Infinite Summer – Week 2

***I’ll be posting every Sunday afternoon, sticking to the spoiler lines.***

I thought this section was gonna be rough.  I kept staring at the Marathe section, rereading the same couple of sentences over and over, with nothing gelling.  Part of it, I think, is that espionage-type stuff puts me to sleep.  Though the concept of wheelchair assassins was somewhat amusing, it apparently wasn’t amusing enough.  It was painful.

But then something clicked.

I think it was the herd of feral hamsters who got me back on track  (you may have noticed by now that I seem to have an affinity for all things feral). And with that, I suddenly just blew through the book, even though I’d been stuck on those initial 3 or 4 pages for 3 days.

As to endnote 304, am I the only one not reading it yet?  I was mulling it over, but I took endnote 45 to just be some kind of little heads up. Like, “Yes, there’s a great back story coming your way later about this train incident. Don’t forget it!” Kind of like a teaser or movie trailer or something.  I figured if DFW wanted us to know that story at that time, he would’ve just made it endnote 45.  Skimming the forums, it seems everyone is diving right into 304.  But I think I’ll wait.  I kind of like being left in the dark until the big unveiling (and judging from the length of that endnote, that is one hell of an unveiling).

The bad:

  • The only part of this week’s reading that tripped me up (once I got past my initial Marathe mental block) was the damn yrstruly section.  I don’t even thing the annoying dialect is the main problem; it’s those page-long sentences and pages-long paragraphs.  I don’t think I’d be half as annoyed if a little more punctuation had been sprinkled in.
  • Will someone please tell my cat that an open, in-use copy of Infinite Jest is not a bed?

The good:

  • The locker room talk is great.  I think it contains some of my favorite writing thus far.
  • “It’s a herd of feral hamsters, a major herd, thundering across the yellow plains of the southern reaches of the Great Concavity in what used to be Vermont, raising dust that forms a uremic-hued cloud with somatic shapes interpretable from as far away as Boston and Montreal.” (93)
  • “Marathe’s drowsy smile continued upward to become a wince. ‘Narcissus and Echo. Kierkegaard and Regina. Kafka and that poor girl afraid to go to the postbox for the mail.'” (105)

The great:

On holding in massive farts (possibly sharts) while competing:

‘You let it out come what may?’

‘A la contraire. I let it ride around inside all day if I have to. I make an iron rule: nothing escapes my bottom during play. Not a toot or a whistle. If I play hunched over I play hunched over. I take the discomfort in the name of dignified caution, and when it’s especially bad I look up at the sky between points and I say to the sky Thank You Sir may I have another. Thank You Sir may I have another.’ (120)

Thank you DFW may I have another!


About Melissa

I love donuts. Chocolate iced, hold the sprinkles.
This entry was posted in art & literature, infinite summer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Infinite Summer – Week 2

  1. Pingback: Infinite Summer » Blog Archive » Roundup

  2. Jenn says:

    Glad I’m not alone in holding off on endnote 304. I, too, reckon that it was intentionally put where it is and to read it now would be like reading the last page of a mystery.

    My cat let me use him as a bookrest while reading, so I’ll have him call your cat and let him know the preferred etiquette.

  3. Cute Linda says:

    Nice site! Very professional looking. Thanks!

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