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Week 2 (Pages 95-181)

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:

“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)

“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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#1 Comment By sophmom On July 15, 2009 @ 1:51 pm

I am caught up now (phew) including the endnotes (except for the filmography, which is a chapter unto itself). Speaking of endnotes, I could not figure out Endnote #21, and I see that reference repeated. Can someone clue me in?

The characters are wonderful, and fully live up to the theater aspect of the title in that almost all of them could come straight out of a carnival. I also found the Maranthe and Steeply scene hilarious…the skewed knockers!

The other scene that had me laughing out loud, was Schtitt and Mario. Wallace pulls out all the stops on Schtitt, from the telescoping pointer that has become the substitute for the forbidden riding crop, to his costume of riding boots, epaulets, leather helmet and goggles (Mad Max, anyone?) and his bizarre way of speaking english. Oh, and the pea-shooter he uses to urge on the straggling runners!

The relationship between Schtitt and Mario is almost dear (at least, so far) and the two of them are quite the visual.

I am enjoying this. And I have my doubts as to whether I would tackle, and stay with this book were it not for being able to share it here. I think of you guys as my Schtitt…you might have to threaten me with the pea-shooter at times. :-)

#2 Comment By sophmom On July 16, 2009 @ 1:35 pm

Hey P ’12:

Have you read Infinite Jest? Are you interested? Because it sure would be fun to share it with you as well.