July 6, 2009

also: look up annular

Um, yeah, I fell behind in Infinite Summer. More like got distracted--I finished the first week’s reading early and went right back to the beginning to read it again. This book has so many little doorways that it’s hard to stay on track. For example:

The Clenette section (IJ, p37-39) struck a nerve with some readers, and I was all like, really?

Then I had to go sifting through Hamlet. Because:

James Incandenza’s film production company is named for the fool in Hamlet (i.e. Yorick, as in, “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio, he was a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy.” (Hamlet, V.i.184-5). The fool is an entertainer at court, but also acts as an important truth-telling device in Shakespearean drama. The fool is typically more trustworthy and insightful than a play’s major characters, who are bound by their limited perspectives. In order to play the fool in IJ, James Incandenza has to be able to accurately and objectively analyze himself, which is impossible, because how can a person objectively analyze himself using only himself? Subjectivity is inescapable, J. Incandenza can’t let go of this, and he dissolves into delusional alcoholism trying to get beyond himself so that he can understand himself. And then tell the truth.

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