Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
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 Post subject: YDAU, time period
PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 7:06 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:14 am
Posts: 12
Spoilers thru page 42, i guess.

I guess if it is ever explained (maybe I just missed it), the place where DFW chooses to define YDAU is intentional and I'm not supposed to understand what it means. But I want to know =P.

Also, that brings up another question - is the setting of this book supposed to be a near future where things are totally different (ie., the YDAU) but just similar enough that it sounds and feels like the earth we know? I'm trying to figure out if the entertainment cartridges and the player are just DFW's way of going overboard when "VCR" will do, or if everything is operating on some totally different technology framework.


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 Post subject: Re: YDAU, time period
PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 7:28 pm 
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Location: North Dakota
Maybe think of it as an alternative universe, sort of the way Tim Burton's movies are bizarre abstractions of the world we live in.


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 Post subject: Re: YDAU, time period
PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 7:39 pm 
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That works too =)


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 Post subject: Re: YDAU, time period
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 4:32 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 7:28 pm
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Location: Minneapolis
"cartridges" has been puzzling to me, too.


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 Post subject: Re: YDAU, time period
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 6:58 am 
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I think it's supposed to be near-future. Or what would have been near-future when the book was written.


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 Post subject: Re: YDAU, time period
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 11:24 am 
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Or maybe an alternate future? What if?


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 Post subject: Re: YDAU, time period
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:32 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:21 am
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As far as I'm concerned it's some sort of alternate-future/potential near-future. It seems very sci-fi in its setting and language, in so far as science fiction is concerned with the turning of a new phrase, a neologism at use in creating the new. Example prime (that I see everywhere, but haven't read) being when Robert Heinlein wrote "the door dilated," he created a whole new sense of how a door operates, creating an off-kilter, discontinuous sense of the world, a novelty.

So when Wallace is talking about "entertainment cartridges," he's going off something we're all relatively familiar with (the VHS tape, the DVD) but tweaking it to throw just enough skew in there to tell us "hey, this isn't reality!"

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 Post subject: Re: YDAU, time period
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 10:47 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:15 am
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Location: Los Angeles
Slight/minor spoiler alert to answer the question about timing:


Himself/J.O.I. was born in 1950 and died in the Year of the Trial-Sized Dove Bar (3 years after subsidization began, I believe) and 4 years before YDAU (again, I believe -- I don't have my notes on me).

I was considering putting up a "chronology" of subsidized years as far as I've been able to put together so far (I may not be fully correct in the ordering since it's deliberately oblique so far and I'm a first-time reader, but I'm sure someone who's actually read through it once could correct me if I'm wrong).

Then again, maybe I shouldn't because the treasure hunt is half the fun, right?


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 Post subject: Re: YDAU, time period
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 5:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:14 am
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Oh man, I feel kinda stupid now, but -

YDAU: Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment

Duh. I havent gotten to the part where one of the characters explains that every year is subsidized by some product, or more likely I just didnt absorb that particular detail, but after I read that last post, it suddenly just clicked. Ok, makes total sense now.


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 Post subject: Re: YDAU, time period
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:05 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 5:27 pm
Posts: 20
I think in page 225 or around there there is a timeline of years, which helps to explain it. however, as someone mentioned in the countdown, there is a reason DFW put it where he put it and you just need to trust your author that it will all work out in the end. Think of it as a movie, where you'll get to the info you need when the director choses to let you see it.


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