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 Aug 31, 2009 5:42 pm 
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scottbateman wrote:
On previous readings (this is my third), I'd had the theory that somehow the acid throw had made her even more beautiful than she had been previously.


That would be one hell of a chemical peel.


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 9:45 pm 
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Thank God for Molly Notkin! The book could have ended without the information she provided and this still would have been an excellent book. But talk about an embarassment of riches. Not only do we get the definitive(at least as I believe) account of what is behind the veil but we also get a performers summary of Infintie Jest ( The Entertainment/samizdat) but on top of that at no additonal cost the icing on the cake or gravy if you will, we get the, I see you your family's crazy Thanksgiving Incadneza, and I raise you the VanDyne family dinner. WOW!

I could take issue with the style and technique of how this was delivered but I am so greatful to finally have some answers that I will take them however I can get them.


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 1:54 pm 
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Location: Brooklyn
1.0 wrote:
Thank God for Molly Notkin! The book could have ended without the information she provided and this still would have been an excellent book. But talk about an embarassment of riches. Not only do we get the definitive(at least as I believe) account of what is behind the veil but we also get a performers summary of Infintie Jest ( The Entertainment/samizdat) but on top of that at no additonal cost the icing on the cake or gravy if you will, we get the, I see you your family's crazy Thanksgiving Incadneza, and I raise you the VanDyne family dinner. WOW!

I could take issue with the style and technique of how this was delivered but I am so greatful to finally have some answers that I will take them however I can get them.


I've read online that some people doubt Molly Notkin's credibility, citing errors in her interview. I really don't know - I tend to believe her account, and I do believe Joelle was scarred by the acid - but just to play Devil's Advocate, I do know that people have disputed her account.


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 3:59 pm 
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I'm of the camp that Molly Notkin isn't trustworthy (and also of the camp that Joelle wasn't hit by acid, but the two don't necessarily go together). The only parts of her interview that rang true seemed to be the ones that were corroborated by other parts of the book. I felt a bit like that was an underlying message of the scene being presented as an interrogation, and with the end note that precedes the start of the interview. For example, we know that Joelle was in IJ, but no one else has yet mentioned her being either nude or pregnant in it. Also, Notkin says that her face was blocked out, but again that's not something that anyone else has said, and not something (I think) that anyone could even know, certainly Joelle wouldn't know if that was true or not. (Finally, Lucille Duquette? That kind of brought it home for me that Notkin was thoroughly full of shit, also I think way back in the early 200s it's implied or stated that Joelle lies pretty regularly to Molly.)

On the acid front, I've started to think that Joelle made up the acid story and told it to Molly a) to stop Molly from asking her about the veil, and b) as a kind of homage to JOI. The latter being something I've recently though about since facial disfigurement plays a role in JOI's films right before and during the time he met Joelle. (Blood Sister ..., and Safe Boating ... both feature characters with facial disfigurement, the latter having Joelle's character being the one disfigured, and this was before the alleged acid throwing incident.) However, none of that can explain Joelle referring to Orin as a "dodger of flung acid" particularly well. But it is supported by Joelle telling Don that she's perfect, and the UHID mentions of the lethally pulchritudinous.

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


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 6:39 pm 
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Ok, this is what I love about this book. I was convinced after my reading that Notkin was a reliable source but after the two following posts I have my doubts and that is what I enjoy about this book so much. Reminds me of something I read today in a Chuck Klosterman review of the Beatles re-issues for the AV Club:

Each possibility seems both plausible and impossible.What makes Beatles lyrics so wonderful is not that they can be interpreted to mean whatever the listener wants; what makes them wonderful is the way they seamlessly adopt contradictory (yet equally valid) interpretations as the listener matures.

I'm glad for the debate about JVD's true visage and enjoy the fact that it will remain an uncertainty. I hope.


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 9:39 am 
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levingard wrote:
I'm of the camp that Molly Notkin isn't trustworthy (and also of the camp that Joelle wasn't hit by acid, but the two don't necessarily go together). The only parts of her interview that rang true seemed to be the ones that were corroborated by other parts of the book. I felt a bit like that was an underlying message of the scene being presented as an interrogation, and with the end note that precedes the start of the interview. For example, we know that Joelle was in IJ, but no one else has yet mentioned her being either nude or pregnant in it. Also, Notkin says that her face was blocked out, but again that's not something that anyone else has said, and not something (I think) that anyone could even know, certainly Joelle wouldn't know if that was true or not. (Finally, Lucille Duquette? That kind of brought it home for me that Notkin was thoroughly full of shit, also I think way back in the early 200s it's implied or stated that Joelle lies pretty regularly to Molly.)

On the acid front, I've started to think that Joelle made up the acid story and told it to Molly a) to stop Molly from asking her about the veil, and b) as a kind of homage to JOI. The latter being something I've recently though about since facial disfigurement plays a role in JOI's films right before and during the time he met Joelle. (Blood Sister ..., and Safe Boating ... both feature characters with facial disfigurement, the latter having Joelle's character being the one disfigured, and this was before the alleged acid throwing incident.) However, none of that can explain Joelle referring to Orin as a "dodger of flung acid" particularly well. But it is supported by Joelle telling Don that she's perfect, and the UHID mentions of the lethally pulchritudinous.


I would nominate this for post of the week. Great succinct, but broad ranging, analysis Levin.


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 9:01 pm 
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Location: Brooklyn
levingard wrote:
Also, Notkin says that her face was blocked out, but again that's not something that anyone else has said, and not something (I think) that anyone could even know, certainly Joelle wouldn't know if that was true or not.


And in fact, Joelle thinks to herself early on (during the scene where she attempts suicide) that she was, in fact, unveiled during the film.


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 9:27 am 
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levingard wrote:
I'm of the camp that Molly Notkin isn't trustworthy (and also of the camp that Joelle wasn't hit by acid, but the two don't necessarily go together). The only parts of her interview that rang true seemed to be the ones that were corroborated by other parts of the book. I felt a bit like that was an underlying message of the scene being presented as an interrogation, and with the end note that precedes the start of the interview. For example, we know that Joelle was in IJ, but no one else has yet mentioned her being either nude or pregnant in it. Also, Notkin says that her face was blocked out, but again that's not something that anyone else has said, and not something (I think) that anyone could even know, certainly Joelle wouldn't know if that was true or not.


I think that Molly is being as truthful as she can (I agree that Joelle probably lied a great deal to her), but I do agree that Joelle isn't acid-scarred under that veil. Plenty of what she (Molly) described about Infinite Jest seemed to be confirmed by Don Gately's dream of Madame Psychosis-as-mother-as-death, which implies that there are ways for us to know things that we shouldn't know, or at least things that only J.O.I. should know. (Mind-rape, say.)

My personal stance is that the acid *was* flung in her face (which explains Orin's acid-dodging experience), but that the acid somehow enhanced her beauty, disfiguring her in that fatally pulchritudinous way. (After all, she is "improbably" deformed.)

However, I think Wallace is pulling off a sort of Schroedinger double-standard here: that is, she is both the Medusa *AND* the Odalesque, so long as that veil remains on. Given the lack of facts, it is possible to have multiple accurate interpretations, a perceptual trick that actually allows Wallace to expand the limits of his novel in a far more infinite manner (that is, who is to say that there are only two sides to the coin, and not three? or four?).

Loving it!


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 2:42 pm 
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illogical joker, you totally just blew my mind with that. Schroedinger! Brilliant!


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 4:57 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 1:11 pm
Posts: 91
So Joelle is "Pretty/Concurrently Acid Traumatized," or, um, Schroedinger's P.C.A.T. ?


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