The entries are quite long, which is amazing? I mean, I knw I love this novel and many others do too but to see Pub Weekly devote so much space to this is extraordinary.
The Top 10 Infinite Jest Characters: #4 Joelle van Dyne -- PWxyz
4. Joelle van Dyne
There’s the pre-suicide’s classic longing: Sit down one second, I want to tell you everything. My name is Joelle van Dyne, Dutch-Irish, and I was reared on family land east of Shiny Prize, Kentucky, the only child of a low-pH chemist and his second wife. I now have no accent except under stress. I am 1.7 meters tall and weigh 48 kilograms. I occupy space and have mass. I breathe in and breathe out. Joelle has never before today been conscious of the sustained volition required to just breathe in and breathe out, her veil recessing into nose and rounded mouth and then bowing out slightly like curtains over an opened pane.
Also known as “Madame Psychosis” (her radio persona, host of “Sixty Minutes More or Less with Madame Psychosis”) and “The Prettiest Girl of All Time” (The P.G.O.A.T.), Joelle van Dyne is a crucial link between E.T.A. and Ennet House, the book’s two contiguous threads. She’s involved, at various points, with Gately, Himself, and Orin, the latter coming to a head when Orin visits Joelle’s house for Thanksgiving and witnesses “her Daddy’s infantilizing conduct of her and her mother’s wordless compulsive canning and cooking.” At the dinner, the Daddy reveals that he’s been in love with his daughter since she was very young, and the mother, finally breaking her spell of repression, confesses she knew the Daddy felt this way and that she was the monster for not saying or doing anything about it. Whereupon she runs to the basement to disfigure herself with acid (the Daddy being a low-pH chemist) but that acid ends up in Joelle’s face.
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