Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
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 Post subject: What character do you relate to most? and WHY?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:32 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 1:15 pm
Posts: 16
Okay I'm kind of new to the forums. Really new, actually. Like, this morning I finally started reading threads. I got behind in the book right away in June and punished myself by not being on here. BUT NOW I'm finally caught up and DYING to know not just what people think about the book, but what they feel about it. Please excuse me if there is already a thread like this... I'll look around more later and try to familiarize myself with what has and hasn't been talked about.

BUT in that vein: Who is your favorite character? Why? Who do you relate to most? Why? Who has changed your perspective of ANYTHING most? Why? Who do you hate? Why? Who follows you around your days the most? Why?

Okay that is a barrage of questions. Don't feel the need to answer them all, but I would love to hear answers of any of the above... basically, how do you relate to various characters in your head in either positive or negative ways?

For me, Don Gately is my favorite. He is also the one who has begun following me around in my actual life. Maybe that sounds creepy, but I don't mean it to be. It is his take on people, how he relates to people, his journey into sobriety and perspective on life and God or lack of God just really hit home with me. I find that I have a soft spot for people in general in ways I haven't had before after being exposed to the observations that DFW makes about people through Gately. IE the experience of hurting and surviving and the ups and downs of just being plain old human and alive and trying to figure out the mess but realizing that there is nothing in the mess that can actually be figured out. I've been reminded that even though I'm not in AA there are many places in life where its important to Just Show Up and Keep Showing Up because at the end of it all, Showing Up gives you a lot more than understanding the Why. And by that I mean the Why of Anything. Or even of Everything.

This is such a tiny part of the whole thing, I know. I could go through character by character and say what I like and don't like and how their stories have somehow bled into my story and what that means for me. But I'll just stick with Gately for now.

So what about you?

P.S. I'm still familiarizing myself also with the spoiler system on this forum... I posted this in "General Disc" because I do want to know what EVERYONE thinks, even people who are done reading. Maybe that can be done without spoilers? I don't know. Try?


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 Post subject: Re: What character do you relate to most? and WHY?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 11:03 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:51 am
Posts: 43
<<Okay that is a barrage of questions. Don't feel the need to answer them all, but I would love to hear answers of any of the above... basically, how do you relate to various characters in your head in either positive or negative ways?>>

Welcome to the discussions!

I agree with your assessment of Gately. He is one decent character and a good friend.

The character I most dislike is Orin. He just uses women for his own pleasure; calling them "Subjects." He also disregards the feelngs of male characters as well, but the females in his life do get the worst of him

Orin is all about what's in it for Orin. Self-centered, selfish, and very unlikealbe.


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 Post subject: Re: What character do you relate to most? and WHY?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 11:28 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:48 am
Posts: 61
Another vote for Don Gately here. He was my favorite character the first time I read IJ and even more so on a second read. More than anything I admire his perseverance and ability to essentially salvage his life after enduring a painful childhood and then a career as a burglar. To me his resurrection provides one of the most hopeful messages in IJ.


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