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Infinite Summer • View topic - Characters with multiple names

Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
It is currently Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:40 pm

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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: Characters with multiple names
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 4:11 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:42 pm
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For at least a couple of characters there are multiple names: James Incandenza, Himself, The Mad Stork, The Sad Stork, JOI; Joelle van Dyne, P.G.O.A.T., Madame Psychosis. This seems to go beyond simple nicknames. It reminds me both of Russian literature, where characters are known by full names, patronymics or diminutives depending on who's addressing them and also the Greek gods, who were sometimes known by different names and epithets depending on what aspect of their nature was being invoked. The multiple names in IJ seem to serve all of these purposes (and maybe more).

The E.T.A. students have some nicknames for each other but that's not quite at the same level.


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 Post subject: Re: Characters with multiple names
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 8:50 pm 
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Location: Brooklyn


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 Post subject: Re: Characters with multiple names
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 11:56 am 
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Aside from J.O.I. and Joelle, one of the major offenders is Ortho - at various points he's called Ortho, Ortho Stice, Stice, Ortho "The Darkness" Stice, The Darkness, Orth, Dark, etc. Granted, they're all variations on a theme, but it's a LOT of variations.


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 Post subject: Re: Characters with multiple names
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:09 pm 
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Location: Salt Lake City and no, I'm not one, either.
The nickname that's baffled me the most so far (and since it references Endnote 123 from page 323, I can finally bring it up), is Pemulis referring to Hal as "Inc." Am I wrong, or is he the only person who does so? In his dictation to Hal about the Eschaton game (if you can call it that), Pemulis lengthens the nickname to "Inculator," but I think that's just a sly schoolchum affectation he makes while asking Hal to pass him their duBois. At any rate, I can't find a definition for the word "inculator" anywhere.


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 Post subject: Re: Characters with multiple names
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:31 pm 
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Location: Brooklyn


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 Post subject: Re: Characters with multiple names
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 10:10 am 
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Location: Salt Lake City and no, I'm not one, either.


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 Post subject: Re: Characters with multiple names
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 10:34 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:31 am
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If there is such a program, it is a dead cert that it has exactly 12 steps...


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 Post subject: Re: Characters with multiple names
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:01 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 1:46 pm
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Location: Italy
Just another possibility for "inculator". Ok, it is inspired to Incandenza, but deformed to obtain a quite crude effect. In italian (the original country of the Incandenza) "inculare" means "to sodomize" (like french: enculer). For instance the Italian translator kept this meaning.

Notice that this is not really inappropriate. We are just near PEEMSTER and HALSADICK, and there is the
funny paragraph: "Let d be any constant, for computational reasons the closer to 1 the better, so like let d be the size of Hal's Unit.
Hal Incandenza's Addendum: In meters."

Finally, there is a quite open ambiguity in the full sentence: "Why don't you just pass that certain item back on over here, Inculator."


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 Post subject: Re: Characters with multiple names
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:16 pm 
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I think that "certain item" was meant to be a pretty straightforward reference to pipe/bong/other paraphenalia that these two tend to be accompanied by.


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 Post subject: Re: Characters with multiple names
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:25 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 7:08 am
Posts: 48
Part of the fun of Infinite Jest is in how much even normal things can seem to take on ambiguity.


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