Monday, August 08, 2016

Poor Yoricks' Summer - Infinite Jest, Pages 503-538

503-07: November x. Ennet House staffer Johnette Foltz takes Ken Erdedy and Kate Gompert to a NA Beginners' Discussion Meeting, "where the focus was always marijuana". Afterwards, everyone is hugging and Erdedy, "uncomfortable with the whole idea of hugging", is confronted by Roy Tony.

507-08: May 1. Marathe and Steeply talk about the men trying to study the Entertainment who have been "lost". Steeply: "Certain departments in Virginia, the developing theory is that it's holography. ... Tom Flatto's personal theory is the appeal's got something to do with density. The visual compulsion. Theory's that with a really sophisticated piece of holography you'd get the neural density of an actual stage play without losing the selective realism of the viewer-screen. That the density plus the realism might be too much to take."

508-27: November 10. Hal Incandenza, Michael Pemulis, Trevor Axford, and Ann Kittenplan have been summoned to Charles Tavis's office, presumably because of the Eschaton debacle two days ago. Background on Tavis (he designed Toronto's Skydome!) and on Lateral Alice Moore, who works as Tavis's secretary. Avril Incandenza, in her office nearby, conducts an "administrative diddle-check". Hal and the Moms have a brief conversation before everyone goes into Tavis's office.

528-530: May 1. Marathe and Steeply discuss various world myths of fatal beauty/temptation, of women "too exotic and intriguing or seductive to resist", such as L'Odalisque de Sainte Thérèse.

531-538: November 11, 0450. Don Gately talks to Joelle van Dyne about her veil and the attitudes of UHID. Joelle remarks that Gately is much smarter than he acts. She also says: "Don, I'm perfect. I'm so beautiful I drive anybody with a nervous system out of their fucking mind. Once they've seen me they can't think of anything else and ... believe that if they can only have me right there with them at all times everything will be all right. ... I am so beautiful I am deformed. I am deformed with beauty."


Trying to keep the political subplot of the acquisition, copying, and dissemination of the Entertainment straight:
Marathe and Steeply meet on the Arizona outcropping on the night of April 30/May 1 YDAU, roughly six months before most of the action in the novel takes place (November YDAU).

There have been scattered casualties re the Entertainment: April 1: the Boston medical attache; Late October: someone at Molly Notkin's party says "a good bit of Berkeley isn't answering their phone".

All of the Canadian anti-ONAN groups - as well as the USOUS - have at least one copy of the Entertainment.

None of the anti-ONAN groups have a Master Copy, however, and are unable to make copies.

It is possible that Bertraund Antitoi brought home a copy of the Entertainment, perhaps even a Master, which he removed from a street display (which Joelle walked past on the night she attempted to kill herself).

Lucien Antitoi plays the often-unlabelled cartridges his brother brings home, but some of them appear blank.

Most consumers' TPs are 450-rpm. You need a 585-rpm TP to play a Master. Playing a Master on a 450 will give the viewer the impression that the cartridge is blank.

The AFR, looking for both a Master Copy of the Entertainment and a 585 TP, attack and ransack the Antitois' store sometime between November 8-10, and murder both brothers. Do they find anything?

When Does Joelle van Dyne Attempt Suicide?

The scene in the novel (219-40) is dated November 7 (Saturday).

Also, Note 134: "And if you're brand-new ... like veiled Joelle van Dyne, who entered the House just today, 11/8, Interdependence Day, after the E.R. physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital who last night had pumped her full of Inderal and nitro had looked upon her unveiled face and been deeply affected, and had taken a special interest, a consequence of which after Joelle regained consciousness and speech had involved placing a call to [Ennet House Executive Director] Pat Montesian ... so that his call to Pat's home on Saturday night had gotten Joelle into the House on the spot, as of Interdependence Day A.M.'s discharge from B&W ..." (1025-26)

This information, while in agreement with the date on page 219, would mean that Joelle was discharged from B&W and brought to Ennet House less than 24 hours after her very serious overdose. That does not seem very plausible.


"This Joelle girl, that wasn't even on the two-month waiting list for Intake, got in overnight under some private arrangement with somebody on the House's Board of Directors ... the girl just showed up two days ago right after supper. She'd been up at Brigham and Women's for five days after some sort of horrific O.D.-type situation said to have included both defib paddles and priests." (364)

This scene is on I.-Day, November 8 (Sunday), so according to this information, JvD would have arrived at Ennet House on the evening of Friday, November 6. Counting backwards means she was at B&W from Monday, November 2 to November 6, and so likely overdosed on the night of Sunday, November 1. (Any clue that Notkin's party was on a Sunday night?) This timeline seems far more believable. This timeline seems far more believable. However, it is not the one used by Greg Carlisle in Elegant Complexity.

So ... is one of these narrators unreliable or is this a mistake that did not get caught during the extensive editing process?

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