The Infinite Jest Deathmarch, Stage 11

An image search for 'Helen Steeply' turned up this image of David Duchovny in 'Twin Peaks' drag, and that seems about right.

Begin: Page 450 (“The Enfield Tennis Academy has an accredited capacity of 148 junior players…”)
End: Page 503 (“This was how I first became interested in the possibilities of annulation.”)

Start Date: 12/10/10
Finish Date: 12/16/10

Note Profile: 29 notes (180-208): Nothing to be frightened of here.

Big ups to everyone who’s made it this far. This week we’ll pass the halfway mark – hooray for us!

Would love to make some pithy/inspirational/hypersmart comment here. But tired. Very, very tired, for complex reasons. Still, the future is bright, I’m certain.

5 Responses to “The Infinite Jest Deathmarch, Stage 11”

  1. JES Says:

    DFW is forever broadening my vocabulary . . .

    ” . . .APPROCETION tests on all three hordes of prospective volunteers . . .”
    ” . . .boxy and MYSTICETOUSLY blunt . . .”
    ” . . .in his childhood COGNOMEN referred to the head.”
    “Nobody that lives in these GUANO-spotted old brown buildings . . .”
    ” . . .between the PROPINQUOUS Spanish three-deckers . . .”
    ” . . .with a sort of TYMPANUM over the smoked-glass door . . .”
    ” . . .a MONOMITOTIC cell . . .”
    ” . . .face still unwittingly TERATOID . . .”
    ” . . .what he guesses to be the MAXILLOFACIAL movements of speech . . .”
    ” . . .strangled impeded sounds of absolute APHONIA . . .”
    ” . . .the APHRASIAC half-cellular insurgent . . .”
    ” . . .how i first became interested in the possibilities of ANNULATION.”

    Not that I will ever remember or use these words but, alas, I have been educated. Funny thing, I failed to find four of the words in the dictionary. Still, I am in awe.

    Bill, oh great fearless reading leader, if anyone else is interested in a short reading assignment next week due to the impending holiday, I would be the first to vote “yes”. If not, I promise to persevere without complaint.

  2. Matt Says:

    Halfway, whew! I’ve never felt so accomplished for getting halfway in a book but it certainly feels good with IJ. I must say that I’m thoroughly enjoying IJ still, although it often requires hard work to press on. The genius of the writing thus far has created massive expectations for me moving forward and I hope the plot delivers the goods.

    It was nice to see some action this week. When the AFR/Antitoi brothers craziness started going down I thought it was a dream/hallucination at first and couldn’t believe it was actually happening until it was close to finishing. I had found the AFR laughable until this point but am now scared of them.

    Speaking of action it was also nice to get some more information on the nature of the deadly Entertainment. The plausibility of such a thing is a bit terrifying.

    One thing I have found fascinating about IJ, and it occurs in this section, is how DFW likes to introduce a character first and then present their maladies later which is a significant contrast to most authors. Case in point is Pat Montesian, who has been involved for a few hundred pages or so and we only just now are finding out about her physical deformities (and previous addiction). The same was also the case, perhaps with less time between introduction and explanation, for Mario Incandenza and Madame Psychosis. I’m sure there are other examples but those ones jump out to me right away. It makes me wonder how many of the other “normal” characters we’ve come to know actually have some serious defect that we’ve yet to be made aware of.

    The last bit I want to mention, and this was so fleeting that it took me about three rereads of the marked page to figure out what I was actually trying to remember, was this little snippit:
    “Has anybody mentioned Gately’s head is square?”
    There’s been some discussion here on just who the narrator(s) is(are). Although this could just be a conversational delivery technique of DFW similar to his invoking of “like” on a regular basis, this implies to me that the story is being told by multiple people. It also makes me think that the narrative is being directed at some other audience and that we, the readers, are simply being allowed to listen in.

    Pat on the back to everyone else who has made it this far, let’s finish this thing with gusto!

  3. Debra Says:

    Gately’s Square head?, what about “Marathe’s wife was born as an infant without a skull”….hmmm Diane Arbus would have had a field day had she been there to take photos. I have to admit I’m a little behind, I was travelling and the book wouldn’t fit in the overhead compartment…hoping to catch up today.

  4. bobdee Says:

    I think I am learning a lot about AA and I find it interesting, particularly since it seems like a frank insider’s view. The concept of God as you know it, is interesting to me – I wonder if that takes in everyone. Since I would think even if you are not religious, there is some kind of mysticism or maybe awe at the universe, or you may just question, why are we here, etc. I also enjoyed the cake mix analogy for AA, i.e. you do not have to understand why it works, just follow the directions and you will get a cake. It seems this general idea could apply to a lot of things. (I am almost finished with this weeks assignment – more time during the holidays? Maybe?)

  5. Computilo Says:

    Sorry, gang. I was so proud of myself for being up to date, but the pre-holiday “work like a maniac so I can take two weeks off” just zapped me. I’m still here, even if a little behind. Whether I can finish this tome “with gusto,” as Matt says with inspiration, remains to be seen.

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