I am attempting to read David Foster Wallace’s very large novel and write about the experience as I go. That is all.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Twelve: Winter B.S. 1960 – Tucson AZ (B)

Sorry, was distracted again.

In the “SELECTED TRANSCRIPTS OF THE RESIDENT-INTERFACE-DROP-IN-HOURS” we’re essentially presented with clips, samples of dialogue, which are unattributed but we’re presumably supposed to be able to place (some of?) them by reference back to previous sections in the book that made no sense whatsoever at the time, but it all falls together when we realise that these disconnected individuals are all residents at Ennet House. It’s almost as if DFW wants to check whether you’ve been paying attention, I suppose.

So I’ll infer that the first speaker, the one annoyed by the drumming fingers, is Kate Gompert; the one who demands a definition of “alcoholic” (and refers in passing to the Kemp and Limbaugh administrations, alt-history of the scariest kind) is the lawyer Tiny Ewell, in the same chapter; but then it gets blurry. Whoever complains about the contents of the toilet bowl does do in terms (“All I can say is if it was produced by anything human then I have to say I’m really worried. Don’t even ask me to describe it.”) that echo the deans’ response to Hal’s voice in the first chapter. The one talking about the harelip is Bruce Green (see the reference to Mildred); and I’m guessing that Erdedy and Gately and others are in here as well. Can anyone offer anything more coherent?

There’s definitely a feeling of strands being pulled together here; if one is allowed to be a wee bit poncy, and it’s my blog so why the hell not, it’s as if Thornton Wilder’s The Bridge of San Luis Rey has been rewritten in the style of USA by John Dos Passos. This seems to be a novel with multiple beginnings, or maybe none.


1 comment:

  1. Hey! Does the frequency of your posting depend on specific issues or you compose articles when you have an inspiration or write entries if you have sufficient time on that? Can't wait to hear from you.


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