Poor Yorick Entertainment

Jul 08

Design by Chris Ayers—————————
Here’s an enlargement of the Choosy Mothers album from the Boston Globe review.Choosy Mothers is referenced in a section about Bruce Green and are one of many suburban, blue collar rock bands that Green grew up listening to. I imagine them to sound something like The Replacements or Bruce Springsteen.  Pretty much the only other thing you can infer about the band comes from its name - that it probably is a reference to Jif peanut butter’s tagline “”Choosy mothers choose Jif”, which has been around for decades. This is pretty literally reflected in the design.In the endnote about Choosy Mothers it states that they are sort of past their prime and somewhat passe and that the band has broken up so that its members can pursue other creative avenues. For this reason (and for lack of an actual album name in the text) I chose to make it a greatest hits album.

Design by Chris Ayers
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Here’s an enlargement of the Choosy Mothers album from the Boston Globe review.

Choosy Mothers is referenced in a section about Bruce Green and are one of many suburban, blue collar rock bands that Green grew up listening to. I imagine them to sound something like The Replacements or Bruce Springsteen.  Pretty much the only other thing you can infer about the band comes from its name - that it probably is a reference to Jif peanut butter’s tagline “”Choosy mothers choose Jif”, which has been around for decades. This is pretty literally reflected in the design.

In the endnote about Choosy Mothers it states that they are sort of past their prime and somewhat passe and that the band has broken up so that its members can pursue other creative avenues. For this reason (and for lack of an actual album name in the text) I chose to make it a greatest hits album.

Jul 07

Design and journalism by Chris Ayers————————————————I owe a great debt to the folks who put together the Infinite Jest Wiki, which has indexed, referenced and organized all of the information that I needed to assemble this.This post is meant to combine all of the disparate elements that I felt didn’t quite justify their own post. I’m happy to finally get around to including feral hamsters in one of these designs. Look at that beady-eyed little bastard. He looks dangerous.

Design and journalism by Chris Ayers
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I owe a great debt to the folks who put together the Infinite Jest Wiki, which has indexed, referenced and organized all of the information that I needed to assemble this.

This post is meant to combine all of the disparate elements that I felt didn’t quite justify their own post. I’m happy to finally get around to including feral hamsters in one of these designs. Look at that beady-eyed little bastard. He looks dangerous.

Jul 06

Design by Chris Ayers—————————It occured to me while creating this poster, that the young members of "Le Culte du Prochain Train" (Cult of the Next Train) are not dissimilar to the students at Enfield Tennis Academy. This is the path they have chosen to becoming men and women, and it may destroy or maim them before all is said and done.It is suggested that John “No Relation” Wayne is a mole for the AFR, of which Le Culte du Prochain Train is a sort of training ground. On Dan Schmidt’s “Notes on Infinite Jest" page I found an interesting tidbit about Wayne’s possible connection to "Le Culte du Prochain Train":
Geoffrey Day’s article on Les Assassins des Fautueils Rollents and Le Jeu du Prochain Train which Struck is plagiarizing says (p. 1060) “Far beyond prohibited, not to jump at all is regarded as impossible. To “perdre son coeur [lose one’s heart]” and not jump at all is outside le Jeu’s limit. The possibility simply does not exist. It is unthinkable. Only once, in le Jeu du Prochain Train’s extensive oral history, has a miner’s son not jumped, lost his heart and frozen, remaining on his jut as the round’s train passed. This player later drowned. “Perdre son coeur,” when it is mentioned at all, is known also as “Faire un Bernard Wayne,” in dubious honor of this lone unjumping asbestos miner’s son about whom little beyond his subsequent drowning in the Baskatong Reservoir is known, his name denoting a figure of ridicule and disgust among speakers of the Papineau region vulgate.” So the A.F.R. have some connection to the Wayne family. On p. 262 it is mentioned that Wayne’s father is an asbestos miner.

