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: Pemulis Gets the Shoe
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 3:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:33 pm
Posts: 42
Via the weekly roundup I read this post on Pemulis getting the shoe from deLint et al. (I should note that I think there are some spoilers in the comments so tread carefully.)
Quote:
This is my attempt to talk about the fate of Michael Pemulis without becoming upset or irrational, which is what usually happens when I think about endnote 332 and its consequences. CT and Avril have given Pemulis the administrative boot via their proxy Aubrey deLint. The proximate cause behind this is the inadvertent Tenuate dosing of John Wayne, although it’s clear that deLint has been gunning for Pemulis since the Port Washington dosing incident, while Avril has always disliked him, especially since the electrified-doorknob incident and now, most recently, the episode with the cheerleader outfit.

I found the post a particularly good summary of the Pemulis situation, and the comments are well worth a read as well.

One piece that isn't brought up in the post or the comments is the issue of class. Meaning Pemulis doesn't have the money or connections to survive the administration coming down on him hard. See also Hal's thoughts during Eschaton about being secretly a snob w/r/t Pemulis on class issues.

The class item aside, though, the post and comments have me thinking in a new way about Pemulis. I had (like the post's author) always taken him as a lovable rogue and was a bit pissed during the whole scene with deLint et al. since deLint is such a prick and I had started to like Pemulis; but in the larger context of the message of the book about addiction, recovery, and the inability of people to really communicate with one another, Pemulis is definitely an agent of ill for Hal and anyone else he socializes with.

Keeping with the theme of recovery, it's very difficult to recover if you don't excise (or exile) from your life the people who enable your addiction, so while Pemulis's expulsion is abrupt, perhaps it is one of the tough decisions that has to be made in order to Come In.

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 Post subject: Re: Pemulis Gets the Shoe
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 7:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:09 am
Posts: 13
It's a good argument, but haven't we also learned that no one else can be blamed for our problems? Isn't the idea of wishing ill on Pemulis for selling drugs something the Crocodiles and other AA old-timers would frown upon?

Besides, I'm not sure I really see all this Pemulis-bashing. I also see him as a lovable rogue, and just because he gets shit on by DeLint and the ETA Administration, doesn't mean that somehow the book, author, or readers are meant to pass judgment on him. I kind of feel like this is another example of a challenge he's facing, akin to the many times he's had to use his wits to overcome a (this time, admittedly very high) hurdle.


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 Post subject: Re: Pemulis Gets the Shoe
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 8:42 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 1:11 pm
Posts: 91
For me, Pemulis has always been (and remains!!) second only to Gately in this book both in my affections and in my impression of his heroism. And DeLint 2nd only to Lenz in his lack of redeeming qualities.


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