Infinite Jest

wrap up

So we're wrapping up in class tomorrow, and I'm trying to anticipate how we might pull all the books together. I think that the whole idea of World War II as a focal point for post modern novels is a cool one to discuss, but what I really want to know is what is POST post modern? Is Cryptonomicon post post modern in its linearity? And why are the critical texts of post modernism all so long?

the adult marijuana addict

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I'm writing my paper now and I was wondering if we ever came to the conclusion as to who the adult marijuana addict was? (I think we may have speculated that it is Hal) This section goes from page 17-27. It's about a man who is waiting for a woman to come with marijuana so he can hunker down in his house for weeks. He has gotten tons of cartridges to watch on the teleputer. My question is, if it is Hal, then why aren't his emotions screwed up?

Infinite Jest and Cryptonomicon

These books are so similar in the weirdest ways. The word antimacassar (antimacassars are the little cloths that hang on the arms of couches) is so rare and yet it has been in 3 of the books. But more importantly, the jeepney that Randy takes into the jungle is called "Grace of God" as in, "but for the grace of God" which straight up took me back to Infinite Jest and Joelle's ranting.

Otis P. Lord

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Okay, so I know this is back-tracking a bit, but with the final paper and all I've really been focusing on Infinite Jest, as I'm sure a lot of you are too.

Have you guys read the companion? If not, I highly recommend it--Burn explains a lot of the ways in which the plot intertwines, and it's really interesting. He mentions a lot of things that I don't remember being mentioned in class--for example, the connection between the ETA kids injured in the Eschaton incident and Gately. Otis P. Lord is the figure in the bed next to Gately with "a box on its head" (890), which I totally didn't get at the time. Burn also talks about the significance of Otis P. Lord's name--Gately has had trouble understanding the idea of a God, and right there next to him is someone who is named Lord and is ultimately in the hospital (in a pretty humurous condition) for "playing God" in the Eschaton game. So in a sense, Otis has failed at playing God, and is really sort of a pathetic Lord. Gately is wondering about why God would put him through all this, while a Lord is lying right next to him with a box stuck on his head.

another link

I've just thought of another way in which all four of these novels are connected. There seems to be a running motif of murder and violent attack, but the kind of attack that's unexpected and unprovoked. Reading about the Digibomber (and the Finn That Got Blown Up) reminded me of the Texas Highway Killer, which made me think of the A.F.R. and other Quebecois terrorists, and, to a lesser extent, the random and violent nature of the V2. Since all of these novels also deal in some way with war, I find all these instances of violence occurring close to home and without warning terribly fascinati

AAAHH Help!!

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can somebody please tell me where in Infinite Jest does it explicitly state that John Wayne doesn't use drugs?

Mario as CT's son

On page 901 the text reas, "The wedding photo was available for inspection, of course, and confirmed Mrs. Tavis as huge-headed and wildly short." Mario too is described as having a huge head and being the shortest member of a tall family. Also we read the part about "the first birth of the second Incandenza son." Maybe, when Mario's birth is described as a "surrprise birth" it also refers to the fact that Mario is CT's biological son. Remember too that CT avoids Mario at all costs.

The Great Concavity/Convexity?

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So this blog is about to come in a great deal of handy (...?) right now for me. Here's the deal:
I'm writing for my portfolio for the English major right now, and that includes a dystopian future type story. Basically, in the story, Africa has become similar to what the Great Concavity/Convexity is in IJ. I actually had the idea for the story and the landscape before reading IJ, but this is so perfect it will only help inform my writing.
I would love to reread the sections describing it and its formation to further inspire my description of the landscape in my story, but I'm having the hardest time finding all the parts. I KNOW there are more.

Gately's dreams

Gately keeps having these dreams, or rather, nightmares, about Orientals (begins on page 809) while he's lying in the hospital bed. In his dream he is robbing an Oriental man and he tries to blindfold him using twine (which is clearly too thin) and so the Oriental keeps looking back at him, "blink inscrutably." When I read this I kept thinking, "Why is he using twine?" but that maybe it was supposed to be because Gately had the idea that Asian eyes were so small that they could be covered with twine. He also mentions that the Oriental was wearing "a silk robe and scary sandals, and had no hair on its legs." First of all, why is the Oriental sexless? Why does Gately use the word "it" to describe the Oriental? I guess the biggest question I have is why is Gately apparently so afraid of Asians? I thought maybe it was supposed to represent the pervasive ethnocentricity that Americans believe in.

what the...

Okay, can someone please explain the last scene with Orin and Luria P--- that starts on 971?

As for the ending, as someone has already mentioned in their blog, it is definitely not a very cheery scene. I'm not very surprised that the ending wasn't anything more conclusive or uplifting, because, quite frankly, this book was just depressing. It had its moments of ludicrous hilarity, but overall, I just felt really bad for a lot of, if not all of, the characters. Everyone is so emotionally messed up that they deserve a hug...or maybe not (if you remember that scene with Ken Erdedy and Poor Tony that starts on 503). It's fitting that the ending matches the criticism what people expect out of entertainment. We want something that is wrapped up neatly at the end and leaves us with warm, fuzzy feelings; instead, we get relapse and a feeling that nothing changed for the better.

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