I debated for a little bit whether I should write this post or not. I didn’t want it to be cheesy, but it’s really hard to believe that this class has ended. Our project for this class was so big (possibly infinite?) in so many ways–if we count the number of pages, the number of blogs, the number of hours. But there’s more to this class than the monumental workload. I’ve never taken a class like this before, where the issues we dealt with and the points of discussion were all so pressing, so urgent, so relevant, and all so related to our lives. Maybe this class will be a once-in-forever-class, never to be taught again. But even if it does get taught again, it will be taught at a different time, a later time, when temporally, everything will not be as near or immediate. Maybe this doesn’t even make sense. Anyway, it’s just hard to believe that this has come to an end. It feels like we all stumbled across a hole, jumped into it together, and dug deeper into it throughout the semester, and now, we are walking back out of it–feeling bittersweet and wishing we could all just sit around the classroom and discuss Wallace’s stories, novels, and essays together just one more time. Echoing what an earlier blog post said, It’s been fun. And it will be well-remembered. I wonder what I’m going to do with a DFW-less semester next fall. Or how closely these texts will stick with me into the future.
I thought this was blogpost worthy:
I thought this was a good read.
One of my professors who knows I am taking this class sent me this link recently. I thought I would share because it’s fairly amusing…
When I first began reading meta-fiction I thought “oh cool” or “how convenient”: the author’s juxtaposition into his own work seemed like a good concept but it didn’t really click.
Then I went to visit my ‘family’ in San Diego. I say ‘family’ because I don’t want to suggest brothers and sisters (I have none of either), but only aunts and uncles and such. My father wasn’t keen on attending, and since Claremont is closer to Solana Beach than Albuquerque, I would represent the THL lineage this time (I am the VII, dad the VI, so on..) I like these semi-reunions because they are always filled with aunt/uncle drama (most of which is irrelevant to me) to the point of which the cousins (I am one) can fly under the radar and do what we please. This occasion was particularly interesting because I honed in on some specific information about my forefathers. It seemed my Great-grandfather (THL IV) was a liked man and my grandfather(THL V) was not. These points seemed to be emphasized to the point of insanity and by the end of my weekend my head was bursting with familial data.
The first thing I did was call my father. He too knows how taxing these semi-reunions are and enjoys hearing the shenanigans through a speaker 600 miles away. To be frank he almost instantly cleared the b/s up for me. I know my father, he knows me, and we are very close. Not only personally are we close, but politically as well (politics beyond red and blue) and where we might disagree, we would know why. Nothing is hidden from me by him and this makes his stories very easy to understand (for me).
This made me realize, that in my life as a fiction created my father, these meta-fictional references (albeit a phone call here) are not merely for sport but are imperative. My call to my father helped me clear up all of the b/s fictionalizations or interpretations to get down to the good stuff, the real life problems. This is what DFW does so well. In “Octet” the ninth pop-quiz provides the motive for the entire piece. He’s helping, he doesn’t need the reader to wonder why there are 5 pieces in the octet or why PQ6 doesn’t resolve. He can give us the answers to these questions , and help us get down to the questions he really wants us to answer. This meta-fictional story structure shows the meta-fictional qualities of life. That in life there can be pages and pages of mixed feelings and unsaid words that mean nothing unless we’re guided through. DFW gives a voice thats strong enough to tell us what he thinks is b/s and what we should really focus on. Do we believe him?
Thought you all might like to know that my suitemate is, at this very moment, shouting answers (“questions”) at the TV while watching Jeopardy in her room.
by DL I mean David Letterman, not the other. Just felt like making it unclear.
Anyway, for the interested, here’s a critical approach to Joaquin Phoenix’s Letterman appearance. Amelie Gillette isn’t necessarily the best cultural critic, but she’s frequently hilarious, and I think she’s spot-on here w/r/t Mr. Phoenix:
I know we aren’t there yet (I can hear some of the nail-biting from here), but I found this and thought that is definitely might be interesting when we do enter into the world of Infinite Jest.
The Infinite Jest Tour of Boston
A 41 photo series of all the sites mentioned in Infinite Jest! Most of the pictures’ descriptions feature the quote from the book where the location is mentioned.
I’ve recently become obsessed with the McSweeney’s publishing company and as I was looking over their website I found that they have a DFW memorial website. There are links to written tributes and accounts of Wallace before his passing away that are definitely worth checking out (At least one in particular even mentions him while at Pomona College).
come to the motley this sunday the 15th at 3pm for a vday fundraiser event!
music will be played, poetry will be read, art and cookies will be sold!
come support an AMAZING cause!
ALSO you should come see vagina monologues saturday the 21st at 2pm or 8pm!
(All proceeds from the show and fundraisers will be donated to the City of Hope project in the Democratic Republic of Congo and to House of Ruth!)