February 23, 2011

Some more and less helpful things for the lucky jerk reading ‘Infinite Jest’ for the first time.

[17pp., PDF]

November 22, 2010
Example of the quality of the work cut from the final draft of Infinite Jest.


B.S. 1960


     I have one sober memory of my own father, when I was still shorter than he, when he was still able to work as a teaching pro, when we were living just off the grounds of a resort east of Tucson, before I’d ever held or swung one of his racquets, what my boys call a stick.


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(Source: j.mp)

November 8, 2010
Towards a glossary of David Foster Wallace’s ‘Infinite Jest’


abducent anatomical term implying movement apart. [p. 186]

ablative a taking or wearing away; grammatically, it implies motion away from something. [p. 470]

acciaccatura*[1]– a musical quaver.  [p. 832]

acclivity a slope. [p. 582]

acervulus – an erupting fungal fruiting body thru which spore escapes. [p. 190]

achondroplastic – a type of hereditary dwarfism. [p. 901]

acromegalic – a type of pituitary gigantism. [pp. 185, 438]

ad valorem – Latin: to value. ‘In proportion to the value’. [p. 33]

adtorsion – a turning inward of both eyes. [p. 607]

aether – the formerly-hypothesized universal medium of light’s propagation. [pp. 163, 169]

agaric – here, Amanita muscaria, an hallucinogenic mushroom (cf. muscimol). [pp. 66, 67, 996]

agnate – descended from a paternal line. [pp. 91, 151, 152, 729]

aigrette – the tufted plumes of an egret. Used of women’s hat-feathers. [p. 380]

ainsi – French: ‘in this way’, ‘thus’ [p. 1009]

aioli – a Provençal emulsion of garlic and olive oil, w/ or w/o egg. [p. 233]

aleatory – depending upon chance. [p. 82]

alembic* – an alchemical retort thru which evaporated liquids are condensed. [p. 832]

amanuensis – secretary [p. 515]

anaclitic – having excessive emotional dependence upon another person. [p. 1048]

anapestic – metrical foot with two short and one long:  an-a-pest. [p. 1021]

anaplastic – the surgical restoration of a lost part. [p. 31]

ancipital – here referring to those teeth that have two edges. [p. 117]

anechoic – a chamber having very low sonic or electromagnetic reflectance. [p. 503]

anfractuous – circuitous  [p. 39]

angioma – localized, superficial concentrations of capillaries producing a red spot or weal.[p. 1037]

anodize – to coat a metal by making it one terminal in an electrochemical circuit. [pp. 63, 93, 451, 485, 588]

anomic – adj. form of ‘anomie’. [p. 585]

Anschluss – German: ‘connection’. Used of Hitler’s annexation of the Sudetenland and Austria. [pp. 311, 322, 421, 777, 1020]

anthracnose – the fungus responsible for powdery mildew. [p. 288]

antinomic – contradiction or opposition.[p. 792]

antipyretic – a drug used to control fever. [pp. 920, 984]

aperçu – a clever insight. [p. 121]

aphasia – impairment of any language modality. [pp. 368, 369, 525, 588]

aphonia ­– the inability to speak. [p. 488]

aphrasiac – inability to utter words in an intelligible order. [p. 488]

apical – from, of, or relating to the tip. [pp. 290, 366]

apocope ­– the loss of one or more sounds from the end of a word. [p. 57]

apothegm – maxim. [p. 358]

apotropaic – actions intended to ward off evil. [p. 243]

armamentarium – the sum-total of all medical knowledge with which disease is fought. [p. 1067]

ascapartic – relating to the legendary giant Ascapart. [pp. 290, 1016]

askesis – strict self-discipline. [p. 911]

assignation – appointment to meet someone in secret, typically one made by lovers; or, the assignment of attribution or ownership. [p. 30]

atavistic – the tendency to revert to ancestral or immature forms. [pp. 257, 327, 1021]

ataxia – a gross loss of muscular control as a neurological sign. [p. 968]

attar -– perfume [p. 290]

bafflegab ­– gobbledegook. [p. 173]

