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Infinite Summer • View topic - The face in the floor

Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
It is currently Tue Sep 22, 2020 7:53 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: Re: The face in the floor
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 10:43 am 
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 Post subject: Re: The face in the floor
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 3:25 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: The face in the floor
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:19 pm 
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Can someone help me out with which face in the floor reference is being referred to? I can only find the brief mention on pg. 254 of Hal's troubling dream: "I kept dreaming of a face in the floor."

But I get the impression you guys are referring to something else. Can you list page numbers for this other mention? If I'm wrong, then nevermind.


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 Post subject: Re: The face in the floor
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:42 pm 
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It's first referenced pp. 61-63 as a recollection of a dream, we assume to be Hal's.

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 Post subject: Re: The face in the floor
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:42 am 
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Re: the floor. Remember that there are also keys on the floor? You're supposed to pick up the keys in front of you as you do serves in the morning (I think this is in the part about Mario's film about the Feral Prodigy) and now Hal can only keep his keys on the floor --- ?? I always wondered whether this wasn't a connected thing. On the floor, and also "the room's fifth wall" from the professional conversationalist scene. "KNIFE" written on the mirror in a nonpublic bathroom. Stuff kind of emerging out of the floor, out of the walls --- ???

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 Post subject: Re: The face in the floor
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:52 pm 
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I wonder if I'm missing something and should re-read that passage (and a couple other passages referencing the face in the floor), as it just doesn't give me the willies. It only strikes me as slightly odd. It's entirely possible that I find different things creepy, and there have been a few moments in the book when I've had to put it down and just walk away for a little bit, but I'm a little piqued by this discussion.


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 Post subject: Re: The face in the floor
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 10:39 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: The face in the floor
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:32 am 
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The Face in the Floor sequence creeps the heck out of me. Lately when I've had to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom or something I get that image stuck in my head and I have to turn all the lights in the house on.

What's so powerful about that section for me is the way that Wallace describes the notion of something absolutely evil, but evil only for you. It's like your own personal evil. The FintheF isn't there for the other kids in the dorm, only for Hal.

I remember getting these crazy fever-dreams when I was a little kid, just like weird abstract things that didn't really mean anything but which were utterly terrifying to me. There was a feeling of isolation that would accompany them -- I knew that when I'd try to go to bed those dreams would be waiting for me, and nothing my parents could do would be able to stop them. The dreams were evil for me and only for me.


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 Post subject: Re: The face in the floor
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:59 am 
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It's especially creepy because it rockets you back into childhood, with all its uncontrollable, overwhelming fears (of monsters, for example.) Laura Miller said something interesting about that the other day, about looking after her niece or nephew and realizing hey, this kid actually believes in monsters, like I used to, and that was hella scary, come to think of it.

I particularly love the last line, for that reason: "believing with all your might."

One of the greatest things about this book is the purity and clarity of all its different voices; the way he tried to honor everyone.

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 Post subject: Re: The face in the floor
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 7:49 am 
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