Sunday, October 16, 2011

Summer of Infinite Jest 13 -- up to page 800

Well, after all the mystery, many facts are revealed in an interrogation of the previously unpromising Molly Notkin, the film grad student and friend (and roommate? I forget) of Joelle, by secret agents. Not the same secret agents who are, creepily and comically, in wheelchairs. Among Molly's revelations:

  • The title of the magically compelling videotape;
  • A confirmation of the previously suggested fact that Joelle stars in it;
  • A description of its actual contents;
  • A possible explanation for its magical qualities (to wit: lenses)
  • Joelle's backstory, including how she came to be among the "deformed."

(There's a whole trope about how the deformed are a special class, and go around wearing veils. Yeah okay sure.)

And then after this, several climactic events at the tennis academy. In other words, the plot is suddenly rocketing forward, at least in comparison to its progress up to page 740. I guess this would cause some readers to expect there is candy at the end, or something. But there's already plenty of plot for me. Really I don't care if the secret agents of various vague nationalities catch up to the magically compelling video. Isn't the whole book a coming-of-age story, or rather multiple coming-of-age stories? Yes, they're coming to a climax, but that's the thing about coming-of-age stories -- they never end satisfactorily, because they're just the beginning of someone's story.

Maybe that analysis would get me a C in English class, but that's how the book strikes me now.

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