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Random Quote & Observations Reading David Foster Wallace's, The Broom of the System



David Foster Wallace describes a kiss, through the eyes of Rick Vigorous, as only DFW possibly could, in The Broom of the System ...

"Her lips are full and red and tend to wetness and do not ask but rather demand, in a pout of liquid silk, to be kissed. I kiss them often, I admit it, it is what I do, I am a kisser, and a kiss with Lenore is, if I may indulge a bit for a moment here, not so much a kiss as it is a dislocation, a removal and rude transportation of essence from self to lip, so that it is not so much two human bodies coming together and doing the usual things with their lips as it is two sets of lips spawned together and joined in kind from the beginning of post-Scarsdale time, achieving full ontological status only in subsequent union and trailing behind and below them, as they join and become whole, two now utterly superfluous fleshly bodies, drooping outward and downward like the tired stems of overblossomed flora, trailing shoes on the ground, husks. A kiss with Lenore is a scenario in which I skate with buttered soles over the moist rink of lower lip, sheltered from weathers by the wet warm overhang of upper, finally to crawl between lip and gum and pull the lip to me like a child's blanket and stare over it with beady, unfriendly eyes out at the world external to Lenore, of which I no longer wish to be a part."

Lenore's father is the owner of "Stonecipheco Baby Food Products". I find it fascinating, keeping his later novel in mind, Infinite Jest, how often "baby food" is clustered in such a way in the narrative with other phrases that it's given a very negative connotation. "Baby food" and the character, Candy Mandible, I think, prefigure the idea of emotional and psychological infantilism so prevalently depicted -- and so mercilessly skewered by DFW -- in Infinite Jest, and satirized also even in his funniest and most famous novella-length essay, "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again," in which he riffs on the word "pampered" that's practically every other word in Celebrity Cruise's brochures; "pampered" being the altruistic promise (for a hefty price!) how the crew of the Caribbean Celebrity Cruise ship, Zenith, will treat you on deck 24/7.  "Pampered" can't help DFW think of "Pampers Diapers": infantilism: a regression to babyhood for each cruise liner passenger the duration of their Caribbean vacation.

There's also The Great Ohio Desert, precursor to The Great Concavity of IJ, the former which the Governor of Ohio, in 1972, has had purposely created by the firm, Industrial Desert Design, "who did Kuwait," because he believes that the people of Ohio need a great barren expanse to enjoy, that I found hysterical and more than just a gag, which The Broom is often criticized as -- a book of gags and inside literary/philosophy jokes -- because the absurd oddities of weird details all start adding up, funny or not, to sublimely substantive, philosophical meanings and leanings.  Just read your Ludwig Wittgenstein!

I think, as well, that DFW had some kind of thing for the word, "hideously," as it's used, seems to me, with even more frequency in The Broom than it was in IJ, not to mention "hideous" being a word in the title of another of his less famous works of fiction.

Final observation for now: If I didn't already have my handle, "EnriqueFreeque," my handle would then be borrowed (it would have to be!) from an eating establishment featured in The Broom: "Enrique's House of Cheese".

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