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Infinite Summer: Location 2009

Filed under: The Squib Report   Tagged: ,

Martin Schneider writes:

Note: I'm participating in Infinite Summer, the widespread Internet book project dedicated to reading David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest. For more information, consult my introduction. My strategy has been to avoid lengthy commentary but instead list quintessentially Wallacean vocabulary and note other oddities, including Kindle typos.

Not much to say. Proceeding nicely, if slowly. Elements still accruing. Very impressed with the confidence of Wallace's authorial voice, it's like he's constantly idling in a Porsche, knowing he can rev up to any speed he needs, whenever he wants.

The Wardine section is difficult to follow and perhaps mildly offensive, but you really have to admire the guts of any white American author who would put such a section in his novel. It reminded me of "Authority and American Usage," Wallace's essay about the grammar wars, reprinted in Consider the Lobster, specifically the section in which he describes the process of emphasizing to an African-American student the pragmatic importance of adopting Standard Written English (which speech duly gets him into trouble, much as the Wardine section threatens to get him into trouble).

The other thing I wanted to say is that I didn't think the Schtitt-Mario section was very good. Wallace wants to introduce a perverse idea about the infinitude of embracing boundaries (or something), and I thought it could have been done better.


location 1124: howling fantods, thanks to a certain DFW-dedicated website, a phrase famously associated with Wallace. I was not familiar with the word fantods. You?
location 1136: twitter
location 1155: phylacteryish
location 1158: nubbin of neck
location 1257: fair-diametered
location 1279: grille'd
location 1289 (endnote): 'drine-stimulation
location 1292 (endnote): injury-'scrip
location 1299: paragraph on "giving yourself away," major theme for the whole novel.
location 1318: quail, used as a verb, nice.
location 1379: chiffonnier
location 1393: apocopes
location 1417: so-calledly 'Recon-figured,' not sure I like this, so much
location 1432: bluely
location 1454: pertussives
location 1455: megaspansules
location 1463: nebulizer
location 1470: opioid, someday someone will write a paper about DFW's fondness for words with too many vowels crammed together like this.
location 1488: bolections
location 1489: reglets
location 1494: [[V]], Kindle's representation of \/. Hmmm.
location 1520: G. Ford-early G. Bush, no, not that one. Sigh.
location 1525: homolosine-cartography
location 1525: optative, since there is a perfectly appropriate word optional, this strikes me as practically a solecism.
location 1530 (endnote): UNRE-LEASED, Kindle typo
location 1530 (endnote): Iimura
location 1530 (endnote): incunabular
location 1530 (endnote): pertussive
location 1530 (endnote): Concupiscence
location 1543: technical feck, cannot overstate how much I enjoy that turn of phrase.
location 1547: Cornell University Press, I do work for them sometimes.
location 1580: muscimole
location 1704: Dretske
location 1789: synclinal
location 1794: duBois-gesture, anyone know?
location 1812: and meant it: these three words embody the DFW touch.
location 1882: Lebensgefährtins, the word, meaning "significant other," is given in the feminine form, a possibility the definition DFW provides seems to rule out. The proper word is Lebensgefährtes. Puzzling.
location 1888: leptosomatic
location 1904: plosivity
location 1946: Cantorian, of course, DFW would write extensively about Cantor in Everything and More.

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