ballism – a symptom of chorea in which involuntary swinging or jerking movements are observed. [p. 1037]

balsamy – smelling of balsam, a sap exuded by various Middle Eastern trees. [p. 798]

bilirubin ­– a yellow waste product derived from the destruction of old red blood cells by the liver. One of the main contributors to the color of shit. [pp. 304, 897]

blepharoplasty – surgical modification of the eyelid. [p. 314]

blepharospecticity – to see thru one’s eyelids. [p. 1037]

bradyauxetic – slow in cellular development. [p. 313]

bradykinesia – slow moving. [pp. 80, 433, 795, 1022]

bradylexia – slow of reading [p. 1022]

bradypedestrianism – slow of walking. [pp. 313, 1022]

bradyphrenia ­– slow of comprehension or thought. [p. 314]

bradypnea – abnormally slow breathing. [pp. 451, 1022]

breviary – Catholic liturgical book containing daily prayers. [pp. 373, 1009]

Brewster’s Angle – the angle at which non-polarized light will reflect off a surface as polarized light. [pp. 10, 511]

bricolage* – the construction of something from whatever is at hand. [p. 832]

brisance – the shattering effect of the energy released by an explosion. [p. 541]

Bröckengespenstphänom – a complicated atmospheric phenomenon in which a person standing on a mountain peak sees his or her own shadow projected onto clouds below at enormous magnification. [p. 641]

calliopsis – Coreopsis tinctoria, a hardy, annual flower native to the American South. [pp. 80, 241, 340]

calotte – skullcap.[p. 395, 1029]

calpac ­– a high-crowned felt or sheepskin hat worn in Turkey, Iran, and Central Asia. [p. 1029]

Can you – believe I’m actually doing this? I can’t, and I’m the one what’s doin’ it. Nerrrrrrrrddd.

caparison – decorative covering for a horse. [pp. 367, 533]

carbuncular – characterized by infected skin lesions or large boils. [pp. 187, 226, 385, 582, 873, 1032]

caries – dental cavities. [p. 27, 1010]

catachresis – misapplication of a word, especially in a mixed metaphor. [p. 1053]

catadioptric – an arrangement of both mirrors and lenses to focus light. [p. 939]

catalepsy/catalept* ­– neurological condition characterized by muscular rigidity, one who so suffers. [pp. 503, 832]

catastatic – the heightening of intrigue or drama before a climax. [p. 407]

cathected – mentally or emotionally invested. [pp. 550, 654]

cathexis – viz. sup. [p. 550]

cerise – deep, vivid, pinkish red. [pp. 486, 513, 791, 832]

chachectic ­– referring to weight and muscle lost due to disease. More commonly spelled ‘cachexic’ [p. 187]

chiaroscuro* – artistic technique that heightens drama by crisp juxtaposition of light and dark areas.  [pp. 65, 315, 430, 832, 1027]

chyme – the watery state of food after it has passed from the stomach into the small bowel. [pp. 379, 624, 634]

chronaxy* ­– an obscure neurophysiological term having to do with the minimum duration of a signal required to fire a nerve. [p. 832]

ciquatoxic – (sic) the toxins that produce Ciguatera, an extremely nasty illness caused by eating reef fish who have themselves eaten certain poisonous dinoflagellates. More commonly spelled ‘ciguatoxic’[p. 967]

circumorals – the muscles surrounding the mouth. [pp. 75, 373]

cirri – cirrus clouds. [p. 15]

claque – professional applauders. [p. 400]

climacteric – menopause. [p. 954]

clinamen – fundamental randomness that accounts for free will. cf Lucretius’ De Natura Rerum [p. 911]

coccyges – the triangular bone that terminates the spinal column. [p. 257]

colposcope – an instrument for viewing the interior of the vagina. [pp. 634, 1070]

comme-il-faut – French: ‘as one does’ accepted standards [p. 59]

convolve – to roll together or coil up. [pp. 67, 310, 398, 1023]

contraria sunt complementa – Latin: ‘we are what we are against’. [p. 713]

