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 Saga of USS Millicent
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 5:42 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:21 pm
Posts: 63
Location: Fresyes, CA
I really loved the Mario-Millicent Kent scene. Not because of the teenage sexual awkwardness, but because I LOVE USS MILLICENT. I love how she kept telling her story in florid detail even as clueless Mario responded only with silence or dumb jokes or other typical adolescent male mind flotsam (for instance, telling Millicent that "violet was really her color" at a very inappropiate juncture). I was really getting concerned that her story of her childhood was going to turn into the Melony-molesting-Homer scene in The Cider House Rules, but this was, dare I say, much more lighthearted. There is perfect comic timing in the passage,"Then...at the age of eight she came home early from after-school drills at the U.S.T.A. Jr. Facility in Passaic NJ looking forward to slipping into the old leotard and getting in some modern interpretive dancing up in her room, only to come home suddenly and find her father was wearing her leotard. Which needless to say didn't fit very well." That one period between "leotard" and "Which" makes all the difference, doesn't it?

I wonder how damaged USSMK is by the series of similar traumas inflicted on her by her father. She never says he actually physically abused her, and she seems to have thought through all the "episodes" enough to be eloquent about them ("She says that was the exact creepy word for it: capering. Pirouetting and rondelling. Simpering, as well.")—not that that necessarily means anything. She speaks about it in a way that makes it okay to laugh with her, this girl who is not pretty, who is called USS Millicent (as if Millicent weren't bad enough), but who is more practical and confident than I would expect her to be.

I also love her violet hairbow taped to her hairdo, which becomes detached during their tryst of sorts and flutters to the ground "like a giant crazed violet moth."

I think I would like to paint that moth.


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 Post subject: Re: The Saga of USS Millicent
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 4:22 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2009 5:21 pm
Posts: 19
Location: Philadelphia, PA
i myself had difficulty picturing mario's "police lock vest" and was wondering if anybody had any idea what DFW is talking about here!


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 Post subject: Re: The Saga of USS Millicent
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 4:35 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:16 pm
Posts: 86
Location: North Dakota
The police lock makes Mario into a tripod. Imagine if you had a bat/golf club/hockey stick/broom in front of you and you leaned into it so the point was poking you in the gut. That's how I see it anyway. Police locks (that I've seen anyway) have brackets that get bolted into the door frame and a bar is extended across the door into these brackets, sort of like the ye olde times scenes in movies where a big timber is put across the door OR a bracket is bolted to the floor and the bar is wedged between the bracket and the center (like door knob level center) of the door. So Mario has something like that with a bracket installed in his vest get up.


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 Post subject: Re: The Saga of USS Millicent
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:50 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 4:38 pm
Posts: 7
Great scene. Is she really 200 kg, though? That's 440 lbs. A girl 200 lbs would be a remarkably large tennis player. Maybe Wallace and his editor remembered to change the units but forgot to make the conversion. Not that absurdity is out of place.

Thanks for the police lock vest description.


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 Post subject: Re: The Saga of USS Millicent
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 7:11 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:33 pm
Posts: 42
I was wondering about the 200kg thing too. I decided to take it as an exaggeration to drive home just how large she is. "[T]wo hundred kilos if she was a kilo." It sounds like someone beginning a tall tale.

I also liked the U.S.S. Millicent Kent "heave[s] into view." Very nautical.

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