The Infinite Jest Deathmarch: Stage 5

Posted in The Infinite Jest Deathmarch on October 29th, 2010 by bill

It's Marlon Brando's fault, Jim.

Begin: Page 200 (“If, by virtue of charity or the circumstances of desperation…”)
End: Page 258 (“…holding the phone down right next to the foot, his expression terrifically intense.”)

Start Date: 10/29/10
Finish Date: 11/4/10

We’ll pass a couple of important milestones this week: the one-quarter mark of the book and the first month of the Deathmarch. And if these two facts taken together give you pause, perhaps it’s better not to think about it but to plow on heedlessly, mindlessly, like a rock rolling downhill.

Consecrate it a look consistently

Posted in Spam, wonderful spam on October 26th, 2010 by bill

Spam comments keep getting sneakier all the time. These days they generally take one of two approaches:

  • Make a reference to something or someone I’ve actually written about or mentioned, in hopes that they’ll come off as a real person.
  • Say something nice about my writing, in hopes that even if I know they’re spam I’ll be vain enough to post the comment anyway.

And in the latter case I am indeed often tempted, but I hate to give them the satisfaction, the swine. Instead, in continuation of my long-standing tradition of repurposing spam as content, here is a smattering of recent communications from the bots of cyberspace:

there are many greatest movies that i can think of by James Bond and Star Wars should be on the top of my list`*-

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The Infinite Jest Deathmarch: Stage 4

Posted in The Infinite Jest Deathmarch on October 22nd, 2010 by bill

Deathmarcher discovers Toblerone

Begin: Page 142 (ENORMOUS, ELECTROLYSIS-RASHED ‘JOURNALIST’ ‘HELEN’ STEEPLY’S ONLY PUTATIVE PUBLISHED ARTICLE…”)
End: Page 200 (Pemulis whispers: ‘Pussy.’)

Start Date: 10/22/10
Finish Date: 10/28/10

Ramping up a bit this week because I think we’ve weeded out the less hardy and it’s time to start cranking. This may be unkind to some of you who are playing catchup, but remember it’s not called a “Tiptoe-Through-the-Tulipsmarch.”

Brian Wilson’s Beard

Posted in The sporting life on October 17th, 2010 by bill

A not-very-close-up and heavily moiréd photo of the beard in question and its host.

After (moustache) waxing poetic about Dave Zabriskie’s facial hair, I feel I would be remiss in not granting equal time to the Bay Area’s most popular beard of late 2010, that of Brian Wilson.

For the record, I am talking here about Giants closer Brian Wilson, not Beach Boy Brian Wilson or any of the many other Brian Wilsons out there. This is a point I was hard-pressed to communicate to The Google, which as the top three results for images of Brian+Wilson+beard returned the following:

and the following:
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The Infinite Jest Deathmarch: Stage 3

Posted in The Infinite Jest Deathmarch on October 15th, 2010 by bill

By all means, check out www.failedentertainment.com.

Begin: Page 95 (“Tuesday, 3 November, Enfield Tennis Academy: A.M. drills, shower, eat, class, lab, class….”)
End: Page 142 (…divorced from all stimulus, carried here and there across sets by burly extras whose blood sings with retrograde amines.”)

Start Date: 10/15/10
Finish Date: 10/21/10

It’s been a rough week in more ways than one. Like many of us, I found this stretch of the book much more difficult; in fact I have to admit I haven’t quite finished it yet. I got lost in the maze that is “James O. Incandenza: A Filmography” and almost didn’t find my way out. Like the man says – at every moment, an infinite regress lies in wait for the unwary.

The comments dropped off rather precipitously, from 25 to 7 as of this writing. I hope that’s not all the marchers we have left; if you’re still out there, by all means send up a flare and let us know. I sense that better days are ahead. If they can pull 33 guys out of a coal mine in what appears to be a pneumatic tube from Brazil, we can weather David Foster Wallace’s ADD until it all starts to make some kind of sense.

The Infinite Jest Deathmarch: Stage 2

Posted in The Infinite Jest Deathmarch on October 8th, 2010 by bill

Toblerone, your highness?

Begin: page 49 (“Here’s Hal Incandenza, age seventeen, with his little brass one-hitter…”)
End: page 95 (“Steeply had found his triceps’ scratch and twisted the flesh of his arm to examine it, his rouged lips rounded with concern.”)

Start Date: 10/8/10
Finish Date: 10/14/10

One might feel a little bounce in one’s step after completing the first week’s reading. That wasn’t so bad, now was it? But I would caution, again, against irrational exuberance; there’s still a long way to go.

Leaving this week’s target a little short, rather than long, since it looks like we are about to start getting into longer and more frequent endnotes.

And a quick reminder: Please refrain from posting comments about parts of the book beyond the current assignment. I’m not sure the word “spoiler” really applies to this book, but people like to be surprised by things that might possibly be surprising.

Now if you’ll excuse me, all this talk of one-hitters and Toblerone is making me hungry.

The Infinite Jest Deathmarch: Stage 1

Posted in The Infinite Jest Deathmarch on October 1st, 2010 by bill

Begin: Page 1 (“I am seated in an office, surrounded by heads and bodies.”)
End: Page 49 (“…shaving upward, with south-to-north strokes, as he was taught.”)

Start Date: 10/1/10
Finish Date: 10/7/10

And we’re off.

I shan’t waste your valuable reading time with a lot of extra words.

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