coprolaliac – compulsive speaking of forbidden words. [p. 621]

coprolite – fossilized shit. [p. 572]

cordite – nitrocellulose cast into thin sticks for use as propellant in firearms. [pp. 433, 504, 610, 613]

corpore potis – Latin: ‘able of body’. [p. 188]

coruscant – glittering. [p. 626]

creatus – the creation of. [p. 12]

creosote – here, coal-tar, elsewhere the smell of the desert-dwelling Creosote Bush. [pp. 108, 1059]

crepuscular – animals primarily active at twilight. [pp. 108, 556]

cruciform ­– cross-shaped. [pp. 266, 513, 622, 728]

cuirass – a breastplate. [p. 431]

cunctation – delay. [p. 368]

deafflatusized – the loss of powerful or irresistible inspiration. [p. 284]

deliquesce – to absorb atmospheric water vapor. [p. 67]

delirium tremens – very late stage alcoholism in which hallucinations with tremor are observed. [pp. 707, 1038]

Deus Providebit – Latin: ‘God will provide.’, taken from Gen 22:8 in the Vulgate (Abraham answered, “God will provide a lamb for the burnt offering, Son.” The two of them went on together.) In context God’s providing is reflexive. [p. 128]

diagnate ­– incestuous form of ‘agnate’. [p. 82]

diaphoretic – excessive sweating as a dangerous medical symptom. [p. 190]

digitate – relating to the fingers. [p. 97]

dipsomania – alcoholism. [p. 64]

diverticulitis – inflammation of any of the folds of the bowel. [pp. 543, 594, 606, 607, 893]

dysautonomic – disturbance to the autonomic nervous system (sweating, crying, salivation, &c) [pp. 589, 590]

dysphoric – feeling shitty. [pp. 69, 147, 301, 682, 690, 691, 695]

éclat – brilliance in performance. [p. 155]

ectopic – not where it’s supposed to be. Of pregnancy: when a fertilized egg fails to be captured by the fimbriæ of the fallopian tube and instead develops into a fetus in the abdominal cavity. Generally not viable. [p. 686]

effulgence – a brilliant shining-forth. [p. 854]

egregulous – DFW coinage combining ‘egregious’ and ‘outrageous’. [p. 272]

eidetic – here meaning photographic memory. [pp. 127, 317]

élan – enthusiasm or passion. [p. 55]

enfilade – an attack on the front of something. [p. 13]

entrepôt – a warehouse where goods can be imported or exported without paying duties. [pp. 216, 916, 983, 1067]

enuretic – adj. of bedwetting. [p. 185]

ephebe – adolescent. [pp. 98, 292, 676, 677, 1001]

epicene – having characteristics of both sexes. [pp. 691, 939, 945]

ergotic – relating to the ergot fungus, a producer of LSD. [pp. 170, 191, 213, 927]

erumpent ­– bursting thru. [pp. 165, 270, 519]

escudo – Portuguese unit of currency. [p. 1029]

escutcheon – heraldic shield [pp. 509, 1056]

esters – carbonyl compounds in which an oxygen acts as a structural member. [p. 551]

étagère – piece of furniture having tiered shelves. [p. 951]

etiology – the cause of a disease. [pp. 17, 370, 585 ]

Fade in on a – tenement building on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Faint traffic noise is audible; as is the sound of the fish-mongers.

facies – facial expressions associated with medical conditions. [pp. 185, 1022]

falcate – sickle-shaped. [pp. 381, 1019]

feck – mensch-like, worthy. [p. 64]

felo-de-se – Latin: ‘crime against one’s self’, suicide. [pp. 286, 308, 510, 790, 1048, 1078]

festschrift – a collection of academic essays in honor of someone. [p. 65]

fictile – moldable, as of clay. [p. 694]

fillip – a flick with a finger retained by the thumb.[pp. 238, 931]

formant – the frequencies of one’s voice which, thanks to the resonances of one’s throat, are most pronounced. [p. 174]

formication – to be ant-like [p. 177]

frustum – a cone or pyramid with the tip cut off. [pp. 213, 916]

fulgurant – flashing like lightning. [p. 387]

fuliginous – sooty. [p. 971]

fulvous – the color of dried saffron. [p. 93]

funiculi – plural of funicular railroads. A counterweighted means of ascending mountains or hills. [p. 1066]

furcate – to divide into branches or forks. [p. 1051]

