Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Reading for ninth meeting.

Continuing from the end of the eighth week's reading, up to the paragraph break ending with 'Then this too began to seem familiar.' The last endnote is n366.
If you have a print edition, last page is 911. 
Questions, comments, requests, and other love, to:

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Meaning of 'q.v.'

q.v. int. [ < the initial letters of post-classical Latin quod vide which see (4th or 5th cent. in Augustine) < classical Latin quod what (see what pron., adj.1, adv., int., conj., and n.) + vide , 2nd singular present imperative of vid─ôre to see (see vision n.)] ‘which see’.

1684 G. S. Anglorum Speculum ii. 62 Sir Jo. Cokeyn Knight..imparted his Surname to Cokeyn-Hatley in this County, tho he was born in Derbyshire. q. v.

1775 J. Moir Scholar's Vade Mecum, Antesto, to stand before, excel, surpass. Potius Antisto. q. v.

a1862 H. D. Thoreau Cape Cod (1865) ix. 988 Somebody of Gloucester was to read a paper on this matter before a genealogical society..according to the Boston Journal, q.v.

1934 J. A. Thomson & E. J. Holmyard Biol. for Everyman I. xix. 508 The Slow-Worm (Anguis fragilis) is a limbless lizard... It is sometimes miscalled blindworm (q.v.), but the eyes are well developed.

1993 Eng. Today Jan. 35/2 (Gloss.), Inboek, to register a child, adult or manumitted slave as an indentured servant apprenticed (q.v.) in the name of a particular master.

Reading for eighth meeting.

Continuing from the end of the seventh week's reading, up to the section break marked by a little sphere/tennis ball/full moon. The last line of text is '...a wobbly neck and looking up and past Hal, his face unspeakable.' The last endnote is n336.
If you have a print edition, last page is 808. 
Note this chunk of reading includes n304, which we read way back in the first week's reading. (History of the AFN, etc) Re-reading is optional.

Questions, comments, corrections, and other love, to:

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Irony (per the OED)

1. (a)

A figure of speech in which the intended meaning is the opposite of that expressed by the words used; usually taking the form of sarcasm or ridicule in which laudatory expressions are used to imply condemnation or contempt.


1. (b)

with an and pl. An instance of this; an ironical utterance or expression.



fig. A condition of affairs or events of a character opposite to what was, or might naturally be, expected; a contradictory outcome of events as if in mockery of the promise and fitness of things. 



In etymological sense: Dissimulation, pretence; esp. in reference to the dissimulation of ignorance practised by Socrates as a means of confuting an adversary ( Socratic irony).


4. (draft addition, 1993)

spec. in Theatr. (freq. as dramatic or tragic irony ), the incongruity created when the (tragic) significance of a character's speech or actions is revealed to the audience but unknown to the character concerned; the literary device so used, orig. in Greek tragedy.


Reading for seventh meeting.

Continuing from the end of the sixth week's reading, up to but not including the section headed '14 November Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment'. The last line of text is '...both seeming to be shrieking for help.' The last endnote is n299.

If you have a print edition, last page is 716. 

Questions, comments, corrections, and other love, to:

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Reading for sixth meeting.

Continuing from the end of the fifth week's reading, up to but not including the section headed by just a sphere, underneath which the paragraph begins, 'Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment:' The last line of text is: '...faces coming down in a fish-eye lens, lifting: 'Ready?'.' 

The last endnote is n256.

If you have a print edition, last page is 619.

Questions, comments, other love, to:

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Etymology of 'map' as 'a person's face'

1899   A. H. Lewis Sandburrs 9,   I sees d' map of a skirt—a goil, I means, on a drop curtain at a swell t'eatre once. 

1902   G. V. Hobart It's up to You iv. 78   It was Benedict Murgatoyd—the lad with the map like a cow! 

1908   K. McGaffey Sorrows of Show Girl 200   Hauling off wifey hangs one on Alla's map. 

1922   P. G. Wodehouse Clicking of Cuthbert ix. 205   The portrait..was that of a man in the early thirties... ‘What a map!’ exclaimed the young man. 

1935   P. G. Wodehouse Luck of Bodkins xv. 178   It's mostly a case of having a map that photographs well. 

1936   ‘J. Curtis’ Gilt Kid xiv. 144   What d'you want to sit there staring at me for? I'm not a bloody oil-painting. You ought to know my map by now. 

1971   J. Curtis Banjo 255   No mistaking that map. 

1996   D. F. Wallace Infinite Jest 280   That look on your map there mean something there, Randy?

Reading for fifth meeting.

