Another week begins! I hope the reading is going well for everyone and that you’re enjoying the book–the comments that have been coming in are really great and have got me thinking about a bunch of different stuff.  If you’re just joining us, reading the comments and posts from last week is a great way to catch up. Also, please feel free to write about anything you find interesting or enjoy and don’t worry about being behind (or ahead of) the “set” pace; if you’re ahead, just make sure to try not and spoil anything for the rest of us. Here are some of the things I’ve been thinking about:

  • Let’s start with the scene at the end of last week’s reading just to lead us in to this week–We meet Marathe and Steeply in a scene that I find hysterical (that image of Steeply in a dress, falling down the hill is priceless). Are there any other scenes that have made you laugh? This scene is basically a Monty Python, cross-dressing slapstick, but what other kinds of humor have you found? What scenes? (and don’t pretend to pretend to pretend to not know what I’m talking about)
  • This question about humor (in light of what some people commented on in the update) leads me to just report a couple of observations from what we’ve already read, and leave you to think about them. The first quote comes from page 71:

“sarcasm and jokes were often the bottle in which clinical depressives sent out their most plangent screams for someone to care and help them.”

When I first read this, I couldn’t help but get chills thinking that DFW was talking about himself.  (Much like JG and Sophmom were getting at with the Forward)

  • The second comes from the filmography (note 24 in the endnotes–if you’re skipping them, you’re missing out) and describes a film by JOI called “The Joke” (pg 988-989):

“Two Ikegami Ec-35 video cameras in the theater record the ‘film”s audience and project the resultant raster onto screen–the theater audience watching itself watch itself get the obvious ‘joke’ and become increasingly self-concious and uncomfortable and hostile supposedly comprises the fil’ms ‘antinarrative flow.'”

When I read this, I couldn’t help but feel like DFW was talking about Infinite Jest (the book, not the movie in the book). What do you think about all this? It’s like JG was saying about choices in the construction. I feel like I am always coming across moments when the work is referencing itself.

    Keep it up and thank you all for participating! I hope you’re having as much fun as I am! Remember you can post here or look at http://infinite-eph.blogspot.com.

    P.S. If anyone wants to write about a particular scene they like or wants to do an update during the week let me know by emailing me at cjf1@williams.edu. Thanks!

    P. P. S. This one is just for fun and not really about the book but I just saw Harry Potter and was thinking about Infinite Jest. Could it work as a movie? Not in the sense that you could have audiences sitting in the theater forever, but in the sense that some of these scenes are so cinematic and easy to visualize, could it work? A well-done BBC miniseries even? I don’t know.

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