Gaudeamus Igitur – Latin: ‘Therefore let us rejoice!’, a line from a traditional student song. [pp. 380, 851, 964]

gneiss – common metamorphic rock. [p. 797]

gonfalon – fancy, fringed banner usually held aloft by a pole during parades or processions. [p. 208]

gonions – the points of the jaw near the neck. [p. 1067]

granulomatous – having the characteristics of the ball of white blood cells which forms around foreign matter. [p. 190]

guilloche – engraving technique usually found on pocket watches requiring precise, repeating curves. [pp. 120, 864, 952]

gyrus – a ridge on the cerebral cortex. [pp. 186, 987]

hanuman – Hindu monkey god. [p. 703]

harquebus – heavy, portable matchlock musket. [p. 1029]

heliated* – to infuse with Helium. [p. 832]

hemispasms – spasms affecting only one side of the body. [pp. 556, 1037]

hemoptysis – the coughing-up of blood or bloody sputum. [p. 921]

hinked – to be both drunk and high. Here, ‘bothered, troubled’ [p. 463]

hip-shot – having one hip higher than the other. [pp. 9, 162, 231, 742]

homodontic ­– having teeth all of the same shape. Used of sperm and killer whales. [pp. 410, 901]

homuncular – resembling the homunculus, the little man thought to gestate within a pregnant woman. Cf. Wallace Shawn. [pp. 144, 145]

hulpil – colorful Peruvian textile [pp. 854, 855, 1076]

hyperauxetic – fast in cellular development. [p. 1022]

hyperemic – an increase in a body part’s blood supply, engorgement. [pp. 208, 952]

hyperkeratosistic – the state of having a persistent, dry, itchy scalp. [p. 185]

hypocapnia – the state of having low dissolved CO2 in the blood. [p. 69]

hypophalangial – short or stubby fingers. [p. 16]

impost* – a customs-duty levied on merchandise. [pp. 482, 815, 832]

imprecate – to invoke evil upon. [pp. 255, 609]

inguinal – of the muscle of the groin. [pp. 488, 803]

in loco parentis – Latin: ‘in the place of parents’. [p. 805]

in medias res – Latin: ‘in the middle of the thing’. [p. 701]

inspissated – made thick by evaporation, used of mucus in the airway. [pp. 921, 1078]

intaglio – printing term connoting great pressure. [p. 583]

jape – a mocking joke. [p. 655]

jejune – naïve or simplistic. [pp. 385, 405, 635]

jonquil – the yellow color associated with daffodils. [p. 258]

joss ­– Chinese god worshiped at a shrine. Pidgin from Portuguese, ‘deos’. Here, ‘luck’. [p. 1077]

Kekuléan – oblique reference to a snake eating its own tail. From a story about the German organic chemist August Kekulé and his dream of an ouroborus that elucidated for him the famous ring structure of benzene (C6H6). [p. 5]

kenosis – theological emptiness. [p. 911]

kyphotic – a hunchback or any other outward-curving deformity of the spine. [pp. 190, 953]

labile – moving freely or unstably. Also, ‘emotional.’ [p. 253]

lachrymose – tearful or causing tears. [p. 989]

lalating – the Japanese confusion of ‘l’ with ‘r’. [p. 788]

lapsarian – pertaining to the fall from grace of mankind. [p. 713]

latissimal – of the latissumus dorsi muscle controlling the shoulder. [p.1067 ]

Latrodectus mactans* – the black widow spider. [pp. 159, 832, 987, 988, 990]

lazarette – a hospital treating contagious diseases, usually leprosy  [p. 190]

leptosomatic – having a small body. [p. 79]

