26 Days of Jest: Day 21

Hello folks. Today we are reading pages 759 to 801. We start with Mario on his way to the office of the “Moms” and the person who could be the “Dads”, Charles Tavis.

– Page 763. Nobody in this family has good teeth. I’m finding it hard to get a mental picture of Avril. I wonder who DFW saw in his mind when writing about her. She’s a bit of an enigma. 

– Page 767. I find it hard to see her as the emotional centre of the family, as described by Joelle. She seems very clinical and detached. Waaaaaait I’ve just realised. She has the football pants and helmet in her office as a memento of her son Orin. Are these the same ones worn by an otherwise naked John Wayne?


– Page 770. Of course she’d love a dog more than her children. And Orin killed it. 

– Page 775. Oh dear, drunk Marathe. He’s with Kate Gompert (I think?) in a bar. 

– Page 778. I can’t with this no skull thing, but it makes an interesting scenario. Marathe chose to save and then to love this woman, for no reason other than to pull himself out of a suicidal funk, with no indication she felt anything for him, or indeed was capable of doing so. Now he is committed to her. His altruism was anything but. I wonder if this is DFW’s view on relationships in general. 

– Page 782. I wonder where Marathe is taking Kate?

– Page 786. Hal has 30 days to get clean before the urine test (post Eschaton. n.b. I didn’t realise before that eschatology is the theology around death, judgement and the destination of the soul. Seems fitting.) Looks like he’s gone to Ennett House for help anyway. 

– Page 788. Ok, pause. They’ve (Rod the God has anyway) got Molly Notkin in talking about The Entertainment, which is of course called “Infinite Jest” duh, and she describes Joelle, starring in it, as hugely pregnant. Was she really pregnant? Oh apparently not. This death-mother actually sounds like Avril. Ooh, Joelle was a beneficiary of Jim’s will. 

– Page 789. Ooh the death mother being like Avril was acknowledged by Joelle/Molly. Waaaaait “accusing Madame Psychosis of being enmeshed with their – here Molly Notkin said that of course she had meant to say his – father.” Ooh and Avril may have been pissed off that Jim didn’t give up the drink for her but did for Joelle. This is all good refreshing tea. So, do we think Joelle’s own mother disfigured her with a knife and then killed herself? Possibly jealous over how close Joelle and her father were?

– Page 791. It’s thought that Avril was indeed having sex with Jim’s son, and Joelle’s lover. Orin. Christ. 

– Page 793. There’s so much incest in this book. It’s like several Greek tragedies rolled into one. 

– Page 794. So Joelle is deformed after all. Acid. Her mother. By accident. The mother killer herself out of remorse. How terribly sad. Bloody pervy man destroyed the lives of two women. Ugh. I have to say though, those were probably the most interesting pages of the book so far. 

– Page 801. Hal is at an AA meeting or something. Not sure if we know any of these characters. Bit weird. And we are at the end of our allotted pages so let’s all clutch our teddy bears and say goodbye to the group. 

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