i often believe that the only person who could ever fully comprehend my thoughts would be david foster wallace
Posts tagged DFW.
Jim, I’d been in the middle of trying to run down a ball way out of mortal reach, a rare blind lucky dribbler of a drop-shot from the overgroomed lox across the net. A point I could have more than afforded to concede. But that’s not the way … that’s not the way a real player plays. With respect and due effort and care for every point. You want to be great, near-great, you give every ball everything. And then some. You concede nothing. Even against loxes. You play right up to your limit and then pass your limit and look back at your former limit and wave a hankie at it, embarking. You enter a trance. You feel the seams and edges of everything. The court becomes a… an extremely unique place to be. It will do everything for you. It will let nothing escape your body. Objects move as they’re made to, at the lightest easiest touch. You slip into the clear current of back and forth, making delicate X’s and L’s across the harsh rough bright green asphalt surface, your sweat the same temperature as your skin, playing with such ease and total mindless effortless effort and and and entranced concentration you don’t even stop to consider whether to run down every ball. You’re barely aware you’re doing it. Your body’s doing it for you and the court and Game’s doing it for your body. You’re barely involved. It’s magic, boy, Nothing touches it, when it’s right. I predict it. Facts and figures and curved glass and those elbow-straining books of yours’ lightless pages are going to seem flat by comparison. Static. Dead and white and flat. They don’t begin to… . It’s like a dance, Jim.
going out today: wearing my ESCHATON shirt
time to make new friends
That ‘acceptance’ is usually more a matter of fatigue than anything else.
I came in to save my ass and found my soul was attached.” –Cheryl U., BYP, Monday, 11/16/YDAU
The truth is you already know what it’s like. You already know the difference between the size and speed of everything that flashes through you and the tiny inadequate bit of it all you can ever let anyone know. As though inside you is this enormous room full of what seems like everything in the whole universe at one time or another and yet the only parts that get out have to somehow squeeze out through one of those tiny keyholes you see under the knob in older doors. As if we are all trying to see each other through these tiny keyholes.
But it does have a knob, the door can open. But not in the way you think…The truth is you’ve already heard this. That this is what it’s like. That it’s what makes room for the universes inside you, all the endless inbent fractals of connection and symphonies of different voices, the infinities you can never show another soul. And you think it makes you a fraud, the tiny fraction anyone else ever sees? Of course you’re a fraud, of course what people see is never you. And of course you know this, and of course you try to manage what part they see if you know it’s only a part. Who wouldn’t? It’s called free will, Sherlock. But at the same time it’s why it feels so good to break down and cry in front of others, or to laugh, or speak in tongues, or chant in Bengali—it’s not English anymore, it’s not getting squeezed through any hole.
So cry all you want, I won’t tell anybody.”
Going through the IJ tags is pretty funny…
- first 100 pages of the book: will post the quote about Hal getting into the taxi and saying step on it to get to the library; will post the quote about crossing the dog and the dyslexic and god or whatever it is
- next 200 pages or so: will post meaningful dialogue between marathe and steeply…. about the only thing that’s easy to pick up on at this point; will post meaningful lesson from schtitt about tennis and how it relates to life; decent chance will post about marlon brando relating to tennis and life
- rest of the book: 1/20 of people starting the book get here… therefore there are a million posts about getting into the taxi and saying step on it, and proportionally speaking a HUGE lack of beautiful posts from the rest of the novel
- read the damn book!! worth it!
It didn’t do J. Gentle F.C.’s original grass-roots-intensive campaign a whole lot of good around ultra-liberal Enfield that one of his earliest sign-carring faithful had been E.T.A.’s own Gerhardt Schtitt, who politically listed so far to starboard that even people without watches looked at their watches and referred vaguely to just-recalled appointments whenever Schtitt’s eyes got a certain particular navy-blue cast and he uttered any one of such terms as America, decadence, State, or Law; but Mario I. was pretty much the only one clued in to the fact that Schtitt’s attraction to Gentle had more to do with Schtitt’s take on tennis than anything else: the Coach was swept away with the athleto-Wagnerian implications of Gentle’s proposals for waste, this business of sending from yourself what you hope will not return.