Lebensgefährtin – German: ‘life-partner, long-time companion’ [p. 1003]

leukodermatic ­– having pale or white skin. [p. 189]

levirate marriage* – a type of marriage in which the brother of a deceased man is obligated to marry his brother’s widow, and vice versa. [p. 832]

liebestod* – German: ‘love death’, an aria or duet performed in opera marking the suicide of lovers, after that in ‘Tristan und Isolde’. [pp. 792, 863, 884]

limned – to portray in painting or words. [p. 183]

lisle* – cotton fabric processed to give a smooth finish. [p. 919]

lordosis* – abnormal inward curvature of the spine. [pp.190, 313, 764, 1003]

lucul(l)us* – Lucius Licinius Lucullus (c.118-57 B.C.), Roman politician of the Late Republic. Also, ‘lavish, luxurious’ [p. 832]

lycanthropically – as of a werewolf. [p. 192]

lyrologist – DFW coinage for one who uses his mouth like a harp. [p. 31]

mansard four-sided gambrel-style hip roof. [p. 197]

matins – early morning or late night Catholic prayers. [p. 705]

maundering – to talk in a dreamy, wandering or rambling manner. [p. 767]

meatus – a natural bodily opening, as on the tip of the penis. [pp. 60, 182, 186]

mellitus – sweet, used of the urine of diabetics. [p. 915]

mentation – cognition. [pp. 653, 930]

mesomorphic – a muscular somatotype, with low body-fat. [pp. 200, 308]

Montague Grammar – the proposition that the grammar of natural languages is merely an obscured version of that governing formal logic. After Richard Montague. [pp. 7, 760]

morendo – Fading away in tone or tempo. [p. 461]

mucronate – ending abruptly or in a sharp point. [pp. 208, 314, 376]

murated – walled, embedded in a wall or walled-up. [pp. 127, 1056]

nacreous – looking like Mother-of-Pearl. [pp. 320, 455]

neoplastis – an abnormal mass of tissue. [pp. 395, 987, 1044]

neuralgia – pain that follows the path of a nerve. [pp. 60, 346, 620, 913, 987]

neurasthenic – psychosomatic disorder characterized by fatigue and memory loss. [pp. 267, 301, 579, 792, 1003, 1050]

neurosomatic – in this case just referring to neural and somatic consequences. [p. 1037]

neutral density point* – the point at which a neutral density filter reduces the brightness of all colors equally, without affecting hue. A theoretical point. [p. 832]

nictitater – (sic) one who winks or blinks. ‘nictater’ is intended. [p. 1074]

novena – a nine-day period of private or public Catholic prayer. [pp. 705, 712]

novitiate – a novice in religious orders. [pp. 667, 706, 711, 712, 1054]

nystagmic rapid, involuntary, oscillatory motion of the eyeball. [pp. 281, 329, 1037]

olla podrida ­– Spanish mulligan stew. [p. 791]

ommatophoric* – having a movable stalk terminating in an eye, as of snails or conchs. [p. 832]

optative ­– grammatical mood indicating a wish or hope. [p. 64]

orts – morsels left after a meal [p. 438]

osseously – in the manner of a bone, or bone-like. [p. 122]

oubliette – a very small prison cell, usually in a floor, in which persons to be forgotten were starved to death. French: ‘forgotten place’. [pp. 190, 1045]

palestra – Ancient Greek public area for exercise. [p. 83]

pargeted – covered in plaster [p. 51]

parotitic – inflammation of the parotic (salivary) glands, as in mumps. [p. 871]

paroxysmic – coming in violent fits or starts. [p. 255]

parp ­– to make a honking noise, here, farting. [pp. 159, 1027]

parturient – preggers. [p. 789]

pases – a movement of a cape by a matador in drawing a bull and taking his charge. [p. 13]

patellar – relating to the patella, the knee-cap. [p. 635]

pedalferrous – DFW coinage: produced by footfalls. [p. 93]

pedentive – that which allows a circular dome to be placed over a square base, as at the Hagia Sofia. [p. 91]

pericardium – the sac of tissue and lubricating fluid in which the heart beats. [p. 652]

peronic – having a bent penis, unusual adjectival form of Peyronie’s Disease [p. 190]

