Friday, June 17, 2016

Infinite Jest: Pages 17-49: Erdedy, the Howling Fantods, and the Infinite Jest Entertainment Cartridge

A lot happening. Very little overt connection. Erdedy. Wardine. The Medical Attache. Mario. Orin. The professional conversationalist. The Appropriation Artist. Oh my.

The Erdedy chapter is priceless. Erdedy is someone completely alone with his anxieties. We can all (most of us anyway) relate, if not to the anxious waiting to score weed then to the very condition however it arises of being extraordinarily anxious about something.

It wasn't that he was afraid of the dope, it was that smoking it made him afraid of everything else. (p22)

I have a new acronym to write in the margins when I encounter some phrase or passage that blows me away: HFS. It stands for Holy Fucking Shit!

The bottom half of page 22 earned an HFS, as did the sentence: The last woman had been sexy but not pretty, as the woman he now didn't want to see but was waiting anxiously for was pretty in a faded withered Cambridge way that made her seem pretty but not sexy. (p23)  HFS.

Endnote #3 earned a loud HFS.

At Random

Is Hal mute? Is the scene with the professional conversationalist (who turns out to be his own father) actually dialog that goes on in Hal's mind but that he doesn't actually say? Remember, the opening scenes of Hal's meltdown occurs when the administrators insist that Hal speak for himself - and he can't. Or doesn't. And freaks out.

What's with Wardine and the Black vernacular? (p37)

Hal, Orin, and Mario are brothers. Orin is an NFL punter. Hal a tennis prodigy. Mario the youngest, apparently disfigured or handicapped with an over-sized head.

The Medical Attache is succumbing to the Infinite Jest entertainment cartridge.
fantod (by Edward Gorey)

The howling fantods first referenced on page 45. Roaches gave him the howling fantods.

Hobbesian Sewers (p45)

Who starts a sentence like this?! And so but since the old CBC documentary's thesis ... "And so but since..." that is really ballsy. (p47)

Infinite Vocab

phylacteryish - a phylactery is a small leather box that contains Hebrew texts and that is worn by Jewish men at prayer as a reminder to keep the law. (p47)

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