Friday, December 12, 2008

The Jest: pages 186 - 220

Page 187 line 20: steatopygiac, one with an accumulation of fat on the buttocks. (Yes, there is such a word.) No wonder they needed special slacks.

Page 187 line 27: U.H.I.D., Union of Hideously and Improbably Deformed. An agnostic-style 12-step program for what it calls the “aesthetically challenged”. Started in 1941 by that matron that Winston Churchill insulted. More on p. 226, and it's f'ing hilarious.

Page 187, 2 lines from bottom: “Like most marriages, Avril and the late James Incandenza’s was an evolved product of concordance and compromise,…” This phrase first appears on p. 183 line 28.

Page 188 line 9: L.A.S. = Liberal Arts School

Page 188 line 12: mens-sana, latin for “sound mind”.

Page 188 line 13: ad valoremized, according to value, in proportion to the value of something. So Avril’s “flinty mens-sana pedagogy wasn’t diluted so much as ad-valoremized…”

Page 189, 2 lines from bottom: “Her voice seems low-depth familiar to Mario…” Of course it does, considering that J.V.D. was one of J.O.I.’s prime actresses in his films while Mario was essentially an apprentice under J.O.I.

Page 190 line 9: lazarette, quarantine facility.

Page 190 line 9: oubliette, a dungeon made so that the only way in or out is through a trapdoor at the top.

Page 192, 5 lines from bottom: The caller describes the moon as never turning its face away from the Earth, much like viewers of The Entertainment never turn away from it.

Page 195 line 15: “Apeshit has rarely enjoyed so literal a denotation.” Man, that’s good!

Page 195, 11 lines from bottom: aminating, (not animating, with the m and the n transposed), the chemical process by which an amine group is introduced into an organic molecule. What’s this got to do with a needle?

Page 195, 7 lines from bottom: Residents of Ennett House get regular urine tests, just as the students of Enfield do, but no M. Pemulis selling them Visine bottles of clean piss. (Where would Ennett House residents get clean piss, anyway?)

Page 196 line 1: “…thoroughly eliminated personal map…” Map meaning, what, consciousness? I wasn’t paying attention to the occurrences of “map” up to this point. I’ll have to do that on the 3rd reread of The Jest.

Page 997, note 67: First use of the word figurant. Also in this note: the woman in Ennett House #5 (where the catatonics are kept) who, the security guards reason, is so terrified of being blind that she keeps her eyes tightly shut, afraid to find out if she is really blind or not. (Same sort of reasoning for catatonics and a fear of being paralyzed.) The fear so terrifying it cannot be faced.

Page 200 – 205: This reads like “Tennis and the Feral Prodigy”, pp. 172-176, but w/r/t substance abuse. It’s even in 2nd person narrative.

Page 202 + note 70 on p. 998: Inventorying every possible substance or activity that can be abused (and wrapping up, in note 70, of the ultimate consequence of stopping that abuse. Is it that we are all abusing one thing or another? Is that the point of our lives?

Page 208 line 6: Calvin Thrust : Charles Tavis; same initials, Calvin Thrust @ Ennett House, Charles Tavis @ E.T.A.

Page 208 line 8: magiscule, perhaps majuscule, a large letter used in writing or printing, for example, a capital letter or any of the large rounded letters (uncials) used in ancient manuscripts.

Page 208, 6 lines from bottom: mucronate, ending in a sharp point.

Page 209 line 19: “…St. Columbkill…” The Columbine High School shooting did not occur until April 20, 1999, but Infinite Jest was published in 1996. A tempting reference, but ahead of its time.

Page 209, 4 lines from bottom: autolyzed, broken down by cells by an enzyme that is produced within them. In this context, the tattoo fading away by the natural enzymatic action of the skin cells.

Page 213 line 25: titration, a method of determining the concentration of a solution.

Page 211 – 215: Details about DMZ.

Page 214 line 18: The Vaught twins get counted as one entry in the Dorm Room Draw. An explanation of why at p. 217 last line to p. 218 line 9.

Page 214, 16 lines from bottom: “’I mean literally lost his mind, like the massive dose picked his mind up and carried it off somewhere and put it down someplace and forgot where.” Like being lost, without a map. Yet another map reference.

Page 214, 9 lines from bottom: Axford speculates that maybe DMZ explains Lyle and his more-or-less permanent lotus position down in the weight room.

Page 215 line 22: DMZ nicknamed “Madame Psychosis”, (also see p. 170, 3 lines from bottom). Follows with the transmigration of the soul. Pemulis got the DMZ from two reputed Canadian separatist insurgents (see p. 171).

Page 216 line3: otiose, with no useful or practical purpose, with little or no value.

Page 216 line 10: entrepĂ´t, a bonded warehouse.

Page 998, note 75, refers to losing a match as demapping.

Page 999 line 3, note 76: glabrous, smooth and lacking hair or bristles.

At the tail end of note 76, the description of the afterglow of Hal’s literary prodigity (hey, if DFW can do it, so can I) seems a lot like a description of the effects of viewing The Entertainment (not described yet, but I remember from my first reading).

Page 219, mid-page on: Introducing Joelle Van Dyne.

Page 220 line 9: another reference to map elimination.

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