Design by Chris Ayers
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It occured to me while creating this poster, that the young members of "Le Culte du Prochain Train" (Cult of the Next Train) are not dissimilar to the students at Enfield Tennis Academy. This is the path they have chosen to becoming men and women, and it may destroy or maim them before all is said and done.

It is suggested that John “No Relation” Wayne is a mole for the AFR, of which Le Culte du Prochain Train is a sort of training ground.

On Dan Schmidt’s “Notes on Infinite Jest" page I found an interesting tidbit about Wayne’s possible connection to "Le Culte du Prochain Train":

Geoffrey Day’s article on Les Assassins des Fautueils Rollents and Le Jeu du Prochain Train which Struck is plagiarizing says (p. 1060) “Far beyond prohibited, not to jump at all is regarded as impossible. To “perdre son coeur [lose one’s heart]” and not jump at all is outside le Jeu’s limit. The possibility simply does not exist. It is unthinkable. Only once, in le Jeu du Prochain Train’s extensive oral history, has a miner’s son not jumped, lost his heart and frozen, remaining on his jut as the round’s train passed. This player later drowned. “Perdre son coeur,” when it is mentioned at all, is known also as “Faire un Bernard Wayne,” in dubious honor of this lone unjumping asbestos miner’s son about whom little beyond his subsequent drowning in the Baskatong Reservoir is known, his name denoting a figure of ridicule and disgust among speakers of the Papineau region vulgate.” So the A.F.R. have some connection to the Wayne family. On p. 262 it is mentioned that Wayne’s father is an asbestos miner.

Jul 01

Design by Chris Ayers
“Cage II” - B.S. Latrodectus Mactans Productions. Cosgrove Watt,  Disney Leith; 35 mm; 34 minutes; black and white; sound. Sadistic penal  authorities place a blind convict (Watt) and a deaf-mute convict (Leith)  together in ‘solitary confinement,’ and the two men attempt to devise  ways of communicating with each other. LIMITED CELLULOID RUN;  RE-RELEASED ON MAGNETIC VIDEO————————————————I imagine the only thing worse than being placed in solitary confinement is being stuck there with someone to whom you can’t communicate.The inability to communicate is a major theme in Infinite Jest, and appears in a lot of Incandenza’s films under the Latrodectus Mactans imprint. For Incandenza, making films seems to be the primary way in which he communicates with his family.The cage in “Cage II” refers not only to the cell in which the prisoners are locked, but also their own minds and bodies. One of the most significant driving forces of humanity is the desire to be completely understood by someone else. We all buy into the myth that this is possible and spend our lives looking for that one special person who will live up to that impossible expectation.David Foster Wallace speaks on this theme at length in his 2005 commencement address to Kenyon College graduates. Here is an excerpt that feels appropriate: “I submit that this is what the real, no bullshit, value of your liberal arts education is supposed to be about: how to keep from going through your comfortable, prosperous, respectable adult life dead. Unconscious. A slave to your head and to your natural default setting of being uniquely, completely, imperially alone, day in and day out.” This is basic existential stuff that we will all feel at some point and is very difficult to overcome. The fact that it’s a cliche doesn’t make it any less true. This idea pervades art and pop culture. Here is an example I particularly like:
Arcade Fire - My Body is a Cage "My body is a cage that keeps me  From dancing with the one I love  But my mind holds the key”

Design by Chris Ayers

“Cage II” - B.S. Latrodectus Mactans Productions. Cosgrove Watt, Disney Leith; 35 mm; 34 minutes; black and white; sound. Sadistic penal authorities place a blind convict (Watt) and a deaf-mute convict (Leith) together in ‘solitary confinement,’ and the two men attempt to devise ways of communicating with each other. LIMITED CELLULOID RUN; RE-RELEASED ON MAGNETIC VIDEO
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I imagine the only thing worse than being placed in solitary confinement is being stuck there with someone to whom you can’t communicate.

The inability to communicate is a major theme in Infinite Jest, and appears in a lot of Incandenza’s films under the Latrodectus Mactans imprint. For Incandenza, making films seems to be the primary way in which he communicates with his family.

