Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
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 Post subject: Hometown
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 6:52 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 5:56 am
Posts: 2
I must admit, I began reading IJ for reasons that were mostly geographic.

I was completely floored this spring when an idling trip to Wikipedia revealed that Mr. Wallace, Towering Giant of Contemporary Literature, was born and raised in a tiny town five miles—just five country blocks of corn and soy!—south of my boyhood home, in Philo, IL, whose population count on the green sign by the highway is kept at a perpetual "1000" even. He wrote a memoir about his time in the place, though it's mostly about geometry and (of course) tennis. I get the sense that he put a tremendous amount of himself into IJ, and throughout it I keep hunting for themes (or even just cameos) from our common geography, but I think DFW is maybe the very definition of transcending one's hometown. He name drops the UofI here, mentions that State Farm Insurance is based in Bloomington there, but I think this book ultimately belongs to Boston, as far as cities go.

Are there any Urbana-ites out there? Champaigners? Anybody from Phlio!?!???!!? (Sidney? Tolono? Villa Grove? Anywhere within the 217 area code?) Holla! Also, in addition to hollering, perhaps you might contribute to a thematic discussion of the relation/non-relation of rural east central Illinois' sense of place to DFW's life and work!?

—eric


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 Post subject: Re: Hometown
PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 6:20 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2009 6:04 pm
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I lived in Decatur for a over a decade, and originally heard of DFW because at the time he was on the faculty at ISU.


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 Post subject: Re: Hometown
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 2:08 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 11:41 pm
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The View from Mrs. Thompson's is set back in Bloomington, too. Fabulous piece, if you haven't read it.


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