pertussive – relating to coughing. [pp. 60, 921, 990]

phocomelic – the congenital absence or abnormal shortening of arms or legs, often with only short, flipper-like limbs projecting from the body, used of Thalidomide babies. [p. 901]

phosphenism – resembling the little lightshow you get when you press your fingers against closed eyes. [p. 1037]

phylogenic – the evolutionary development and history of a species. [pp. 290, 622]

piaffer – a movement in which a horse trots in place with high action of the legs. [p. 965]

picric – bitterness beyond bitterness. Here, a yellow tinge. [p. 456]

pinioned – in this case referencing the fact that Hal’s arms are still held behind his back. [pp. 12, 13]

pizzicato – musical direction that calls for the plucking of stringed instruments. [p. 804]

plangent – a loud, reverberating and frequently melancholy sound. [p. 71]

pleurisy – a fantastically painful inflammation of the lining of the lungs. [pp. 22, 859]

plexor – the rubber hammer used by physicians to test reflexes, as at the knee. [p. 71]

prandial – relating to a meal [pp. 80, 121, 191, 385, 438, 1005]

presbyopic – the degradation of vision with age. [p. 11]

prima facie – Latin: ‘at first sight’. [p. 639]

pricket – a small spike for holding a candle upright. [pp. 188, 504]

prognathous – having a projecting lower jaw, chin or underbite. [p. 348]

proprioception* – the sense of the position of one’s own body in space. [pp. 832, 928]

prorector – members of a management body of a university, each managing his or her specific area [pp. 3, 51, 53, 54, 55, 79, 98, 99, 218, 282, 293, 306, 307, 338, 381, 410, 432, 451, 453, 454, 457, 460, 515, 569, 627, 635, 666, 667, 673, 674, 675, 676, 686, 983, 998, 1000, 1003, 1009, 1012, 1028, 1044, 1054, 1067, 1072]

pruritis – itching of any kind, as in hives. [p. 393]

pulchritude – beauty. [pp. 190, 440]

purl – to flow or ripple, especially with a murmuring sound. [pp. 386, 920]

phylacteryish – resembling a tefilin, Jewish devotional items consisting of cuboid leather boxes containing quotes from the Torah. [p. 46]

pyorrheic – relating to advanced pyorrhea, a periodontal infection that can erode the jaw and loosen teeth. [p. 189]

quincunx – arranged in the shape of the fifth side of a die. [p. 80]

quoin – a wedge, or wedge-shaped block, used for various special purposes. [p. 797]

quonset hut ­– a kind of prefabricated building consisting of a semi-cylindrical corrugated metal roof on a bolted steel foundation. [p. 109]

Quo vadis? – Latin: ‘Where are you going?’, a phrase taken as summary of the story of Peter fleeing Rome and meeting Christ going the opposite direction. Peter asks ‘Quo vadis?’, and Christ’s response, ‘To be crucified again.’ rekindles Peter’s ardor for Christianity, whereupon he returns to the city and martyrdom. [pp. 984, 985]

redemisement – the re-transfer of land to one who has already demised it. Here used of Experialism. [p. 42]

réseau – a plain net ground used in lace-making, a network or grid, especially one superimposed as a reference marking on photographs in astronomy, surveying, &c. [p. 542]

restenosis – the recurrence of a contraction or stricture of a passage, duct or canal, especially of a heart valve after surgery to correct it. [pp. 126, 142, 779, 780]

rhinophyma – chronic enlargement and reddening of the nose with hypertrophy of its sebaceous glands. [p. 1037]

rhinorrhagia – nosebleed. [p. 1037]

revenant – one who returns from the dead; a ghost. [pp. 260, 454, 461]

sacristy – the repository in a church in which are kept the vestments, the sacred vessels and other valuable property. [pp. 705, 713]

sallet – in medieval amour, a light globular headpiece, either with or without a visor, and without a crest, the lower part curving outwards behind. [pp. 527, 1029]

saltire – St. Andrew’s cross. [p. 632]

saluki – a large, lightly built sighthound with a feathered tail and feet and large pendant ears. [p. 310]