The cage in “Cage II” refers not only to the cell in which the prisoners are locked, but also their own minds and bodies. One of the most significant driving forces of humanity is the desire to be completely understood by someone else. We all buy into the myth that this is possible and spend our lives looking for that one special person who will live up to that impossible expectation.

David Foster Wallace speaks on this theme at length in his 2005 commencement address to Kenyon College graduates.

Here is an excerpt that feels appropriate: “I submit that this is what the real, no bullshit, value of your liberal arts education is supposed to be about: how to keep from going through your comfortable, prosperous, respectable adult life dead. Unconscious. A slave to your head and to your natural default setting of being uniquely, completely, imperially alone, day in and day out.”

This is basic existential stuff that we will all feel at some point and is very difficult to overcome. The fact that it’s a cliche doesn’t make it any less true. This idea pervades art and pop culture. Here is an example I particularly like:

Arcade Fire - My Body is a Cage
"My body is a cage that keeps me
From dancing with the one I love
But my mind holds the key”


Jun 30

Design by Chris Ayers“Zero-Gravity Tea Ceremony” - B.S. Latrodectus Mactans Productions.  Ken N. Johnson, Judith Fukuoka-Hearn, Otto Brandt, E.J. Kenkle; 35 mm;  82 minutes; black and white/color; silent. The intricate Ocha-Kai is  conducted 2.5 m. off the ground in the Johnson Space Center’s  zero-gravity-simulation chamber. CELLULOID; INTERLACE TELENT RE-RELEASE  #357-40-01 (Y.P.W.)——————————Upon closer examination, some of Incandenza’s films hold clues to understanding the plot, or at least add a little bit of flavor to the story. I can’t find any evidence that “Zero Gravity Tea Ceremony” is one of those. More likely, it’s just an amusing detail and paints a comical image. To gain some insight I attempted to look up the “intricate Ocha-Kai” ceremony and my search yielded very little information other than the fact that it is Japanese in origin. So, I guess it is what it is.

Design by Chris Ayers

“Zero-Gravity Tea Ceremony” - B.S. Latrodectus Mactans Productions. Ken N. Johnson, Judith Fukuoka-Hearn, Otto Brandt, E.J. Kenkle; 35 mm; 82 minutes; black and white/color; silent. The intricate Ocha-Kai is conducted 2.5 m. off the ground in the Johnson Space Center’s zero-gravity-simulation chamber. CELLULOID; INTERLACE TELENT RE-RELEASE #357-40-01 (Y.P.W.)
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Upon closer examination, some of Incandenza’s films hold clues to understanding the plot, or at least add a little bit of flavor to the story. I can’t find any evidence that “Zero Gravity Tea Ceremony” is one of those. More likely, it’s just an amusing detail and paints a comical image. To gain some insight I attempted to look up the “intricate Ocha-Kai” ceremony and my search yielded very little information other than the fact that it is Japanese in origin. So, I guess it is what it is.

Jun 26

Photo by Chris Ayers
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I was in Tucson this weekend and I stopped by the Randolph Tennis Center, home of the Whataburger Southwest Junior Invitational. It’s not hard to imagine David Foster Wallace playing quite a few games on these courts while he attended the University of Arizona.You can see the rest of the photos on Poor Yorick Entertainment’s Facebook page.

Photo by Chris Ayers

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I was in Tucson this weekend and I stopped by the Randolph Tennis Center, home of the Whataburger Southwest Junior Invitational. It’s not hard to imagine David Foster Wallace playing quite a few games on these courts while he attended the University of Arizona.

You can see the rest of the photos on Poor Yorick Entertainment’s Facebook page.

Jun 24

Design by Chris Ayers
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For all his verbosity, David Foster Wallace knows when to deploy a succinct phrase, like a dagger to the heart. This is one of the posters that, along with various AA bumper stickers, adorns one of the male bedrooms at Ennet House.

Design by Chris Ayers

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For all his verbosity, David Foster Wallace knows when to deploy a succinct phrase, like a dagger to the heart. This is one of the posters that, along with various AA bumper stickers, adorns one of the male bedrooms at Ennet House.


Jun 20

Design by Chris Ayers—————————-
For fans of Michael Pemulis, Enfield Tennis Academy’s junior drug lord and supplier of clean urine.

Design by Chris Ayers
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For fans of Michael Pemulis, Enfield Tennis Academy’s junior drug lord and supplier of clean urine.

Jun 16

Poor Yorick Entertainment merchandise is now available through your Teleputer via my shop on Cafe Press. They offer prints, mugs, magnets, postcards and all sorts of junk you probably don’t need. I may have gotten carried away with applying these designs to various products, but if there is any combination of design/product you don’t see but would like to purchase, please let me know via e-mail. If you want to order some Infinite Jest-related “intimate apparel” you’re going to have to make a special request. We’ll keep it just between us, I promise.Some of the designs on this site are not available for purchase because they contain either corporate logos or someone else’s artwork.http://www.cafepress.com/PoorYorickEntertainment

Poor Yorick Entertainment merchandise is now available through your Teleputer via my shop on Cafe Press. They offer prints, mugs, magnets, postcards and all sorts of junk you probably don’t need. I may have gotten carried away with applying these designs to various products, but if there is any combination of design/product you don’t see but would like to purchase, please let me know via e-mail. If you want to order some Infinite Jest-related “intimate apparel” you’re going to have to make a special request. We’ll keep it just between us, I promise.

Some of the designs on this site are not available for purchase because they contain either corporate logos or someone else’s artwork.

http://www.cafepress.com/PoorYorickEntertainment

Jun 14

Design by Chris AyersI’m fairly certain that this is the only illustration in existence whose subject is a covert meeting between a paraplegic double agent from a Quebecois terrorist group and a cross-dressing federal agent/magazine journalist in Tucson, AZ.This is a bit outside the main focus of this project, which, up until this point, has been to illustrate products and artifacts that exist within the world of Infinite Jest rather than specific characters, scenes or situations. But the image I had in my head was just too good to pass up. I did manage to frame it within a promotional poster for Tucson tourism.Hugh/Helen Steepley and Remy Marathe function as a sort of ersatz Greek chorus, commenting at various intervals on the plot. Perched atop a mountain in Tucson, they literally and metaphorically have the best vantage point of any of the novel’s characters. In keeping with the other allusions to Hamlet, a better comparison might be to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.One of the novel’s remaining mysteries is how the hell they get up or down that mountain, what with Marathe’s wheelchair and Steepley in those heels.The visual inspiration for this piece is the WPA tourism posters from the 40’s, especially this one.

Design by Chris Ayers

I’m fairly certain that this is the only illustration in existence whose subject is a covert meeting between a paraplegic double agent from a Quebecois terrorist group and a cross-dressing federal agent/magazine journalist in Tucson, AZ.

This is a bit outside the main focus of this project, which, up until this point, has been to illustrate products and artifacts that exist within the world of Infinite Jest rather than specific characters, scenes or situations. But the image I had in my head was just too good to pass up. I did manage to frame it within a promotional poster for Tucson tourism.

Hugh/Helen Steepley and Remy Marathe function as a sort of ersatz Greek chorus, commenting at various intervals on the plot. Perched atop a mountain in Tucson, they literally and metaphorically have the best vantage point of any of the novel’s characters. In keeping with the other allusions to Hamlet, a better comparison might be to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

One of the novel’s remaining mysteries is how the hell they get up or down that mountain, what with Marathe’s wheelchair and Steepley in those heels.

The visual inspiration for this piece is the WPA tourism posters from the 40’s, especially this one.



