Wednesday, October 19, 2011

consider the following from infinite jest

"...Joelle's limbs have been removed to a distance where their acknowledgement of her commands seems like magic, both clogs simply gone, nowhere in sight, and socks oddly wet, pulls her face up to face the unclean medicine-cabinet mirror, twin roses of flame still hanging in the glasses corner, hair of the flame she's eaten now trailing like legs of wasps through the air of the glass she uses to locate the defaced veil and what's inside it, loading up the cone again, the ashes from the last load make the world's best filter: this is a fact. Breathes in and out like a savvy driver [...] and is knelt vomiting over the lip of the cool blue tub, gouges on the tub's lip revealing sandy white gritty stuff below the lacquer and porcelain, vomiting muddy juice and blue smoke and dots of mercuric red into the claw-footed trough, and can hear again and seems to see, against the fire of her closed lids' blood, bladed vessels aloft in the night to monitor flow, searchlit helicopters, fat fingers of blue light from one sky, searching." (240)

"And his younger and way more externally impressive brother Hal almost idealizes Mario, secretly. God-type issues aside, Mario is a (semi-) walking miracle, Hal believes. People who're somehow burned at birth, withered or ablated way past anything that might be fair, they either curl up in their fire or else they rise. Withered saurian homodontic. Mario floats, for Hal." (316)

I admit that Infinite Jest has me completely rapt. But when you read the above, can you really believe that I would have any other reaction? Just read it. DFW writes about brotherly love and drug addiction with the same poignancy, elan, and breathtaking honesty; in doing so, he articulates the paradoxical complexity and sameness of life at the turn of the millennium. A failed sublation; the promise of transcendence forever out of reach.

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