saprogenic – causing decay or putrefaction. [pp. 402, 663, 664, 665, 1034, 1043, 1047]

scofulodermic – skin showing signs of scrofula, that is, skin afflicted by tuberculous cervical lymphadenitis, the invasion of the lymph nodes of the neck by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. [p. 187]

scopophiliacal – enjoying watching. [p. 233]

scopophobic ­– frightened of or averse to, watching [pp. 226, 544]

sedulous – constant in application to the matter in hand; assiduous, persistent. [pp. 286, 287]

serodermatotic – a skin disease with serous effusion into the skin. [p. 187]

shako – a military cap in the shape of a truncated cone or frustrum. [p. 1029]

sinciput – the front part of the head or skull. [p. 950]

sinecure – any office or position which has no work or duties attached to it, especially one that yields some stipend or emolument. [pp. 288, 873]

sinistral* – darkly suspicious; very unfavorable. [pp. 512, 832, 862, 884, 885]

siphuncular – pertaining to a small siphon or suctorial organ. [p. 921]

skirling – Shrill crying, shrieking. [pp. 556, 866]

sloe – in this case, referring to the color of blackthorn berries, dark red or auburn. [p. 707]

sociosis – outmoded psychological term for social disorders. [p. 1037]

solander – a box made in the form of a book, used for holding botanical specimens, papers, maps, &c. [p. 342]

solecistic – relating to an impropriety or irregularity in speech or diction; a violation of the rules of grammar or syntax. [p. 1014]

sui testator – as ordered by a will. [p. 993]

steatocryptotic – a derangement of the sebaceous glands in which sebum fails to drain through the skin, and instead collects beneath it. [p. 187]

steatopygiacs – a person exhibiting a high degree of fat accumulation in and around the buttocks.  Cf. Sarah Baartman [p. 187]

strabismic –pertaining to an affliction of the eyes in which the axes of vision cannot be coincidentally directed to the same object. It produces squinting. [pp. 289, 290, 291, 296]

strettoing – referring to a section of a fugue in which  subject entries overlap. [p. 240]

strigil* – an instrument with a curved blade, for scraping the sweat and dirt from the skin in the hot-air bath or after gymnastic exercise. [p. 832]

styptic ­– having the power of contracting organic tissue, as alum does to shaving nicks. [p. 505]

subhadronics – referring to the realm of matter below that  of hadrons, i.e. Quarks. [pp. 187, 871]

sudoriferous – that which produces or causes sweat or sweating. [p. 1076]

sulcus – a groove, trench, or furrow, usually as on the surface of the brain. [pp. 186, 187, 192]

suppurating – forming or secreting pus. [pp. 278, 435]

swivet – a flustered or agitated state. [p. 1019]

swotting – hard work at one’s studies, cf. wakk sub. [p. 762]

synclinal – inclined or sloping towards each other. [pp. 75, 252]

synecdoche – a figure by which a more comprehensive term is used for a less comprehensive or vice versa; as whole for part or part for whole, genus for species or species for genus, &c. ‘Wheels’ for ‘car’, and so forth. [p. 789]

synovial – the viscid albuminous fluid secreted in the interior of the joints, and in the sheaths of the tendons, which  serves to lubricate them. [pp. 886, 887, 888]

tabescent – wasting away, as of the very late stages of a terminal disease. eg, tabes dorsalis, the wasting of the dorsal nerves of the spinal cord in tertiary syphilis. [p. 187]

tangram – the name given to a Chinese geometrical puzzle consisting of a square dissected into five triangles, a square, and a rhomboid, which can be combined so as to make two equal squares, and also so as to form several hundred figures, having a rude resemblance to houses, boats, bottles, glasses, urns, birds, beasts, men, &c. [p. 316]

teleologic – the science of final causes; that branch of knowledge which deals with ends or purposes. [p. 91]

tenebrae factae sunt – Latin: ‘there was darkness [over the Earth]’, line from a hymn narrating the crucifixion. [p. 287]

tendentious – having a purposed tendency. [p. 380]

