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Infinite Summer • View topic - P.G.O.A.T.

Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
It is currently Thu Oct 22, 2020 7:38 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: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:17 am 
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I saw that too - there's no way that's a coincidence. It seems crazy to think that almost every word in a 1079 page novel was chosen for effect but I think we are underestimating the amount of cross-referencing and fractal imaging in the book, not overestimating.


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:27 am 
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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 12:34 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:35 pm 
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Yeah, I thought that at this part she was actually, at last, resolving for the avid reader the truth that she wears the veil not from any acid-scarring but because she actually *IS* that beautiful.

Also, anybody else delighted by the crush Joelle seems to be forming for Gately the second she finds out that he once placed football?


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 2:00 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:31 am 
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OK, so the character of Joelle Van Dyne is doing so many things at this point that I feel compelled to use an outline format:

1) She fills the role of Hamlet-analogue of Ophelia
a) She was virginal until she dated Orin (a Hamlet analogue along with Hal)
i) We don’t know yet if Orin dumped her but it seems likely
b) She worked with Himself on films (i.e. like she was at the court of the King.)
c) She tried to kill herself, like Ophelia, albeit unsuccessfully
d) She “takes the veil,” which in Hamlet would refer to becoming a nun – but even in the modern world she isolates herself from society
i) e.g. Hamlet shouts “Get thee to a nunnery” at Ophelia - we don't know what happened when Orin broke up with the PGOAT yet
e) She then becomes “Madam Psychosis,” similar to how Ophelia went mad in Hamlet
i) But she is not actually crazy -perhaps, as the Tick would say, she is "going sane in a crazy world"

2) She wears a veil which itself has multiple meanings:
a) In the first major scene told from her perspective, she gets heckled by passers-by about her veil.
i) The first one asks "Where"s the wedding?"
ii) The second one asks: "Where's the funeral?"
iii) These two events are the only socially acceptable times to wear a veil in our society and are parallel to the love / death duality / identity discussion expanded below...
b) The ancient Greek character Medusa wore a veil because she could turn men to stone by looking at them – Medusa is compared to “The Entertainment” by Marathe, and contrasted with it. The Greeks feared death and suffering, so they imagined Medusa to be ugly. But Americans worship beauty, and so we have the "Odalisque"
i) Joelle has always had the effect of disabling men who are near, so that they are afraid to talk to her here
ii) As the character in “The Entertainment,” she becomes much more like Medusa with the power to kill / permanently disable the minds of watchers
c) Medusa becomes another metaphor for addiction and “Too Much Fun” – an overpowering experience that renders the addict paralyzed and dead to the outside world
d) At the extreme, DFW seems to be saying, ugliness and beauty are almost interchangeable - the PGOAT is the incarnation, and the actress, of the characters in the art film about a battling Medusa and the Odalisque of St. Theresa

3) Wikipedia says "Odalisque" refers to a mistress or concubine, or a servant to concubines
a) The reference to St. Therese likely refers to the Ecstasy of St. Theresa, which is a sculpture by Bernini completed in 1652, depicting St. Theresa of Avila in religious rapture, but with sexual elements – eyes half-closed and mouth open, being touched by an angel.
b) The Entertainment is a sort of substitute for religious rapture itself, but in a dark, all-consuming way - the hellish opposite of a heavenly experience
i) Orin treats his "subjects" like concubines, as another way to find temporary rapture, in an addictive, escapist fashion.

4) The name Joelle Van Dyne is very similar to the Marvel Comics super-hero known as the “The Wasp” - secret identity Janet Van Dyne - a member of the Avengers who can shrink to the size of an insect, fly, and shoot electric blasts from her hands.
a) Electric blasts are similar to electro-shock therapy undergone by Kate Gompert, perhaps Joelle, and DFW himself
b) OK, so this one probably doesn’t really mean anything.

Thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:57 am 
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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 7:58 am 
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<shaking fist toward sky> "oh you!"

pg 634 10th Ann. Edt.
"This was after the girl Orin had been wildly in love with and Himself had compulsively used in films had been disfigured."

Maybe Hal thought she was disfigured because she started to wear the veil, or is she really disfigured?

The suspense at this point is unbelievable. I just want to read and read.


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:45 am 
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I saw that too and didn't know what to think either.

Another question I have about Joelle concerns Mario. Does anyone think Mario realizes that Madame Psychosis is Orin's old girlfriend? He was always on Himself's sets, so you think he would recognize the voice? Not sure.


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:10 am 
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Location: Orlando, FL


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