It now lately sometimes seemed like a kind of black miracle to me that people could actually care deeply about a subject or pursuit, and could go on caring this way for years on end. Could dedicate their entire lives to it. It seemed admirable and at the same time pathetic. We are all dying to give our lives away to something, maybe. God or Satan, politics or grammar, topology or philately—the object seemed incidental to this will to give onself away, utterly. to games or needles, to some other person. Something pathetic about it. A flight-from in the form of a plunging-into. Flight from exactly what? These rooms blandly filled with excrement and meat? To what purpose? This was why they started us here so young: to give ourselves away before the age when the questions why and to what grow real beaks and claws. It was kind, in a way. Modern German is better equipped for combining gerundives and prepositions than is its mongrel cousin. The original sense of aiddction involved being bound over, dedicated, either legally or spiritually. To devote one’s life, plunge in.
This observation owed a debt to Pemulis, who for years and with several different roomates has retained the same recursive message—“This is Mike Pemulis’s answering machine’s answering machine; Mike Pemulis’s answering machine regrets being unavailable to take a first-order message for Mike Pemulis, but if you’ll leave a second-order message at the sound of the clapping hand Mike Pemulis’s answering machine will…,’ and so on, which has worn so thin that very few of Pemulis’s friends or customers can abide waiting through the tired thing to leave a message, which Pemulis finds congenial, since no really relevant caller would be fool enough to leave his name on any machine of Pemulis’s anyway.
The ingenious layer to the lie was that the guy thought the thirty days’ grace was for Pemulis. That it was what Pemulis needed. Pemulis could pass a urine test hanging upside down in a high wind. Guy watching or not. He has a whole unpleasant catherization technique you don’t want to hear about. He’s checked it.
Booboo, the thirty days was actually for me, and Mike let me stand there with my Unit out and not say anything while he sold the urologist land and magazine subscriptions and Ginsu knives. He did it for me, and I’m not even the one they want.
- Hal: Pemulis could have sold that urologist land in there, Boo. It was an incredibly high-pressure moment. I never thought he had it in him. He was nerveless and stomachless. He projected a kind of weary pragmatism the urologist found impossible to discount. His face was a brass mask. It was almost frightening. I told him I never would have believed he had that kind of performance in him.
- Mario: Psychosis live on the radio used to read an Eve Arden beauty brochure all the time where Eve Arden says: "The importance of a mask is to increase your circulation," quote.
- Hal: The truth is nobody can always tell, Boo. Some types are just too good, too complex and idosyncratic; their lies are too close to the truth's heart for you to tell.
- Mario: I can't ever tell. You wanted to know. You're right. It never crosses my mind.
- Hal: . . .
- Mario: I'm the type that'd buy land, I think.
- Hal: You remember my hideous phobic thing about monsters, as a kid?
- Mario: Boy do I ever.
- Hal: Boo, I think I no longer believe in monsters as faces in the floor or feral infants or vampires or whatever. I think at seventeen now I believe the only real monsters might be the type of liar where there's simply no way to tell. The ones who give nothing away.
- Mario: But then how do you know they're monsters, then?
- Hal: That's the monstrosity right there, Boo, I'm starting to think.
- Mario: Golly Ned.
- Hal: That they walk among us. Teach our children. Inscrutable. Brass-faced.
Because we prize tolerance and diversity of belief, nowhere in our liberal arts analysis do we want to claim that one guy’s interpretation is true and the other guy’s is false or bad. Which is fine, except we also never end up talking about just where these individual templates and beliefs come from. Meaning, where they come from INSIDE the two guys. As if a person’s most basic orientation toward the world, and the meaning of his experience were somehow just hard-wired, like height or shoe-size; or automatically absorbed from the culture, like language. As if how we construct meaning were not actually a matter of personal, intentional choice.
Fackelmann claimed to have started a Log just to keep track of Kite’s attempted pickup lines—surfire lines like e.g. ‘You’re the second most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen, the first most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen being former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher,’ and ‘If you came home with me I’m unusually confident that I could achieve an erection.’
- Day: I understood the term hell as of that summer day and that night in the sophomore dormitory. I understood what people meant by hell. They did not mean the black sail. They meant the associated feelings.
- Gompert: Or the corner it came up out of, inside, if they mean a place.
- Day: From that day, whether I could articulate it satisfactorily or not, I understood on an intuitive level why people killed themselves. If I had to go for any length of time with that feeling I'd surely kill myself.
- Gompert: Time in the shadow of the wing of the thing too big to see, rising.