Monday, December 15, 2008

The Jest: pages 238 - 310 (plus end notes)

Page 270 line 13: erumpent, bursting through or as if through a surface or covering.

Page 271 line 23: sedulously, working persistently, painstakingly.

Page 272 line 11: nictitated, to blink or wink.

Page 1001 line 27: redolent, suggestive or reminiscent of something, with a particular scent or odor.

Page 274 line 7: Eugenio Martinez, a.k.a. Gene M. – refers to the Disease as The Spider. Orin and James O. Incandenza were terrified of spiders. Spiders a recurring theme or symbol.

Page 280 line 23: supporating, forming or discharging pus.

Page 280 line 14-25: This whole paragraph about Pat Montesian’s dogs and their part in Pat’s admissions interviews is just amazing.

Page 279 line 26: Mention of Randy Lenz going back to Chianti and ‘ludes and getting assaulted by sidewalks. Mention of the killer sidewalks to come. DFW does this, drops hints of an idea or concept that he explains more fully later. Sometimes all that you learn about a character or situation is what DFW sprinkles on you a little bit at a time like this.

Page 280 line 11: Talwin, a trademark for the drug pentazocine hydrochloride, the brand name for pentazocine lacatate, a potent analgesic, which is as effective as morphine. Talwin is a controlled substance.

Page 281 line 7: distaff, referring to a wife’s or mother’s side of the family. In this case, I think DFW is simply saying the women’s team.

Page 281 line 16: The reader need only guess what happened to Pemulis’s opponent to figure out why he became so lethargic in the second set or found the balls to be too pretty to hit, or a number of other behavior changes during the day. This supports the hypothesis that Pemulis had something to do with Hal’s “change” in the beginning of the book.

Page 281, 5 lines from bottom: nystagmic, an involuntary movement of the eyeball.

Page 282 line 16: “Schtittless”: interesting play on a name.

Page 283 line line: “the tumescence of O.N.A.N.ism.” That says it all. And DFW had to have deliberately chosen Organization of North American Nations just for the acronym.

Page 1003 note 94: neurasthenic, marked by chronic mental and physical fatigue and depression.

Page 284 line 3: afflatus, creative inspiration, usually thought of as divine.

Page 284 line 16: A little more about Eschaton. Orin was the first Eschaton Grand Master at E.T.A. But Eschaton seems to have originated at Palmer Academy in Tampa.

Page 285 line 16: The Moms, a contortionist of other people’s bodies.

Page 284 line 20: deafflatusized, A DFW neologism, must mean loss or removal of afflatus.

Page 1003, note 98: lordotic, an unusual inward curving of the spine in the lower part of the back, which may be medically significant.

Page 286, 15 lines from bottom: felo de se, an act of committing suicide, somebody who commits suicide.

Page 288 line 6: Salic Law, a body of Medieval law. the best known tenet of Salic law is agnatic succession, the rule excluding females from the inheritance of a throne or fief. See Wikipedia.

Page 289, 13 lines from bottom: strabismic, having eyes that are not aligned in parallel or move the eyes so that they are not aligned in parallel.

Page 290 line 17: ascapartic, Ascapart or Ascupart was an enormous giant, thirty feet high, who carried off Sir Bevis, his wife Josian, his sword Morglay, and his steed Arundel, under his arm. Sir Bevis afterwards made Ascapart his slave, to run beside his horse. In this context, it probably means “big guy”. See WordWizard or Wikipedia.

Page 290 line 1: Where the term P.G.O.A.T. came from.

Page 290, 12 lines from bottom: attar, essential oil extracted from flowers.

Page 292 line 16: CNS = Central Nervous System

Page 293, 7 lines from bottom: factota, pl. of factotum, somebody who does many jobs.

Page 293, bottom third: DFW seems to be really making a statement about the fear of expanding one’s boundaries.

Page 294 line 15: Actaeonizingly, and again on p. 295 line 19, in Greek mythology, Actaeon was a hunter who was turned into a stag after inadvertently catching sight of the goddess Artemis bathing. This word is probably one of DFW’s to mean the sight of one so beautiful that it physically changes the beholder.

Page 299 line 14: “Madame P.G.O.A.T. …”, a sly hint at her future name, perhaps? This page seems to describe one of those life-changing events for Orin, then the opposing football team makes contact with him. What exactly happened to Orin? DFW is only dropping his usual hints.

Page 299, bottom: Introducing Poor Tony Krause. Poor Tony was mentioned on p. 128, 7 lines from bottom, and throughout the whole story on pp. 128-135. Poor Tony was the thief who stole the lady’s handbag with her heart in it, on pp. 142-144.

Page 301 line 22: neurasthenic, marked by chronic mental and physical fatigue and depression.

Page 301-303: An absolutely chilling description of heroin withdrawal.

Page 310 line 21: SACPOP, an achronym from Eschaton, soon to be explained.

Page 1005 line 5: The Unexamined Life: a great name for a bar. When I open a bar, that’s what I’m going to name it.

Page 1005 line 20: Interesting observation, that all of Emily Dickenson’s poems can be sung to “The Yellow Rose of Texas”. But this really isn’t true. I guess this is the kind of observation that Orin would make but that Hal would rebut.

Page 1006 line 8: solecism, a grammatical mistake, error, or breach of good manners.

Page 1009 line 1: Ainsi, French, meaning something like thus, so, in this way. Makes sense that Orin is using it; probably the Quebecois influence of the Moms.

Page 1009 line 7: gynecopia, a word that Orin just made up (has to be), a cornucopia of female genitalia.

Page 1014, 8 lines from bottom: A reference to Avril Incandenza’s forgiveness of Orin for killing her dog (Orin and Marlon Blain).

Page 1016 line 2: “Chortles are good. We like chortles.” Orin echoing Avril, from p. 1006 line 26.

Page 1016 line 27: “Me tell the truth? Me lie?” When Orin tells the truth, he’s lying?

Page 1016 line 29: ascapartic, again, previously on p. 290 line 17.


Evan Baer said...

remember you're either feeding or starving the spider

(somewhere in the jest, probably)

Evan's Dad said...

I'll find it, eventually, and it will be cross-referenced.