts from her hands.
a) Electric blasts are similar to electro-shock therapy undergone by Kate Gompert, perhaps Joelle, and DFW himself
b) OK, so this one probably doesn’t really mean anything.

Thoughts?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:57 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 10:27 am
Posts: 28
mjdemo wrote:
Thoughts?
It's early, so only three:
1. This is the only forum I can think of where someone could quote Wallace, Shakespeare, and The Tick in the same post. Kudos.
2. Get thee to a nunnery, in Shakespeare's time meant "you might as well go to the whorehouse". He was abjectifying Ophelia's sexuality.
3. Your penchant for elucidating these parallels is uncanny.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 7:58 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2009 7:51 pm
Posts: 2
<shaking fist toward sky> "oh you!"

pg 634 10th Ann. Edt.
"This was after the girl Orin had been wildly in love with and Himself had compulsively used in films had been disfigured."

Maybe Hal thought she was disfigured because she started to wear the veil, or is she really disfigured?

The suspense at this point is unbelievable. I just want to read and read.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:45 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2009 12:08 pm
Posts: 24
I saw that too and didn't know what to think either.

Another question I have about Joelle concerns Mario. Does anyone think Mario realizes that Madame Psychosis is Orin's old girlfriend? He was always on Himself's sets, so you think he would recognize the voice? Not sure.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:10 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:48 am
Posts: 59
Location: Orlando, FL
1.0 wrote:
Another question I have about Joelle concerns Mario. Does anyone think Mario realizes that Madame Psychosis is Orin's old girlfriend? He was always on Himself's sets, so you think he would recognize the voice?

That's a great point - after all her voice struck Gately as familiar and then it finally hits him so you would think that given the intensity with which Mario would listen he would have picked it up. But perhaps he was so visually oriented while on Himself's sets and he's so aurally oriented when listening to MP's show it doesn't connect.

And I caught that brief mention by Hal, too. I just don't know and I have a sense that there will be no actual resolution to it!


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 73 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8  Next

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:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
Translated by Maël Soucaze © 2009 phpBB.fr