Continuing from the end of the fourth week's reading, up to but not including the section headed '10 November Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment.' The last line of text is: '...making Marathe think of many windblown sparks.' The last endnote is n208.

If you have a print edition, last page is 508.

Questions, comments, other love, to:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Reading for fourth meeting.

Continuing from the end of the third week's reading, through the section ending ' wide for a homodontic laugh at something funny Clipperton has apparently just let slip.' The last note is n160.

Questions, comments, other love, to:

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Reading for third meeting.

Continuing from the end of the second week's reading, up to but not including the section headed '14 November Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment'. The last line of text is 'Of particular interest are the eyes.' The last endnote is n101.

Questions, comments, other love, to:

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Wallace on IJ structure

Michael Silverblatt: 'The book seems to be written in fractals?

DFW: 'Expand on that.

MS: 'It occurred to me that the way in which the material is presented allows for a subject to be announced in a small form, then there's a fan of subject matter, other subjects, and then it comes back in a second form, containing the other subjects in small, and then comes back again as if what were being described...

DFW: 'That's one of the things, structurally, that's going on. It's actually structured as something called a Sierpinski Gasket... probably now a lopsided Sierpinski Gasket...

MS: 'What is a Sierpinski Gasket?

DFW: 'I would almost have to show you... it's basically a pyramid on acid, with certain interconnections that are visually kind of astonishing, and then the mathematical explanations are interesting...

MS: 'Do you mean the structure to be discovered?

DFW: 'When I was young, played structural games, mostly for myself. IJ trying to do a whole bunch of things at once, doesn’t make much difference to me whether people get the fractal structure.

‘It seems to me that a lot of pre-millennial life in America consists in enormous amounts of what seem like discrete bits of information and the real kind of intellectual adventure is finding ways to relate them to each other; to find larger patterns and meanings. Which of course is essentially narrative…

'For doing something this long, a fair amount of the structural stuff is for me. It’s kind of like pitons in the mountainside. It’s ways for me to stay oriented and engaged.

[Long question from MS re the significance of structuring the book this way, as necessary to capture something serious about contemporary existence.]

DFW: 'There’s this weird Monday-morning quarterbacking thing about it. I know for me, I don’t sit down and thing, ‘Hrmm, how can I find a new kind of structural synecdoche for experience right now. It’s more a matter of whether it tastes true or not. A certain structural representation of how the world operated on my nerve endings, which was as, a bunch of discrete, random bits, containing within them, not always all that blatantly, a whole lot of interesting connections. And it wasn’t always clear whether they were intentional, or my imagination, or very important. A lot of the structure is kind of seat of the pants, what felt right or didn’t. 

'I think writing is a big blend... there's a lot of sophistication, but also a lot of idiocy about it. So much of it is gut... It's only about halfway through that any kind of structure starts to emerge, and then of course the great nightmare is that you alone see the structure, and it's going to be a mess for everyone else.

Full interview here.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Reading for first meeting.

We'll try to read in 100-page chunks, including end notes. I'm thinking people will have different editions, though, which means the pagination may be inconsistent, at times. Hence the following description of the first week's chunk of text:

From the beginning, thru the end of the section headed '30 April - Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment.' The last line of the section is: 'Steeply had found his triceps' scratch and twisted the flesh of his arm to examine it, his rouged lips rounded with concern.' This section ends just past note 42.

A note about the notes: this week's chunk includes note 39, part (b) of which refers to note 304. We should read note 304 as part of this week's reading. Note 304's cited a number of times, so we'll get it out of the way early. The stuff described therein's relevant for most of the book.

Questions or comments, let me know:


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Infinite Jest Reading Group.

Hey there, Toronto Wallace fans. 

Do you have a copy of Infinite Jest but can't bring yourself to crack it? Started, but couldn't finish? Finished, and looking for an excuse to go again?

Here's your chance to read Wallace's magnum opus with a group of like-ish minds. It's a big work, unwieldy, but infinitely rewarding, a 1,079 page argument that serious fiction = what it's like to be a fucking human being.

We'll meet every two weeks to discuss a manageable chunk of text. I'm thinking about 100 pages per. Bring your experience, your fresh eyes, your love for writing that's got serious moral torque.

Even if you can't make every meeting, do drop-in when you can. The discussion will begin with the week's reading but get non-linear in a hurry, probably.

First meeting: Tuesday May 22, 2012

Place: The Victory Cafe, 581 Markham Street. Map.

Time: 18.00h.

Questions, email list, errata, drop me a line at: