Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Quote du Jour: A Do-It-Yourself Kit

Below are sequential excerpts from a telephone conversation between the central protagonist of David Foster Wallace's novel Infinite Jest and his older brother, Orin. FWIW, the conversation orbits around the topic of their father's suicide; an act accomplished by baking his head in a specially-rigged microwave oven. The speaker is "Hal":

‘The new Discursive O.E.D. says the Ahts of Vancouver used to cut virgins’ throats and pour the blood very carefully into the orifices of the embalmed bodies of their ancestors.


‘Apparently the Ahts tried to fill up ancestors’ bodies completely with virgin-blood to preserve the privacy of their own mental states. The apposite Aht dictum here being quote “The sated ghost cannot see secret things.” The Discursive O.E.D. postulates that this is one of the earlier on-record prophylactics against schizophrenia.’

So there you have it. Sort the symbols; construct your own metaphors of self-reference. Have fun with it. GGFN.