Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
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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: Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:21 am 
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1.0 wrote:
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.


I think Joelle's Madame Psychosis voice is something she affects for the show. In the section about how she and Orin met it says she always had a weird kind of flat intonation but that she still sounded like she was from Kentucky. I think the Madame P voice extended from that flatness, but when Mario met her she probably sounded Kentuckian. Maybe one of the reasons he likes the show so much is that her voice is familiar, but not familiar enough to be recognizable.

But... isn't Joelle credited as Madame Psychosis in all the films? If her voice didn't give her away, that would, right?


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 2:47 pm 
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dioramaorama wrote:
I think Joelle's Madame Psychosis voice is something she affects for the show. In the section about how she and Orin met it says she always had a weird kind of flat intonation but that she still sounded like she was from Kentucky. I think the Madame P voice extended from that flatness, but when Mario met her she probably sounded Kentuckian. Maybe one of the reasons he likes the show so much is that her voice is familiar, but not familiar enough to be recognizable.


Familiar + foreign = uncanny, like you described in another post!


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 3:00 pm 
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was just re-reading the first scene where Joelle and Gately talk (531-38) and was struck by how she seemed to start the scene with a heightening of her Kentucky accent, then noticed that Gately calls her on seeming to change her voice when she is trying to avoid certain topics ("you're all of a sudden talking different again" 536), so dioramaorama is probably right that her radio voice is a bit of a purposeful affectation/veil -- after all, this is a woman who does a radio show from behind a screen!


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 5:08 pm 
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doubtful geste wrote:
was just re-reading the first scene where Joelle and Gately talk (531-38) and was struck by how she seemed to start the scene with a heightening of her Kentucky accent, then noticed that Gately calls her on seeming to change her voice when she is trying to avoid certain topics ("you're all of a sudden talking different again" 536), so dioramaorama is probably right that her radio voice is a bit of a purposeful affectation/veil -- after all, this is a woman who does a radio show from behind a screen!


Which means that her affected voice/accent while on the radio as Madame Psychosis is also just another veil from which she hides behind!


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:16 pm 
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amandaO wrote:
<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?


Still don't know but this is pretty compelling evidence that she was disfigured. If there was no incident, others might assume she was hiding her beauty/sadness/something non-flung-acid-caused. We've all mentioned earlier the flung acid references. She wasn't veiled when she was the P.G.O.A.T. There's no corroboration of her still being flawless, post-veil; it's her word against nobody's.
And, Hal is not necessarily narrating here, since 634's paragraph is about him, but not necessarily by him.

Plausible deniability all 'round, but I am even more convinced now that she veils a physical facial alteration.


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 5:09 am 
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So what to make, then, of the reference in the JVD suicide-attempt scene:

" ... deveiled, too pretty for words, maybe the Prettiest Girl of All Time ..." (p239)

I'm still confused.


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 6:56 am 
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doubtful geste wrote:
after all, this is a woman who does a radio show from behind a screen!


I was guessing she had to take off her veil to do the show (imagine her talking into one of those big microphones that you sit right up close to; the veil might flutter and hit it and make noise or something), but she didn't want the technician to see her unveiled, because of her ugliness/beauty (pick one).


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 4:27 pm 
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Well, PGOAT says it herself. She is so pretty that she is deformed. I'm going with this because of the parallel it draws to the section of Canada that we're chucking garbage into. It eats up all the garbage, and is said to be too lush to support life.
This is all wrapped up into one of the major themes of the book, which is beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Mario is probably the most beautiful character in the story, and he is deformed. Etc, Etc.


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 10:09 pm 
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I'm starting to understand the beauty of this book. When you can take an issue like JVD's appearance and spin a thread of this length off of something that is not even really a central issue to the book. It makes you appreciate the breadth, width, and complexity of the work.

That preamble aside I am still casting a vote for P.G.O.A.T. being disfigured.

PS.
Anyone interested in the effects of feminine beauty on men needs to familiarize them self with the 1933 film Babyface starring Barbara Stanwyck. Interesting on many levels; I caught it on TCM last weekend and it made me think of JVD.


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 Post subject: Re: P.G.O.A.T.
PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 7:10 am 
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I like the idea that it doesn't matter if Joelle is horrendously disfigured or horrendously beautiful. It does end up being all the same.

On previous readings (this is my third), I'd had the theory that somehow the acid throw had made her even more beautiful than she had been previously.


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