One thing has bothered me about the novels in this class. All of them are written by men. This itself doesn't bother me, but I feel like it's clear from the writing that they are written by men. Two of the books dealt with WWII, which is typically a masculine topic. Otherwise, women had very small roles. The Mendleson article on the encyclopedic novel mentioned this trait, but I still found it tiresome for me personally. Not only do women have small roles, but if they appear in the novel, they will have sex with one of the main characters sooner or later (usually, at least). This insistence of women in relation to male sexuality is, in my opinion, problematic because these novels cannot seem to escape it.
potted plant's blog
It's interesting how Bobby Shaftoe knows Glory has his child. He seems completely sure, even know he can't really be sure. Yet he's willing to find his way back to manila for Glory and the child.
It's also interesting to see how the ancestors' personalities show up in their descendants. Randy has similar social leper moments like Lawrence Waterhouse. Amy and her father have very Bobby like qualities.
I was highly amused at Amy's way of dealing with her emotions. Namely, running Randy off the road. She so tough but, in a very realistic moment, shows her insecurities about Randy's affection.
I find the Dentist terror pretty amusing. I mean, everyone is afraid of dentists, now this one is a powerful rich fiend. And then that his wife, (reminds of someone like Imelda Marcos) was actually a prostitute (or so Randy is told).
I was thinking back to Gravity's Rainbow and how Pynchon presents WWII vs Stephenson. Is this also going to go back to the Cold War? Actually, it's interesting that G.R., unlike Underworld or Crypt., does not jump back and forth between decades constantly. Perhaps Crypt. is more along the lines of Underworld. DeLillo shows the connections between the Co
I know many of you are working on Infinite Jest (or Underworld). This thesis talks about both of them and the American media. Check it out in the link below.
As others have already mentioned, this book is pretty funny. It's also (at the moment) accessible, even with the math thrown in there (which I rarely understand).
I like how this author takes big ideas, issues, or groups and focuses it into a person, a conversation, or just into one paragraph.
Like others, the description of humanity as a bunch of badasses was amusing, so I won't go on abot that.
I loved how he summed up academics (I'm currently writing a research paper on the problems within academic writing) by having the "tech guy" interact with Charlene and her friends. It sounded JUST like CORE class! Instead of explaining the "silliness" of academics, the author just shows it. A lot of authors have actually gone about explaining their view or point, but this is a more entertaining (in my view) way of doing it.
I was amused at Himself's movie about nuns. The fact that he is using nuns and violence to talk about AA and the very things we discussed in class: trading in one addiction for another one (cigarettes, coffee, AA meetings, God).
Also, the young new nun is disfigured, and addicted. This all made me think of Joelle's experience at AA. This film would have been made before all this, but it still seems like it might connect.
So page 552 was...aaawwwwkkkwwwwaaaarrrrdddd
The football fetish. John Wayne doesn't play football, but Orin does. Hm.....maybe Avril really "misses" Orin? If this family and book were less crazy then I wouldn't consider it easily, but who can say with these people.
I also notice that Pemulis overhears Rusk's silly Oedipal mother speech right before stumbling across John Wayne and Avril.
I notice that Wallace constantly (in my interpretation) shows the medical (specifically psychiatric) field as relatively useless and foolish. I find it highly amusing, even on a personal level, but at the same time I silently ask the author "why do you dislike counselors so much?" Not only are tons of characters addicted, they also can't seem to get any decent professional mental help. I'll list the things that make me think of this as a theme:
-Hal's father had that whole "professional conversationalist" stunt that sort of set up a lack of faith in the title "professional".
On page 305 Tony has a seizure and Foster writes that it hurts...yet I understood that seizures don't hurt. I'm not sure why this bothers me...I think so much of his book is immersed in topics I don't know a lot about...so I have to trust his facts.
I have a few things I don't really get, or perhaps find problematic. Maybe someone can help me out.
What's with Orin putting the infinity symbol on any girl he sleeps with?
What is going on in the section that starts on page 181 "Late October Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment"? Who is narrating? What's the scene? Is that Joelle? Any clarification would help, even if it seems painfully obvious.
Did Pemulis do something to his opponent on page 281?
That's all I have to ask now...