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: Lucien Antitoi's broom; trouble for Wittgenstein
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:17 pm 
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A note on the name: There was a Saint Lucien who lived in the third century who, according to Wikipedia, was killed by three "assassins...sent by the Roman Emperor". He was beaten with rods and then decapitated. He didn't die, but picked up his own head and walked to a place where he asked (he could speak!) to be buried, according to legend. (Or maybe he did die, but then came back to life just long enough to ask to be "properly" disposed of.) Maybe Lucien will be back, at least in spirit.


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 Post subject: Re: Lucien Antitoi's broom; trouble for Wittgenstein
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:01 am 
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antitoi was the last name of one of the kids Wallace had a rivalry with in Midwestern tennis as a kid. It's mentioned in Derivative Sport in Tornado Alley.


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 Post subject: Re: Lucien Antitoi's broom; trouble for Wittgenstein
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:09 am 
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Antitoi seems like it also plays into the weird thing with using pronouns as proper names/nicknames in the book relating, mostly, to J.O.I.:

"Himself" is the big one, of course. But how about calling J.O.I.'s muse Joelle? (JO-I and JO-Elle, as in french for "Her" or a sort of feminine counterpart for J.O.I.). And a little wordplay allows Antitoi to be anti-toi, or "against-you", which is an interesting name for someone who is mute/caught up in weird Wittgenstein literary jokes and who is responsible for taking J.O.I.'s creation and helping distribute it as a weapon that destroys/diminishes the self (too much "joy" becoming anti-you, and of course using the less formal, even potentially dismissive french form of "you" (toi rather than vous). Too much?


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 Post subject: Re: Lucien Antitoi's broom; trouble for Wittgenstein
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:53 am 
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That's part of the beauty of Wallace's worldview: He takes what exists and finds way to play with it, i.e. Antitoi is a real person who's name makes for some great word-gaming. It reminds me of Nabakov's play with Humbert's name, but on major high-octane "sterabolic anoids."


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 Post subject: Re: Lucien Antitoi's broom; trouble for Wittgenstein
PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 11:32 am 
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storm wrote:
antitoi was the last name of one of the kids Wallace had a rivalry with in Midwestern tennis as a kid. It's mentioned in Derivative Sport in Tornado Alley.

I do not believe this is true. I think DFW merely plucked the name from his IJ manuscript rather than use the kid's actual name.


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 Post subject: Re: Lucien Antitoi's broom; trouble for Wittgenstein
PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 1:27 pm 
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redsock wrote:
storm wrote:
antitoi was the last name of one of the kids Wallace had a rivalry with in Midwestern tennis as a kid. It's mentioned in Derivative Sport in Tornado Alley.

I do not believe this is true. I think DFW merely plucked the name from his IJ manuscript rather than use the kid's actual name.


Yeah, he made up the name Antitoi and used it first in the "Derivative Sport in Tornado Alley" essay, then again in Infinite Jest.


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 Post subject: Re: Lucien Antitoi's broom; trouble for Wittgenstein
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 12:51 am 
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He also uses it in "Tennis, Trigonometry and Tornados: A Midwestern Boyhood" (Harper's, December 1991) I don't know the "Derivative Sport In Tornado Alley" essay. In the Harper's essay DFW goes into detail and says that Gil Antitoi was both a friend and a foe, and that he was the son of a Quebecois-history professor from Urbana, and that the parents drove him and his friend Gil to tournaments when DFW's own parents weren't the ones to do this. Is this more detailed than the other essay? And is there information about this essay somewhere does anyone know that can be cited w/r/t this name being made up?


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 Post subject: Re: Lucien Antitoi's broom; trouble for Wittgenstein
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 9:22 am 
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they are the same essay, w/ the book version retitled and possibly slightly expanded.


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 Post subject: Re: Lucien Antitoi's broom; trouble for Wittgenstein
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:31 am 
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rennavate wrote:
Yeah, he made up the name Antitoi and used it first in the "Derivative Sport in Tornado Alley" essay, then again in Infinite Jest.


How do you know he made up the name?


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 Post subject: Re: Lucien Antitoi's broom; trouble for Wittgenstein
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 1:28 pm 
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infinitedetox wrote:
You guys are absolutely right, it's really fruitful to think of Lucien as not 'trapped' in language the same way the rest of us are, in that he's free to conceive of his 'broom' as he sees fit. On the other hand, his freedom-from-language (I feel like there should be a polysyllabic German word for this) is entrapping as well, because he can't communicate with the outside world. It's a similar kind of cage to the one Hal finds himself in at the beginning of the book. You're either trapped in language or you're trapped without it -- one of those double-binds again, I guess.


Good point, which flips in on itself again in the description of Lucien's experience of death:

Quote:
Lucien finally dies, rather a while after he's quit shuddering like a clubbed muskie and seemed to them to die, as he finally sheds his body's suit, Lucien finds his gut and throat again and newly whole, clean and unimpeded, and is free, catapulted home over fans and the Convexity's glass palisades at desperate speeds, soaring north, sounding a bell-clear and nearly maternal call-to-arms in all the world's well-known tongues.


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