INFINITE JEST Readalong Wk 5 Comments p. 258-351

Aaaand, how about that 17-page footnote about what’s going on in Canada? Which was followed by a conversation between Marathe and Steeply to give more insight into the Canadian situation.

This week’s (which is already last week’s by the time I’m typing it, ostensibly because most readers were behind, and also because I was feeling the crazytown bananapants aspect of high summer.)

So, for pages 258-351, we are getting deeper into some of the people/things that have been broached, like Orin, Poor Tony, (poor Tony, indeed) and Canadian politics.

Keep in mind that the moon symbols are chapter divisions, so what’s in them is thematically connected. For example, contrast Orin’s life with poor Tony’s. Orin, whose helicopter Moms is so compelled to not interfere that she runs out of rooms, while poor Tony’s dad declares him dead to him because of his sex and gender preferences. Orin, whose life is changed, ostensibly for the better, by a random set of circumstances. Poor Tony, who may not even survive the subway ride.

The conversation between M & S reminds me of some of the themes Jonathan Franzen, a friend/rival of DFW’s in life, explored in his novel Freedom. Unlike Infinite Jest, I will not be re-reading Freedom. I wish I could scrub my mind of it, actually, and I know at least one of the #InfiniTC readers feels simliarly (hi, Heidi!)

We see many of the continuing themes of freedom, addiction, and waste.

What did you notice, and like, from this week?

2 Responses to “INFINITE JEST Readalong Wk 5 Comments p. 258-351”

  1. Heidi Says:

    Actually, w/ the exception of that totally unnecessary tacked on last chapter Epilogue I very much enjoyed reading Franzen’s “Freedom”. Just should’ve ended w/ Patty mailing her letter to Walt. 😉

  2. Beth Says:

    I continue to be fascinated with the profound pronouncements/advice on life/death in INFINITE JEST.

    “…to win enough of the time to be considered successful, you have to both care a great deal about it and also not care about it at all.” (269)

    “Pat M. encourages newer staff to think of residents they’d like to bludgeon to death as valuable teachers of patience, tolerance, self-discipline, restraint.” (270)

    I also couldn’t help but notice the dark humor (for lack of better description) of this:
    “No microwave popcorn for Orin, even then.” (298)

    As always, thanks for the useful notes and summer-y!