Design by Chris Ayers
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“Fun With Teeth” - B.S. Latrodectus Mactans Productions. Herbert G.  Birch, Billy Tolan, Pam Heath; 35 mm; 73 minutes; black and white;  silent w/ non-human screams and howls. Kosinski/Updike/Peckinpah parody,  a dentist (Birch) performs sixteen unanesthetized root-canal procedures  on an academic (Tolan) he suspects of involvement with his wife.  MAGNETIC VIDEO, PRIVATELY RELEASED BY LATRODECTUS MACTANS PRODCUTIONS
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Fun With Teeth is a pretty insignificant film in the Incandenza canon. Like most of his films in the Latrodectus Mactans period, it seems to be a way of dealing with his wife’s infidelity. The description of the film makes it sound like nothing more than a revenge fantasy of the most grisly and painful kind.  It references a relationship between the onscreen wife and “an academic”. One of the previous films, “Union of Theoretical Grammararians in Cambridge”, is a documentary of a debate between James’ wife Avril and real world professor and linguistics scientist Steven Pinker. We also know that she has an Ed.D and a Ph.D, so despite being described as “agoraphobic” she obviously spends some time in an academic setting.  The affair with the “academic” is probably insignificant, given how many other affairs she is reputed to have had. This is one agoraphobe who really gets around.I won’t blame anyone for not liking this image. I find it hard to look at, myself.

Design by Chris Ayers

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“Fun With Teeth” - B.S. Latrodectus Mactans Productions. Herbert G. Birch, Billy Tolan, Pam Heath; 35 mm; 73 minutes; black and white; silent w/ non-human screams and howls. Kosinski/Updike/Peckinpah parody, a dentist (Birch) performs sixteen unanesthetized root-canal procedures on an academic (Tolan) he suspects of involvement with his wife. MAGNETIC VIDEO, PRIVATELY RELEASED BY LATRODECTUS MACTANS PRODCUTIONS

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Fun With Teeth is a pretty insignificant film in the Incandenza canon. Like most of his films in the Latrodectus Mactans period, it seems to be a way of dealing with his wife’s infidelity. The description of the film makes it sound like nothing more than a revenge fantasy of the most grisly and painful kind.  It references a relationship between the onscreen wife and “an academic”. One of the previous films, “Union of Theoretical Grammararians in Cambridge”, is a documentary of a debate between James’ wife Avril and real world professor and linguistics scientist Steven Pinker. We also know that she has an Ed.D and a Ph.D, so despite being described as “agoraphobic” she obviously spends some time in an academic setting.  The affair with the “academic” is probably insignificant, given how many other affairs she is reputed to have had. This is one agoraphobe who really gets around.

I won’t blame anyone for not liking this image. I find it hard to look at, myself.

Jun 13

I have uploaded two of my Infinite Jest designs to my t-shirt shop, 1% Designs on Skreened.com. I chose these two because I thought they were the designs best suited for t-shirts but I will be happy to make the other designs available for purchase if there are requests. Please keep in mind that a few of the more popular designs (Whataburger, Subsidized Time, Medusa vs The Odalisque) are not available for purchase because they contain corporate logos or the work of another artist.The ETA and Eschaton t-shirts are still available from Jeanette Levy’s shop.A few people have inquired about buying prints of some of these designs. I am currently working on a way to provide prints. Stay tuned.

I have uploaded two of my Infinite Jest designs to my t-shirt shop, 1% Designs on Skreened.com. I chose these two because I thought they were the designs best suited for t-shirts but I will be happy to make the other designs available for purchase if there are requests. Please keep in mind that a few of the more popular designs (Whataburger, Subsidized Time, Medusa vs The Odalisque) are not available for purchase because they contain corporate logos or the work of another artist.

The ETA and Eschaton t-shirts are still available from Jeanette Levy’s shop.

A few people have inquired about buying prints of some of these designs. I am currently working on a way to provide prints. Stay tuned.

Design by Chris Ayers
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One of the stranger things about Infinite Jest is the wild shift in tone between describing the personal and the political. Wallace’s descriptions of his characters’ personal lives are heart-wrenchingly sad, beautiful and genuine; his take on the political world that these people inhabit is highly satirical and absurd.The logo for the NAFTA-esque Organization of North American Nations (O.N.A.N.) is described as “a snarling full-front eagle with a broom and a can of disinfectant in one claw and a Maple Leaf in the other and wearing a sombrero”.  The maple leaf and sombrero refer to Canada and Mexico of course; the broom and disinfectant a reference to germaphobe President Johnny Gentle and his Clean U.S. Party (C.U.S.P.), and their pro-hygiene and cleanliness platform.The acronym O.N.A.N. is likely a reference to the biblical Onan, whose name has become synonymous with masturbation (onanism). Perhaps Wallace is trying to say that the United States is trying to remake Canada and Mexico in its image - a country that is wasteful and only concerned with self-pleasuring.

Design by Chris Ayers

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One of the stranger things about Infinite Jest is the wild shift in tone between describing the personal and the political. Wallace’s descriptions of his characters’ personal lives are heart-wrenchingly sad, beautiful and genuine; his take on the political world that these people inhabit is highly satirical and absurd.

The logo for the NAFTA-esque Organization of North American Nations (O.N.A.N.) is described as “a snarling full-front eagle with a broom and a can of disinfectant in one claw and a Maple Leaf in the other and wearing a sombrero”. 

The maple leaf and sombrero refer to Canada and Mexico of course; the broom and disinfectant a reference to germaphobe President Johnny Gentle and his Clean U.S. Party (C.U.S.P.), and their pro-hygiene and cleanliness platform.

The acronym O.N.A.N. is likely a reference to the biblical Onan, whose name has become synonymous with masturbation (onanism). Perhaps Wallace is trying to say that the United States is trying to remake Canada and Mexico in its image - a country that is wasteful and only concerned with self-pleasuring.

Jun 08

Design by Chris Ayers, Photography by Jessica Segall

“The Medusa v. The Odalisque” - B.S. Latrodectus Mactans  Productions. Uncredited cast; zone-plating laser holography by James O.  Incadenza and Urquhart Ogilvie, Jr.; holographic fight choreography by  Kenjiru Hirota courtesy of Sony Entertainment-Asia; 78 mm; 29 minutes;  balck and white; silent w/ audience-noises appropriated from network  broadcast television. Mobile holograms of two visually lethal mythologic  females duel with reflective surfaces onstage while a live crowd of  spectators turn to stone. LIMITED CELLULOID RUN; PRIVATELY RE-RELEASED  ON MAGNETIC VIDEO BY LATRODECTUS MACTANS PRODUCTIONS
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Credit where credit is due: the wonderful photograph that this poster is based on is the work of Jessica Segall, which she graciously allowed me to muck up. I hope you’ll click on over to her website and check out some of her other work. And here is the original version of the photo. This was created as a part of A Failed Entertainment, a 2010 art exhibition at Columbia University which attempts to bring to life James Incandenza’s film work."The Medusa vs. The Odalisque" foreshadows Joelle van Dyne’s involvement with Incandenza’s work. Joelle, aka Madame Psychosis, aka the P.G.O.A.T. (Prettiest Girl of All Time) is a woman so beautiful that men are afraid to talk to her, which leads to a very lonely existence. She wears a veil through most of the novel to hide a supposed deformity, although it’s unclear if she is actually deformed or just uses the veil to hide her devastating beauty.She becomes James Incandenza’s muse and thereafter most of his works feature Joelle as some sort of femme fatale - death incarnate. It seems as though James’ view of women is largely informed by his wife’s infidelity and that Joelle is used as a proxy for his spouse and represents the destructive power of women. The relationship between James and Joelle seems to be strictly platonic and professional - the artist/muse.Joelle is also the central figure in Incandenza’s film Infinite Jest, aka The Entertainment, aka the samizdat - the film that, if watched, will render you catatonic. In that film (as well as Don Gately’s fever dream) Joelle represents the woman who will kill you in this world but who will also be your mother in the next -  the ultimate duality of women.Wallace takes care not to describe Joelle’s physical appearance in great detail, leaving it up to the reader to picture what might be under that veil. I find this to be a wonderfully subjective literary device. Personally, I pictured a girl from my seventh grade class, April Moore. April Moore was tall and beautiful and seemed to exist on a different planet than the rest of us. I don’t think I ever spoke a single word to her or ever dared to look her directly in the eye. I wonder how lonely April Moore is today.

Design by Chris Ayers, Photography by Jessica Segall


“The Medusa v. The Odalisque” - B.S. Latrodectus Mactans Productions. Uncredited cast; zone-plating laser holography by James O. Incadenza and Urquhart Ogilvie, Jr.; holographic fight choreography by Kenjiru Hirota courtesy of Sony Entertainment-Asia; 78 mm; 29 minutes; balck and white; silent w/ audience-noises appropriated from network broadcast television. Mobile holograms of two visually lethal mythologic females duel with reflective surfaces onstage while a live crowd of spectators turn to stone. LIMITED CELLULOID RUN; PRIVATELY RE-RELEASED ON MAGNETIC VIDEO BY LATRODECTUS MACTANS PRODUCTIONS

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Credit where credit is due: the wonderful photograph that this poster is based on is the work of Jessica Segall, which she graciously allowed me to muck up. I hope you’ll click on over to her website and check out some of her other work. And here is the original version of the photo. This was created as a part of A Failed Entertainment, a 2010 art exhibition at Columbia University which attempts to bring to life James Incandenza’s film work.

"The Medusa vs. The Odalisque" foreshadows Joelle van Dyne’s involvement with Incandenza’s work. Joelle, aka Madame Psychosis, aka the P.G.O.A.T. (Prettiest Girl of All Time) is a woman so beautiful that men are afraid to talk to her, which leads to a very lonely existence. She wears a veil through most of the novel to hide a supposed deformity, although it’s unclear if she is actually deformed or just uses the veil to hide her devastating beauty.

She becomes James Incandenza’s muse and thereafter most of his works feature Joelle as some sort of femme fatale - death incarnate. It seems as though James’ view of women is largely informed by his wife’s infidelity and that Joelle is used as a proxy for his spouse and represents the destructive power of women. The relationship between James and Joelle seems to be strictly platonic and professional - the artist/muse.

Joelle is also the central figure in Incandenza’s film Infinite Jest, aka The Entertainment, aka the samizdat - the film that, if watched, will render you catatonic. In that film (as well as Don Gately’s fever dream) Joelle represents the woman who will kill you in this world but who will also be your mother in the next -  the ultimate duality of women.

Wallace takes care not to describe Joelle’s physical appearance in great detail, leaving it up to the reader to picture what might be under that veil. I find this to be a wonderfully subjective literary device. Personally, I pictured a girl from my seventh grade class, April Moore. April Moore was tall and beautiful and seemed to exist on a different planet than the rest of us. I don’t think I ever spoke a single word to her or ever dared to look her directly in the eye. I wonder how lonely April Moore is today.

Jun 07

Design by Chris Ayers“Mobius Strips” - Year of the Whopper. Latrodectus Mactans  Productions. ‘Hugh G. Rection’, Pam Heath, ‘Bunny Day’, ‘Taffy Appel’;  35 mm; 109 minutes; black and white; sound. Pornography-parody, possible  parodic homage to Fosse’s All That Jazz, in which a theoretical  physicist (‘Rection’), who can only achieve creative mathematical  insight during coitus, conceives of Death as a lethally beautiful woman  (Heath). INTERLACE TELENT FEATURE CARTRIDGE #357-65-32 (Y.W.)
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It’s been observed by a few reviewers that the plot of Infinite Jest resembles a Mobius Strip. It loops back on itself, is seemingly infinite and is mathematically “non-orientable”. I certainly experienced some disorientation on my first read through. But enough of this intellectual stuff - let’s talk about porn! There are relatively few passages about sexuality in the novel and the few that are in there are pretty disturbing. I don’t believe that Incandenza’s porn parody was even mentioned in the main text; it only appears in the end notes. There is one important section near the end of the book that has to do with pornography. Orin and a few of his teenage buddies manage to get their hands on a porn video and plan to watch it one night in E.T.A.’s rec room. They get busted and Orin is called into his father’s office. His father isn’t angry with him and wouldn’t forbid him to watch it, but he suggested that Orin wait until he was older and had already had his own sexual experience with someone he loved so that the film, which presents sex as something purely mechanical, would not give him “an impoverished, lonely idea of sexuality.” Orin describes this conversation as the most open and intimate he had ever seen his father be with anyone. This is an important moment because much of the novel (and his body of work) is about James Incandenza trying, usually unsuccessfully, to communicate his feelings to his family. The fact that their father chose Orin to be this genuine with makes his brother Hal jealous.The particular film Orin is about to watch is called The Green Door, and I am assuming here that Wallace means Behind the Green Door, supposedly the first hardcore film ever to be widely-distributed in the United States. I was able to procure a copy of this film for, ahem, research purposes and I can tell you that the film is strange. It resembles the trippy, 70’s horror films of Dario Argento more than it does any pornography being produced today. There is a super slow motion money shot that lasts for literally five minutes and is presented with double exposures, mirror images and a weird infrared effect. You could get away with calling it an avant garde art film. It’s not hard to see why DFW chose this particular film, given the nature of James Incandenza’s own experimental films.

Design by Chris Ayers

“Mobius Strips” - Year of the Whopper. Latrodectus Mactans Productions. ‘Hugh G. Rection’, Pam Heath, ‘Bunny Day’, ‘Taffy Appel’; 35 mm; 109 minutes; black and white; sound. Pornography-parody, possible parodic homage to Fosse’s All That Jazz, in which a theoretical physicist (‘Rection’), who can only achieve creative mathematical insight during coitus, conceives of Death as a lethally beautiful woman (Heath). INTERLACE TELENT FEATURE CARTRIDGE #357-65-32 (Y.W.)

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It’s been observed by a few reviewers that the plot of Infinite Jest resembles a Mobius Strip. It loops back on itself, is seemingly infinite and is mathematically “non-orientable”. I certainly experienced some disorientation on my first read through.

But enough of this intellectual stuff - let’s talk about porn! There are relatively few passages about sexuality in the novel and the few that are in there are pretty disturbing. I don’t believe that Incandenza’s porn parody was even mentioned in the main text; it only appears in the end notes.

There is one important section near the end of the book that has to do with pornography. Orin and a few of his teenage buddies manage to get their hands on a porn video and plan to watch it one night in E.T.A.’s rec room. They get busted and Orin is called into his father’s office. His father isn’t angry with him and wouldn’t forbid him to watch it, but he suggested that Orin wait until he was older and had already had his own sexual experience with someone he loved so that the film, which presents sex as something purely mechanical, would not give him “an impoverished, lonely idea of sexuality.” Orin describes this conversation as the most open and intimate he had ever seen his father be with anyone. This is an important moment because much of the novel (and his body of work) is about James Incandenza trying, usually unsuccessfully, to communicate his feelings to his family. The fact that their father chose Orin to be this genuine with makes his brother Hal jealous.

The particular film Orin is about to watch is called The Green Door, and I am assuming here that Wallace means Behind the Green Door, supposedly the first hardcore film ever to be widely-distributed in the United States. I was able to procure a copy of this film for, ahem, research purposes and I can tell you that the film is strange. It resembles the trippy, 70’s horror films of Dario Argento more than it does any pornography being produced today. There is a super slow motion money shot that lasts for literally five minutes and is presented with double exposures, mirror images and a weird infrared effect. You could get away with calling it an avant garde art film. It’s not hard to see why DFW chose this particular film, given the nature of James Incandenza’s own experimental films.