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: Endnote 24
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:12 am 
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Posts: 8
Oh my goodness. I feel that this is the first time we have really been given the first glimpse into the obsessive detail of Infinite Jest's world. Speculations on the themes in the progression of the filmography, recurring symbols used within, and just general analysis is welcome. What role does each of the films listed play? Especially: The Infinite Jest series, the painfully abstract ones ("Baby Pictures of Famous Dictators", "The Medusa v. the Odalisque"), the obscure documentaries ("Let There Be Lite"), the various UNRELEASED ones, the Cage series- what does it all mean?
Certainly, you see Himself's madness in his work-- but it seems less a spiraling-downward than a staying-constant, because the films at the beginning are every bit as weird- if not weirder- than the films at the end. And why would DFW give us film names with very little description, like "Death and the Single Girl" or "Too Much Fun": what does this add to the narrative?


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 Post subject: Re: Endnote 24
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:41 am 
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I'm going to respond to your post although your name is insane and a bit off-putting.. Just a bit..
re Incandenza's filography.. One of the films mentioned is WAVE BYE- BYE TO THE bUREAUCRAT. Keep this in mind. Later on there is a full description of the movie that is mind-blowing.. You will love it.


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 Post subject: Re: Endnote 24
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:50 am 
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I am totally in enamored with #24.

Every Inch of Disney Leith - ha!

Smothergill - hmmmm

Watt is the victim of everyone's delusion that his seizure has left him mute - ha! and hmmmm

PS Mr Rection plays the role of the renowned mathematical topologist

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 Post subject: Re: Endnote 24
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:56 am 
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Posts: 71
I think a lot of the unexplained films make sense in the overall progression of the filmography, which does tell a story--much of it autobiographical. The works leading up to periods of hospitalization point out the probable reasons for hospitalization. The titles Too Much Fun, The Unfortunate Case of Me, and Sorry All Over the Place seem like responses to the events of the film immediately preceding them (which sounds more like an unintentional documentary than a "fictional" documentary).


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 Post subject: Re: Endnote 24
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 2:38 pm 
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When I read the "It Was a Great Marvel That He Was in the Father Without Knowing Him", it occurred to me that perhaps some of his so-called fictional films were, in fact, documentaries, and that "Cosgrove Watt" was in fact Himself Incandenza, a name which sounds like "incandescent" which has a light connection with Watt (if you'll excuse the pun). Which means that Smothergill would have to be Hal, filmed without his knowledge by secret cameras. This is starting to sound like very unfounded speculation, so I'll stop now. The point is it got me to start thinking about Himself's relation with reality and family, and I suppose that's what DFW intended.

Quote:
I'm going to respond to your post although your name is insane and a bit off-putting.. Just a bit..


You'll have to send all complaints of immature names to DFW, carol. That was his doing.


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 Post subject: Re: Endnote 24
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:46 pm 
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Location: Dayton, OH, USA
I laughed when I saw that at least one documentary was narrated by none other than C.N. Reilly.

The filmography reveals a pretty great level of cinema history knowledge/understanding. This is the first time that I feel I've gotten a good glimpse into DFW's attention to detail, level of cultural knowledge. I'm also pretty sure that I will need to refer back to this endnote while reading on.


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 Post subject: Re: Endnote 24
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 8:10 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 8:36 am
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And also, as I was saying on another thread, the filmography helps us sequence the "Subsidized Time" years, since the list of films is in chronological order. So we now know that Year of the Trial-Sized Dove Bar comes after Year of the Tucks Medicated Pad, and so on.

"Poor Yorick" (name of production company) is another Hamlet reference, so the references are not just limited to Hal (who digs up his father's skull) but are also there with Himself (who presumably named the production co.).

Anyone know what "Latrodectus Mactans" means/alludes to?


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 Post subject: Re: Endnote 24
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 8:25 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:21 pm
Posts: 63
Location: Fresyes, CA
Notes on reoccurring themes in the undoubtedly disturbing films of James O. Incandenza, some of which show up in the rest of the pages we have so far read (the themes, not the films—I hope I never meet these films):

-Tennis (not so surprising)
-Optics—films about optics, not just employing them. Ex: Kinds of Light, Various Small Flames, The Medusa v. the Odalisque, The Machine in the Ghost, Baby Pictures of Famous Dictators
-Humans with physical deformities—I count six, including the one-armed attaché, the child's palsied hand, and a "grotesquely mangled fiancée"
-Nearsighted people—two in the films, and an optician, plus the nearsighted congested Frenchman we previously encountered. Then there's the thing about the giant eyeballs.
-Pain and torture—often inflicted by doctors
-Quebec
-the Middle East
-the Church of the Latter Day Saints
-The human being physically and psychically "transparent" or "opaque"—examples of films containing "transparent" characters would be The Man Who Began to Suspect He Was Made of Glass, or Every Inch of Disney Leith. Films with "opaque" characters—characters hiding in a shell, or behind a wall, for whatever reason—are Cage II, Insubstantial Country, and, of course, both the film and the "real version" of It Was a Great Marvel That He Was in the Father Without Knowing Him. These seem to be films about people who put up walls around themselves, or who have walls put up around them against their wills, so that they cannot communicate—I'm thinking here of people who have physical impairments, who are perhaps autistic, who don't speak the same language. For me it goes back to the Kafka alienation thing, or maybe if someone wants to put an existential spin on this, go for it.


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 Post subject: Re: Endnote 24
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:45 pm
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I have this vision of DFW sitting under a tree with a notepad thinking, "Oh here's another good one."


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 Post subject: Re: Endnote 24
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:30 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:21 pm
Posts: 63
Location: Fresyes, CA
I like to think there's a special subsection of Heaven that God built for DFW to sit under his little Bodhi tree and chuckle and write things down in a well-worn notebook that never runs out of pages, because it is Heaven (albeit one with a Bodhi tree).


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