Shambles: Summer of Infinite Jestation


The Night Wears A Sombrero
August 18, 2010, 11:01 am
Filed under: Infinite Jest | Tags: , , , ,

Infinite babes, I hope y’all are getting through the book alright.

If you’ve read past p. 728/9 and up to where Infinite Summer recommends for the week (p. 738, which is about as awkward a place as any to stop reading, just so you know), then you/we are officially well into the 3rd trimester of jestation and good lord, it is way too late to safely abort.

So, Hal is obviously going through some kind of substance withdrawal, which is very lonely-inducing–I feel like depression is something that comes up quite a bit in DFW’s writing (which isn’t terribly surprising)–and then DFW sort of rambles from anhedonia on to psychotic depression, neatly tying together K. Gompert and Hal… We’ve essentially got only a few months before Hal disappears into an unintelligible shell of his former lexically brilliant self.

We get a bit more of Hal reflecting on The Mad Stork’s oeuvre, and a play by play of Blood Sister: One Tough Nun.

We learn more about Mike and Matty Pemulis’ childhoods. Iiinteresting. And that Matty Pemulis is a prostitute who knows Poor Tony. And Poor Tony attempts to rob K. Gompert + listener-independent streak-talking Ruth v. Cleve… and steps into that highly commendable/repulsive pile of human turds.

And something strange might have been detected in an unclean fridge by those 14-and-unders in the labyrinthine tunnels of ETA. Perhaps a Concavity-addled hamster? Or maybe mold that is beginning to grow legs?

There’s definitely something fishy going on w/r/t the Poutrincourt-Steeply exchange above ground (well, + deLint, although Aubrey seems to be generally kind of oblivious) during the Stice/Inc show down. Everybody seems to be trying to get a hold of the Master copy of the Entertainment, so now we know why all these assassins des fauteuils rollent are wheeling sneakily around Enfield/ETA/Antitoi Entertainnent/associated halfway houses.

Avril obviously knows the Steeples (gotta love that correspondence between Bain and Steeply, a la footnote 269. Does he even know her/his name?), since DFW mentions that Avril makes a phone call to Blasted Expanse Blvd. DFW is definitely tearing into the Steeply disguise narratively–maybe it’s just me, but I feel fairly confident in asserting that the male pronoun has come up a lot more lately w/r/t the enigmatic Steeply, who seems only to really have launched Orin’s figurative ship. I wonder though, is Steeply, representing the US Bureau of Unspecified Services, also seeking to locate the Master Copy of the Entertainment? If so, I’m not sure I can quite figure out what purpose that would serve other than stopping the AFR/militantly secessionist Quebecois in their anti-ONAN-tist tracks. I also wonder who Steeply’s wife is.

J.v.D. wants (in some small way) Don Gately to see her face! AHHH! I smell some serious schmaltzy romance here. It would be ironic in a nice way of D. Gately hooked up with Madame Psychosis.

Also, this description of Lenz on page 717 makes me think of The Night Wears A Sombrero:

“Lenz wore fluorescent-yellow snowpants, the slightly shiny coat to a long-tailed tux, a sombrero with little wooden balls hanging off the brim, oversize tortoise-shell glasses that darkened automatically in response to bright light, and a glossy black mustache promoted from the upper lip of a mannequin at Lechmere’s in Cambridgeside… his pallor an almost ghostly aspect in the sombrero’s portable shade”

Aww yeah.

**Minor Spoiler Alert for p. 729-38**

Ahahaha, some guy that Marathe talks to at Ennet House (he’s so warm and he doesn’t know it…) delivers this hilarious Matrix-esque conspiracy theory, all while our dear assassin de fauteuil rollent repeats combinations of the words “I am Swiss [putatively, eh]”, “I have (desperately) come here (desperately)”, and “I am addicted and deformed, seeking residential treatment…” culminating in some beautifully hilarious anglais, comme ca: “I am Swiss, seeking residential treatment with desperation”.

I suppose I’m also a bit relieved that J.v.D. thinks of the Incandenzas as the second saddest fambly she’s ever known, in addition to filling us in on her opinion of the creepy nicknames in the fambly (The Mad Stork, the Moms).

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1 Comment so far
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Haha: “Possibly related posts: How to Work A Sombrero Into Your Everyday Wardrobe.” Thanks, wordpress.

I thought this section was sort of melancholy, overall. Probably because the writing really seems to be on the wall for Hal. Poor Kate Gompert’s not doing the greatest either.
But the potential for romance, and Blood Sister (which is almost as awesome as TNWAS…did DFW ever think about making any of these movies?) were brighter spots.
I’m sort of confused about the rpm differences/master vs. read-only versions of the Entertainment, having just jumped back in to IJ. Is the AFR missing something with regard to the tapes they’re finding?
And can Lenz meet his end already? My aversion to him, even on paper, is so visceral. Damn.

Comment by rcahoon




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