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 Moms, The Bride, and Mummikins
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:53 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2009 10:03 am
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What is the significance behind all the guys having these nicknames for their mothers, if any?


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 Post subject: Re: the Moms, The Bride, and Mummikins
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 3:07 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2009 2:42 am
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I read it as a way to show a disconnect in the how this family relates. Kind of like how Bart calls his dad Homer. The Incandezas live together and relate to each other. They don't communicate well and seem to dwell in their own interior silos. When they do talk it's as if to an acquaintance.

"Hey its Homer" said Bart. "Bart call me Father" said Homer. "Homer" said Bart. "I said Father." said Homer. "Fathomer" said Bart. "Why you little" said Homer.


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 Post subject: Re: the Moms, The Bride, and Mummikins
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 9:51 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:25 am
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Location: Brooklyn
peaceingout wrote:
What is the significance behind all the guys having these nicknames for their mothers, if any?


I think it has to do with identity and the different faces that people present to different people in their lives. The Moms is a different person than Avril, in certain ways. Part of it's just natural - we're going to be slightly different at work than we would be after a few drinks with friends - but in a book that deals with the masks we all wear and the way people hide (sometimes compulsively) from each other, I think it calls particular attention to our multiple selves.


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 Post subject: Re: the Moms, The Bride, and Mummikins
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:39 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 7:08 am
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It's not just nicknames for their mother, though, it's their father, too. Neither of them seem able to call him by his name--in fact, the only people who can really call James by his name are the alcoholics in AA, who tend to talk to a "Jim." These particular nicknames, particularly the Moms, sort of makes them larger-than-life, that is, it disassociates them from actually being "people." The idea of actually meeting an Avril is terrifying, the thought that that person exists, let alone is related to you. But I can understand this epic "Moms," this embodiment of such universal mothering--as in, a plurality of moms--that she somehow ceases to exist, herself; this, what Bain notes is a simulacrum's behavior, or what Wallace flat-out labels as showing anhedonic tendencies.


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