Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Jest: pages 844 - 916

Page 845 line 14: This “eccentrically dressed and extremely irritating without-home man” has to be Poor Tony. He is apparently a “test” subject for the AFR.

Page 848 line 27: Mrs. Waite eventually hung herself.

Page 849 line 9: Gately wrestles with a moral dilemma and wins. Perhaps there is something redeemable about him after all.

Page 849: A couple days after Gately’s birthday and Mrs. Waite isn’t answering her door and the bills and papers are piling up. Her birthday cake to Gately must have been a farewell gesture. Other clues on pp. 848 – 849.

Page 850 line 24: Death’s explanation of death has appeared before in the book. Where did DFW get this mythical concept of death?

Page 851 line 1: Gately’s dream is exactly like the Entertainment. How is he not totally transfixed and absorbed by it like viewers of the Entertainment?

Page 851 line 10: Hal is definitely the first-person narrator here. This section is subtitled “Gaudemus Igitur” like the Eschaton section.

Page 853 line 12: terre batu, literally “beaten earth”.

Page 857, 14 lines from bottom: Use of “to” instead of “too”; has DFW made a grammatical error? Maybe this is Gately’s error and not the author’s.

Page 860, 15 lines from bottom: Gately’s breakthrough realization. Maybe a breakthrough for all of us.

Page 865, 13 lines from bottom: Hal perceives his voice as neutral, but to Ortho Stice it sounds like he’s been crying. Is this the beginning of Hal’s condition at the Whataburger? Also notice that Ortho cannot see hal directly because his forehead is stuck to the window, so he cannot see Hal’s facial expression, whatever it might be.

Page 870 line 28: The ghost of James O. Incandenza reappears.

Page 870, 3 lines from bottom: Has Hal had this, like, disconnect in his speech since he was a kid?

Page 873 line 5: The Betel Caper, like Gately’s stunt with the assistant DA’s toothbrush; p. 56 line 20.

Page 875 line 27: Hal’s voice and facial expressions are not matching.

Page 878, 17 lines from bottom: This meeting has something to do with the Entertainment.

Page 878, 3 lines from bottom: The OUS is trying to counter dissemination of the Entertainment cartridge with PSAs on the Mr. Bouncety Bounce show.

Page 885 line 3: Aaagghhhh!!! Gately has the revelation of his life, the biggest realization he’s ever had, and FF isn’t even paying attention to him.

Page 886, 15 lines from bottom: A preview of Gately’s dilaudid feast.

Page 886 – 887: The MD as the Last Temptation in The Passion of Gately.

Page 888, 10 lines from bottom: the cage again.

Page 889, 3 lines from bottom: “…woke Gately up…” Were the last five pages just Gately’s bad dream?

Page 890 line 24: the cage again, although as an idiom. Yep, this was Gately’s bad dream.

Page 895 line 10: God as a figurant; interesting.

Page 896 line 6: The narrator here is Hal, in the first person. (I wonder if all first-person passages are Hal?)Hal seems to make a massive transition of consciousness here. He would be extremely spaced out if not for being so lucid.
Hal's focus on the "cumulative aspect" (p. 896, 5 lines from bottom) of his life is the opposite of Gately's, who is literally taking one second at a time (see p. 860, 15 lines from bottom). But unlike Gately, who finds hope in taking it one second at a time, Hal is overwhelmed by the volume of the sum total of everything in his life.

Page 898 line 3: Just noticed how the name “Orin” has been passed from generation to generation of Incandenzas.

Page 898, 4 lines from bottom: “…a nearly impossible choice to make…” Like Erdedy on page 27, at the top.

Page 899 line 3: Hal’s return from Natick (the encounter group that wasn’t the meeting he intended to go to) seems to be when his outward facial expressions weren’t matching his speech.

Page 899 line 9: Could it be that Himself’s belief that Hal was not speaking was a fact; Hal was not speaking when he thought he was. And would any of this have anything to do with the Mom’s “introduction of certain esoteric mnemonic steroids…into your innocent-looking bowl of morning Ralston”? (see p. 30) Or with the mold that Hal ate?

Page 901 line 6: A brief glimpse at Charles Tavis’s genealogy. These genetics explain Mario.

Page 902, 16 lines from bottom: This legend is hilarious.

Page 904, 5 lines from bottom: droogs: a salute to Anthony Burgess and “A Clockwork Orange”.

Page 906 line 6: Howl being Allen Ginsberg’s poem.

Page 907, last line: Pemulis, after a week-long absence, has to have a serious talk with Hal.

Page 908, 19 lines from bottom: Hal is declining the DMZ.

Page 908, 5 lines from bottom: Hal echoes Gately in his refusal of temptation.

Page 909 line 5: Hal’s expression apparently still one of hysterics.

Page 909, 2 lines from bottom: A cage again; Hal making a cage of his hands, like the leader at the encounter group meeting that Hal went to by mistake; p. 801 line 12.

Page 911 line 11: teleologic, the study of ultimate causes in nature; an approach to ethics that studies actions in relations to their ends or utility; any activity that tends towards toe achievement of a goal.

Page 914, 2 lines from bottom: the capitalized Virus again.

Page 916, middle text: Pemulis is retrieving the DMZ. Note that the ceiling tiles are broken and in disarray, and there is no sign of an old sneaker on the floor. Pemulis hid his stashes in the toe of a rotty old sneaker to discourage anyone from looking for it. Some possibilities here, that remain for the rest of the book to unfold: 1) someone has been here and already made off with the DMZ. This someone may be dosing Hal with it, and this someone would be a “dish served cold” kind of individual. I was suspecting John Wayne, after his episode with what he thought was Sudafed from Troelch’s night stand. The trouble with this is that he would be more likely to extract this revenge on Troelch. 2) Hal has already taken the DMZ himself, which would explain his disconnection. It would also explain his refusal of the DMZ on p. 908.

No comments: