I’m the potentially gifted ten-year-old tennis and lexical prodigy whose mom’s a continental mover and shaker in the prescriptive-grammar academic world and whose dad’s a towering figure in optical and avant-garde film circles and single-handedly founded the Enfield Tennis Academy but drinks Wild Turkey at like 5:00 a.m. and pitches over sideways during dawn drills, on the courts, some days, and some days presents with delusions about people’s mouths moving but nothing coming out. (p. 30, Infinite Jest)
I’ve made it to page 63, the first goal for Infinite Summer, and I hope to go all the way. Infinite Jest is challenging, funny, and too heavy to cart around with me, so I may have to get a supplemental book to read when I’m on the go. I was please but unsurprised to find the word “nauseous” used correctly. I’m keeping a list of characters, of year names, and of words to look up. This week, it was “apocope” and “fantods.” Neither, of course, was included in my MMPB dictionary.
Apocope: the loss of one or more sounds from the end of a word, and especially the loss of an unstressed vowel.
Fantods: A state of extreme nervousness or restlessness.