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: A Flaw in DFW's Timeline?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:00 am 
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Quote:
Now, I wonder. In the Year of the Whopper, the Statue of Liberty is holding a Whopper. In the Year of the Depends Adult Undergarment, would she be holding or wearing one? :lol:


Wearing! It was in one of the early footnotes, I believe.


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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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p. 33
Quote:
To say nothing of the arresting image of the idolatrous West's most famous and self-congratulating idol, the colossal Libertine Statue, wearing some type of enormous adult-design diaper, a hilariously apposite image popular in the news photos of so many international journals.

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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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levingard wrote:
p. 33
Quote:
To say nothing of the arresting image of the idolatrous West's most famous and self-congratulating idol, the colossal Libertine Statue, wearing some type of enormous adult-design diaper, a hilariously apposite image popular in the news photos of so many international journals.


Levingard, thanks so much for this! This is one of those things that you just sort of gloss over when reading those early pages, but you've got to love what Wallace is saying with just a slight twist of a word here.

The Statue of Liberty is a symbol of "being free from imprisonment, slavery, or forced labor." In other words, the home of the Free.

The Libertine Statue, on the other hand, especially diapered, is a symbol of an American culture that has taken that Freedom so far that they are now "dissolute, licentious, profligate; loose in morals."

And plus but so then, we *are* pretty self-congratulating on this point, aren't we? Steeply certainly is.


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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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Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:36 am
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Location: Oakland, CA
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 The Mystery of the Entertainment Master and it's also part of a discussion with Paul at I Just Read About That 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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Posts: 91
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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Posts: 36
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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Posts: 41
Location: Oakland, CA
gregcarlisle wrote:
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.


Greg, how I wish you were right! If you have a spoiler-free reason for thinking that, please let me know. P. 364 specifically says "she'd been up at Brigham and Women's for five days after some horrific O.D.-type situation said to have included both defib paddles and priests." Now, presumably that could all be an error on Gately's part, but I have no reason to think so, and given what Joelle was having for Too Much Fun, five days and defib paddles sounds pretty reasonable.

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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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Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:49 pm
Posts: 36
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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