teratoidal – having the appearance or character of a monster or monstrous formation. [p. 190]

tessera – a small quadrilateral tablet of wood, bone, ivory, or the like, used for various purposes, as a token, tally, ticket, label, &c. [p. 911]

tesseract – a four-dimensional hypercube. [p. 232]

testudo* – the typical genus of the tortoise family, Testudinidæ [p. 832]

tetanic – spasm-producing, such as those from tetanus. [p. 73]

thanatoptic – a pun on the word ‘thantotic’, the psychological concept of death instinct. [pp. 327, 790]

thigmotactic – the way in which an organism moves or disposes itself in response to a touch stimulus. [p. 75]

threnody – a lament for the dead, a dirge. [p. 556]

tittle – in this case, the smallest or a very small part of something; a minute amount. [p. 1050]

toque – chef’s hat. [p. 380]

torticollic – pertaining to an affection of the muscles of the neck, in which it is so twisted as to keep the head turned to one side; wry-neck. [p. 185]

transmural infarction – a heart attack that causes irreversible damage to heart muscle all the way through its thickness. [p. 646]

transuranial – chemical elements heavier than Uranium, that is, artificial. [p. 185]

treillage – a framework upon which vines or ornamental plants are trained. [p. 185]

trochaically – based upon trochees, a metrical foot consisting of a long followed by a short syllable. [p. 174]

tsimmes – an Ashkenazi Jewish casserole consisting of diced vegetables and fruit. [p. 638]

tumbrel – in this case referring to an instrument of punishment, the nature and operation of which in early times is uncertain; later identified with the stock. [p. 225]

tumid – engorged or swollen. [pp. 305, 769]

uncolloped – lacking thick folds of fat or flesh [p. 1067]

unperspicuous – unclear in statement or expression. [p. 1066]

uremic – pertaining to urine, especially during a derangement of kidney function. [pp. 76, 93, 1064]

vademecumish – referring to a vade mecum (Latin: ‘go with me’), a handbook. [p. 322]

varicelliformally – having the form or appearance of chicken-pox. [p. 191]

varicocele – painful varicose condition or dilatation of the spermatic veins. [p. 80, 756]

verdigris – a green or greenish blue substance obtained artificially by the action of dilute acetic acid on thin plates of copper. Much used as a pigment. [p. 623]

verger – one whose duty it is to take care of the interior of a church, and to act as attendant. [pp. 711, 712]

vermiform – having the shape of a worm. [p. 667]

veronica – a movement typical of the first tercio of a bullfight in which the matador swings the cape in a slow circle round himself in order to persuade the charging bull to follow the movement of the cape. [p. 719]

vespers – evening Catholic prayers. [pp. 705, 968]

votaried – Consecrated by a vow; devoted to a religious life. [p. 434]

wakked – schoolboy slang for intense studying, cf. swott sup. [p. 1006]

wen – a harmless sebaceous cystic tumor under the skin, occurring chiefly on the head. [pp. 4, 530, 639, 640]

xanthodantic – sic, misspelling of ‘xanthodontic’, which means yellow-toothed. [p. 189]

xerophagy – the eating of dry food, especially as form of fasting practiced in the early church. [p. 1006]

zither – duh. [pp. 66, 589]

zuckung – German: convulsion. [pp. 303, 305, 306]

 [1]‘*denotes a ghostword, cf. p. 832, etc. 

October 19, 2010
p. 2

p. 2

October 19, 2010
By the summer of 1994, now living in Bloomington, Illinois, Wallace had sent a completed manuscript to his editor Michael Pietsch. It topped out at more than 1,600 pages. After hearing nothing for six months, Wallace received this letter from Pietsch.

p. 1

By the summer of 1994, now living in Bloomington, Illinois, Wallace had sent a completed manuscript to his editor Michael Pietsch. It topped out at more than 1,600 pages. After hearing nothing for six months, Wallace received this letter from Pietsch.

p. 1

October 18, 2010
p. 1, draft 0 of Infinite Jest.

p. 1, draft 0 of Infinite Jest.