Begin: Page 352 (“Gately’s biggest asset as an Ennet House live-in staffer…”)
End: Page 398 (“…which audiences never even got to hate, for a-priori reasons.”)
Start Date: 11/26/10
Finish Date: 12/2/10
Note Profile: 18 notes, including one two-and-a-half pager
We’ve got some momentum now. Can you feel it? I’m feeling it.
My thought question for the week: Does Joelle van D. wear the veil because her overwhelming beauty has caused her so much trouble, or because she has been disfigured in some way? I remember there was some passing reference to Orin as a skilled dodger of thrown acid, and have been expecting further elucidation on that point but none has been forthcoming.
Standing on the sidelines as a non-marcher, I just want to offer: Bottle of water anyone? Energy bar? Toke?
I was just beginning to hink Joelle was disfigured in some way. Now you have me rethinking the beauty part. Hmmm. The AA parts are increasingly dark. I’ll take that bottle of water.
Once again, I’m fascinated and confused by the appearances of random characters, such as Marlon, who has no last name, but was a profuse sweater. Lyle the voyeur seems to recall his hyperhidrosis with some fondness, especially since Marlon seemed to have gone into athletics to disguise his wetness. But then what is the purpose of Lyle himself? I am now caught up with the reading and still wondering about the point.
Regarding Joelle, I think she has some disfigurement and hope we find out soon what kind. Since Mario’s peculiarities have been so finely detailed, surely we’ll get some elucidation on the Joelle score soon. Unless she dies first. Of an overdose.
@Bill I believe that she is actually disfigured, the line you cited being the evidence. This has been sitting in the back of my mind for awhile.
I do believe we will get an explanation and I have a hunch it is coming sooner rather than later. If you look at how DFW has structured the narrative for each character they more or less seem to follow an arc of independent adversity, entry to the central locations of the plot, and then further explanation of the character. This has been true so far for Hal and Gately and JVD seems to be on a similar trajectory.
So, DFW: Genius, yes , perhaps; but prophet, no.
“…and also, recall, a post-Soviet and -Jihad era when – somehow even worse – there was no real Foreign Menace of any real unified potency to hate and fear…”
Possible subject for someone’s Master’s thesis: How would “Infinite Jest” have been different if written post-9/11?
Also, pages 376-379: wow. The most harrowing of the many harrowing drug-degradation stories, although the last one was pretty harsh as well. And what a topper of a last line: “…helps force Gately to remember all over again what a tragic adventure this is, that none of them signed up for.”
Wow! Super dark section. Still marching, but I’ll take a water and a calf massage.
It is “Good to hear you”
I’m still glad Kate Gompert decided not to check out.
Head slapping moment from this section: putting together the fact that Agent Steeply = the Moment magazine reporter that is Orin’s “subject.” Feeling pretty thick for not catching that earlier.
Two quotes of note:
“The will you call your own ceased to be yours as of who knows how many Substance-drenched years ago”
This is a chilling declaration in light of DFW’s comparisons of entertainment to drugs.
“It’s like he’s frozen on this anxiety, unable to move on to more advanced anxieties.”
The irony of this made me laugh but it is, sadly, a pretty good observation of modern life.
I had the same reaction as Matt re: Hugh Steeply = Helen Steeply. Adds a different comic twist (and maybe a little disdain) to my impression of Orin.
I was also intrigued by Gately’s vision of the Smiley-faced enforcer of the AA recovery process.
Only a few pages shy of the goal this week. As to Joelle I vote for disfigurement but not totally irreversible. This section dragged in parts. The plot development did not progress much. I did enjoy the tennis academy parts though the relevance to anything else escapes me. OK back to reading!
Woah! I sorta almost kinda caught up! I mean, at least I made it into this week’s section, though I now am posting late. And though this applies to the previous week’s section, I thought the Eschaton match was one long, awesomely choreographed piece of comic genius, maybe my favorite section (or at least the funniest) in the book so far.
And it was good to get the comedy in before the AA section. Man, his portrayal of the pathetic self-destruction/hatred of addiction is just brutal to read. It makes me even want to give up coffee, and, like, go for a run or something.
Matt/Brad: I too did *not* pick up on the fact that Hugh = Helen, so I’m glad I wasn’t alone. Going back and rereading some of those earlier sections makes it that much better now, and of course makes it clear that multiple readings of this book (hah) would yield so much more.
Sorry for the late posting, too–my weekly commute to Seattle sometimes makes the deadline tough….