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Infinite Summer • View topic - A Flaw in DFW's Timeline?

Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
It is currently Tue Aug 04, 2020 1:40 am

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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: A Flaw in DFW's Timeline?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:00 am 
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 Post subject: Re: A Flaw in DFW's Timeline?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 9:44 am 
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 Post subject: Re: A Flaw in DFW's Timeline?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 11:19 am 
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 Post subject: Re: A Flaw in DFW's Timeline?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 7:45 am 
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Nothing quite says freedom like throwing off the shackles of tyranny... that is, the tyranny of having to use the bathroom every time one needs to relieve themselves.

In the future, either TV is really good or the commercial breaks are too short.


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 Post subject: Re: A Flaw in DFW's Timeline?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 11:39 am 
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To be fair, in DFW's version of the future, there are no more commercials--the TV filters ("zaps") them all out.


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 Post subject: Re: A Flaw in DFW's Timeline?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 10:33 am 
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Folks on this thread are really great at details! Here's a TimeLine problem I haven't been able to solve.

I've written about it at my post on and it's also part of a discussion with Paul at who wrote a helpful Chronology. Don't worry, no spoilers in either post (we're first time readers).

The problem in a nutshell is this:

On November 7, Y.D.A.U., Joelle attempts suicide.
On November 9, Joelle is at Ennet House.
On p. 364, we learn that Joelle had a post-suicide attempt 5-day stay at Brigham & Women’s.

You do the math. Comments welcome here or over at Paul's or my blog.

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 Post subject: Re: A Flaw in DFW's Timeline?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 8:49 am 
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just noticed something odd re: the possibility of lunar calendars complicating things. When Orin is having his assignations with the "Swiss" hand model in November in Arizona, all the descriptions of the weather outside are still of searing heat/people scuttling like bugs between sites of air conditioning, and this seems to be true day after day and not regarded as unusual. Doing some quick interwebs searches for average highs in various places in the southwest in November, I ain't gettin' numbers like that for any of the cities.

I had been looking for evidence that the cold weather in Boston in November, YDAU, was unusual (concavity-related interference or somesuch), which I've yet to find in the text. But could the Arizona temperatures be the hidden clue that what seems like "normal" Boston November weather is not? Going back to the lunar calendar, if we assume YDAU is likely 2009, and that this is the eighth subsidized year, the beginning of "November" is about the 2775th day under the new system (depending on how you define a lunar month). If you count an equal number of days into the "regular" calendar, you get a date somewhere in the first half of August of 2009 (back of envelope version of the math: 2775/365.25=7.59 "normal" years elapsed, so basically just over half way through the 8th subsidized year (YDAU)).

So, if Arizona, far from the concavity, is more likely to be having relatively "normal" weather for its time of (solar) year, then the seemingly "normal" blustery cold/snows on Interdependence Day Boston weather is actually happening in (solar) August. Any takers? Anyone insane enough to take on what this might mean for any of the other schemes (days of week of events, ages/birthdays of various characters, etc) for placing the year?


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 Post subject: Re: A Flaw in DFW's Timeline?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 6:21 pm 
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Paris,

She was on the 5-day ward but she didn't stay five days. She went to Ennet after one night on the ward.


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 Post subject: Re: A Flaw in DFW's Timeline?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 10:37 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: A Flaw in DFW's Timeline?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 1:03 pm 
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Paris,

No spoilers. I just think JvD is getting special treatment. Here's the way I put it in Elegant Complexity, describing the Interdependence Day (Nov. 8) AA meeting that occurs in the book after the Eschaton sequence, at which Gately is supervising the Ennet House residents:

It turns out that Joelle did not die from her overdose at Molly Notkin’s party last night (Ch. 17.5). Gately apparently has been told that Joelle “just showed up two days ago right after supper” after being “up at Brigham and Women’s for five days." But of course Joelle “entered the House just today,” “as of Interdependence Day A.M.’s discharge from B&W” (n. 134). Gately knows that Joelle “got in overnight under some private arrangement with somebody on the House’s Board of Directors”, that there’s “been no talk of a humility job for her”, and that “Pat’s counseling the girl personally."


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