Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
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 Post subject: Re: YDAU, time period
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:39 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:50 pm
Posts: 71
SPOILERISH FOR COMPARING SUBSIDIZED TIME TO B.S. TIME:

In winter 1960, JOI's father says "Son, you're ten..." p 159. So he was born around 1950, depending on month/day.

JOI died in the Year of the Trial-Size Dove Bar (p 64).

JOI died at age 54 (p 64).

-->

JOI died about 2004.

2004 is approximately Year of the Trial-Size Dove Bar.

From chronology on p 223, YDAU is around 2009.


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 Post subject: Re: YDAU, time period
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:01 pm 
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Without being too spoilerish, various clues in the text have led most who've tried to do the math to suspect IJ's setting is right around our present.


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 Post subject: Re: YDAU, time period
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:54 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:36 am
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Location: Oakland, CA
dannymears wrote:
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!"


Responding here to a post from two-plus weeks back, but I've just posted a discussion on "Why IJ Doesn't Count as Science-Fiction" at http://infinitetasks.wordpress.com/2009 ... e-fiction/.

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 Post subject: Re: YDAU, time period
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 9:36 am 
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Also, from the chronology on page 223:
Spoiler! "Year (6) in the O.N.A.N. chronology is "Year of the Yushitu 2007 Mimetic-Resolution-Cartridge-View...", and Year (8) is YDAU. If subsidized time is limited to North America, it would make sense that Year (6) would be 2007, and YDAU would therefore be 2009."


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 Post subject: Re: YDAU, time period
PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 1:52 am 
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Location: Madison, WI
chelejean wrote:
"cartridges" has been puzzling to me, too.


See pp. 411-418.


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 Post subject: Re: YDAU, time period
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 7:12 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:01 pm
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I really don't see the novel as really having a sci-fi bent to it. Of course, I read the novel for the first time this year. Maybe if I read it in 1996, I would think differently.

IJ has high-definition TV, "on demand" entertainment, cartridges available basically by a "netflix"-like service, video phones, entertainment monopolies (seriously, once Charter or Comcast buys the other, we might as well call them Interlace), the computer as multi-media home theater w/high-speed internet, more people working from home, an unnecessarily vain president, an overbearing presidential cabinet member as the brain trust (Rod the God Cheney, last administration), US-Canada-Mexico alliance (cf. the "Amero" conspiracy theory), the NFL with its players literally as mascots, an ultra-connected informational world where people are growing further apart...

Even in 1996, did DFW call it.

The only "sci-fi" element in IJ is the energy source, "annular" fusion; however, I don't think it's as advanced as certain people in the book want you to believe. To me, it just seems like the former US is flinging nuclear waste into the Convexity (with respect to my French-Canadian ancestry), and it's debatable what the Convexity is really like,[*] thanks in no part to JOI being a film-maker, and therefore able to create all the propaganda he wants.

[*]Spoiler! "I'm sorry, but Pemulis' explanation of the annular process to the exchange student (dammit, I need to get my book back!) seems to be too idyllic. No way the Convexity is so-non-toxic-it's-overly-fertile. How come it's unlivable, then? Joelle's "technical interview" with Steeply suggests the belief that the Convexity is a toxic waste dump and about as accommodating as one."


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