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: The Great Convexity (Yes, Convexity)
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 8:02 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:38 pm
Posts: 18
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
To help illustrate the geography of the Great Convexity (being a "Nuck"), I've taken the description DFW provides in a fictional-semi-fictional headline from Mario's film on page 399...
Quote:
[...] GENTLE DECLARES ALL U.S. TERRITORY NORTH OF LINE FROM SYRACUSE TO TICONDEROGA, NY, TICONDEROGA, NY TO SALEM, MA FEDERAL DISASTERS [...]

... and made it into a map (with some help from Google):
Attachment:
The Great Convexity - p399.JPG
The Great Convexity - p399.JPG [ 81.07 KiB | Viewed 6028 times ]

Of course, it bears noting that the narrator of these film scenes indicates on page 400 that
Quote:
it's hard to tell which of the headlines and other stuff are for real and which have been dickied with, usually, if you're too young to recall the actual chronology.

But given that the headline description seems to match other references in the novel generally, I'm inclined to take it as "fact".


--Todeswalzer.

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 Post subject: Re: The Great Convexity (Yes, Convexity)
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 11:34 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 6:47 am
Posts: 63
Location: Brooklyn, NY
This is awesome, thanks for posting it. I've been thinking of the Concavity/Convexity in terms of the concavity or convexity of the site itself - ie; the USA might tend to think of it as just a hole in the ground, even if it's become so full of waste and trash that it is actually a mound. But now I realize it's obvious that you could apply the same language to the territory redistribution - like whether you think it's a chunk of land scooped out from the map (USA) or a chunk of land plopped onto it (Canada)


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 Post subject: Re: The Great Convexity (Yes, Convexity)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 1:25 pm 
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Nice work. I always thought all of Vermont and New Hampster were gone.

Thanks for the visual. And the blood- or glitter-spattered Concavity. Nice touch.


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 Post subject: Re: The Great Convexity (Yes, Convexity)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:50 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2009 12:55 am
Posts: 35
I did this map a while ago: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8& ... d314ae&z=6

Mostly seems similar, but why did yours go so much more west? still looking for more hints to refine mine.


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 Post subject: Re: The Great Convexity (Yes, Convexity)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 11:23 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:38 pm
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Location: Ottawa, Ontario
quinn wrote:
Mostly seems similar, but why did yours go so much more west? still looking for more hints to refine mine.

The reason my map shows the Convexity covering the western part of New England all the way to the (current) U.S.-Canada border near Niagara Falls is because the passage on page 399 indicating that "all U.S. territory north" of the line made from connecting the three cities mentioned suggests, to me anyway, that the border would also cover everything that falls north-west of that area as well.

On a related but separate point, there's also another interesting clue dropped about the area of the Convexity in a passage from page 438:
Quote:
GENTLE AT LARGE! -- Superheader; TOURS NEW 'NEW-NEW' [sic!!] ENGLAND BORDER AMID TIGHT SECURITY -- Header; WHACKS CHAMPAGNE BOTTLES AGAINST MASSIVE LUCITE WALLS SOUTH OF WHAT USED TO BE SYRACUSE, CONCORD NH, SALEM MA.

The reference to a "New" New-New England would suggest that the original borders of the Convexity in fact had to be enlarged at some point after the original establishment of the area. I believe that the conclusion reached by such an inference is reliable (despite the annoying hint at page 400 that the narration may not be entirely truthful) for the reason that the cities mentioned in the passage on page 438 -- Syracuse, Concord, and Salem -- all fall within the original borders as described on page 399. The fact that the two passages agree on their shared geographical claims is fairly significant, in my opinion.

That means, then, that the Convexity is actually growing -- a very startling thought indeed.


--Todeswalzer.

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 Post subject: Re: The Great Convexity (Yes, Convexity)
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:20 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2009 12:55 am
Posts: 35
Aha! you are indeed correct! also found this:

Spoiler! ""By the time Hal's envisioned himself tumbling over American Falls at the Concavity's southwest rim in a rusty old noxious-waste-displacement drum, ..." pg 806"

Which puts it neatly at Niagara falls. My map is updated now.


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 Post subject: Re: The Great Convexity (Yes, Convexity)
PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 5:28 am 
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Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:01 pm
Posts: 82
Location: Mansfield, MA
People would really ask questions if we had that map on our IS t-shirts. ;)

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