Archive for July, 2019

Heavy athletic respiration vs doleful sigh

July 26, 2019

For some reason today”ran around” instead of following my usual route. A reflection that: a day will come when I will not have,, or cannot use legs –will not have las piernas— so how nice, how exceptional, how rewarded I was, how grateful I should feel, to have observed this afternoon les jambs, my legs, on the one hand, rising and falling beneath me (if that’s descriptive of what legs do when one runs) on the other hand, transferring me through space at around the same rate that I would suppose such a raising and lowering would suggested. Even to be supported by ones legs is, if not quite a luxury, even still “pure bliss”. Etonnant. Tres supurbe. Let me not forget what I’ve had in being healthy, I thought. If I should become Job, let me not forget. (As Job didn’t.) (Person tried to tell me today to thank god for what is good, a logic I smiled at but resisted as being, at best, half the story.) (Remember the lord in the days of your youth: remember there was a time when you had it good.) The contrast of heavy athletic respiration and doleful sighs.

Quotation marks in “An Octopus” vs. those in Herzog

July 22, 2019

How to characterize the text in quotations in An Octopus? As Bad Writing? As Non-poetry? The writing one needs in some way, but is tired of? (If I were to write something that’s only half good, could I make it entirely good by putting the poor portions in quotes?) As Found text? What would be the effect of removing the quotations?… The idea that these are “reverse” or “anti” quotations — (you quote something worthwhile said by Shakespeare, but you reverse quote the things you can’t escape saying. Things said by Reagan you quote, things said by you and I you reverse quote). Maybe these reverse quote are a sort of admission of failure of the artist: I can’t escape saying certain things yet I can still in someway excuse or isolate it with a quote. (I want to say that Walt Whitman, the poet, is closer to Walt Whitman, the subject of his poem, than is Saul Bellow is to his Moses Herzog, but is it so? Is it the reverse? The many devices Bellow uses to convey different levels and kinds of expressed thought: thoughts, spoken thoughts, thoughts spoken in letters, in papers…)… Are these the “finger flexions” (f.f) of David Foster Wallace (B.I #48)…? Perhaps we have punctuation where once we had accentuation: punctuation now both a logical and (explcitly) rhythmic tool.

July 22, 2019

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Complexly

July 9, 2019

Been thinking that “complexly” in Infinite Jest was an example of a non-poetic repetition of a word; that unlike the word “nothing” in King Lear, for example, the repetition of which contributes to a undercurrent or subtext of meaning, I’d say, “complexly” was just a word that Wallace found useful and maybe over-used a touch.

However this passage from the Eschaton chapter has got me reconsidering that and thinking that complexity is an important theme of a work which is complicated itself. This and other passages in the segment at least suggest that complexity and the fascination with it –and being overwhelmed by it– is baked into the rest of what Hal has been going through with respect to drugs — is “marijuana thinking”:

Troeltsch says he for his own part wouldn’t be just sitting and lying there if any of the Little Buddies under his personal charge were out there getting potentially injured, and Hal reflects that he does feel a certain sort of intense anxiety, but can’t sort through the almost infinite-seeming implications of what Troeltsch is saying fast enough to determine whether the anxiety is over something about what he’s seeing or something in the connections between what Troeltsch is saying and the degree to which he’s absorbed in what’s going on out inside the fence, which is a degenerative chaos so complex in its disorder that it’s hard to tell whether it seems choreographed or simply chaotically disordered.

July 6, 2019

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