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: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 11:24 am 
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Posts: 24
aka Joelle van Dyne aka Madame Psychosis. Surprised no one's started a thread about this just yet. Just another great character that I can't wait to learn more about. I do have a couple questions though? Does she wear a veil because her deformity is that she is too pretty, interesting twist, or does the veil have something to do with Orin being a "dodger of flung acid extraordinare" (223)? Also the nature of her relationship with Himself is interesting too. Feel like going back and reviewing footnote 24. Anybody else with any thoughts about P.G.O.A.T.?


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 11:59 am 
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I, too, was surprised that there had been no topic yet about Joelle or the section dealing with her. I actually found this to be one of the best sections of the book so far, perhaps a bit difficult to get through but honestly mesmerizing in its details.

It does seem like Joelle wears a veil because she is too pretty. The U.H.I.D. is, I think, very flawed in its mission. In wearing a veil it seems like you'd only alienate yourself more from others, as you are deliberately hiding yourself and reducing communication and understanding.

The connections briefly drawn to the caller's question about the moon and J.O.I.'s Cage III — Free Show are really great. These, along with Joelle and the U.H.I.D. as a whole, seem to deal with this idea of seeing and judging others without truly communicating with or understanding them.


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 2:11 pm 
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Location: Oakland, CA
The bathroom freebase preparation section goes up there with the Erdedy section and the Kate Gompert section for beautifully streamed description. DFW gets every detail right. Remember Erdedy preparing his cartridges because it would be too hard to decide which would be best once he was on his binge? Joelle dumping her paraphernalia before going out on her last plunge into Too Much Fun is perfect, and the description of the base sliding out the tube is just mouth-watering.

I was inspired by this section to write up an old experience of Too Much Fun - http://infinitetasks.wordpress.com/2009/07/16/too-much-fun/ - with a little additional commentary on when Substance turns to Dis-Ease. Infinite Detox kindly pointed out, too, that there's an important connection here to Teddy Schacht, described during the Port Washington meet, reminding us of the possibility that there are also "well-constituted individuals who sometimes maybe forget to finish their cocktail, or who are otherwise able to take what they want from a given Substance and then walk away."

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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 5:42 pm 
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Location: Salt Lake City and no, I'm not one, either.
I came away from the Joelle section thoroughly convinced that since O. was "dodger of flung acid extraordinaire," she was the exact opposite. As 'Madame Psychosis' on the radio, her familiarity with the U.H.I.D. makes me think she availed herself of their services, somehow (the veil?). Otherwise, I agree with all of you who found this passage very compelling. And, of course, we're left wondering, what's the outcome of her tying up the bathroom?


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 7:00 pm 
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I too was left with the impression that her face had been scarred by the acid that Orin had managed to dodge.
It's fascinating to me to see that, in many ways, we're all reading different books. It's as if DFW has written a book so complex that we all experience it in a totally different manner (more so than with other books, anyway). He inundates us with info, and we all key on different bits, based on our knowledge and background, and occasionally end up coming away with very different ideas of what happened in Part X.

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"It is easy to put on a show & be cocky. . . Or I can show you some really fancy movement. But to express oneself honestly, not lying to oneself. . . now that, my friend, is very hard to do." --Bruce Lee


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 10:12 pm 
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I seem to have completely missed the references to "flung acid." Besides "dodger of flung acid extraordinaire," which seemed out of context at the time and so I passed over it without much thought, was there any other mention of something like this in this section? I was actually convinced that she chose to wear a veil because she was too pretty, which she wanted to hide from everyone because as it were they were too afraid to approach her. But then, I may have totally missed something.


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 8:14 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:51 am
Posts: 43
Joelle and her veil did puzzle me, too. I think the idea of being "too pretty" makes sense. Also, I remember that the late Michael Jackson (and his children) also wore veils in public. Jackson had been doing this for years, so it is possible that DFW had him in mind when he wrote IJ. Jackson went out in a veil for protection from germs and toxins, if I remember correctly.


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:41 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 4:23 pm
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Location: Madison, WI
I do not find it believable that Joelle v.D. veils herself because of her beauty. She seemed to wear her beauty effortlessly in college, so why the disguise now? Also, hardcore addiction has a way of destroying any natural beauty an addict may have been blessed with at birth.


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 6:16 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 6:47 am
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Location: Brooklyn, NY
dws wrote:
I do not find it believable that Joelle v.D. veils herself because of her beauty. She seemed to wear her beauty effortlessly in college, so why the disguise now? Also, hardcore addiction has a way of destroying any natural beauty an addict may have been blessed with at birth.


She wears it effortlessly in college but we still don't know what happened between then and when she became Madame Psychosis. I think it's possible that the drugs and her involvement with JOI could have changed the way she thinks about her beauty.

I also got the feeling she may have been molested by her dad - the description of the two of them at the movie theatre was kind of suspicious. maybe that has something to do with it.

but all that's not to say i think she veils herself because of her beauty. i have no idea.


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 6:31 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 4:23 pm
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Location: Madison, WI
I guess we'll just have to wait and see....


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