Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Words David Foster Wallace Circled in His Dictionary That Appear in Oblivion


past tense of bespeak

It was the Gap's floor manager in Accessories who first called the police, and this merely because the press of customers at the window's display clearly bespoke some kind of disturbance on the street outside; and because the nature of that disturbance was unknown, none of the roving television cans who monitored the city's police frequencies were alerted, and the scene remained media-free for a good 1500 feet in every direction. (34-35)

Moltke's company van was parked in the duplex's other driveway, which bespoke some kind of possible arrangement with the other side's occupant that Atwater, who felt more than a little battered and conflicted and ill at ease in Mrs. Moltke's presence, had not yet thought to inquire about. (303)


In classical drama, the third and penultimate section, in which action is heightened for the catastrophe.

It is the progressively extreme changes in the advanced boy's relation to as it were both Truth and Culture which constitute the exemplum's catastasis or crisis or falling action or Third Act. (130)


A group of individuals, created by law or under authority of law, having a continuous existence independent of the existences of its members, and powers and liabilities distinct from those of its members.

...since corporations whose products had national or even regional distribution depended on appealing not just to individual consumers but also of course it almost went without saying to very large groups of them, groups that were yes comprised of individuals but were nevertheless groups, larger entities or collectives. (22)


Of or for the common people.

The abbreviation stands for big soft glossy, with soft in turn meaning the very most demotic kind of human interest. (296)


a light shoe having an upper made of fabric and a sole of rope

Mrs. Amber Moltke, the artist's young spouse, wore a great billowing pastel housedress and flattened espadrilles and was, for better or worse, the sexiest morbidly obese woman Atwater had ever seen. (250)


Capable of being molded into the shape of an artifact or art work

...the 18-39 Male demographic, the single most prized and fictile demo-target in high-end marketing. (6)


having regular overlapping edges; intertwined

The Raritan Club's distinctive escutcheon and motto, for instance, appeared both to recede and come into an almost excruciant focus on 'the Hole''s opposite wall, beneath a perceptually tiny stuffed tarpon whose every imbricate scale seemed outlined or limned in an almost 'Photo realist' detail. (192)


Any of the 613 commandments of Jewish law

...because the child at this point is just on the verge of reaching the sidereal equivalent of eleven years ago, which birthday evidently represents the paleolithic Third World's bar mitzvah or as it were age of majority... (128)


A partially shaded area around the edges of a shadow, especially an eclipse

...and extremely careful double-gloved and -masked removal of the lid will reveal a small tan-to-brown colony of Clostridium awash in a green-to-tan penumbra of botulinus exotoxin... (58)


A clairvoyant or clairaudient experience, such as a dream, which resonates with some event in the future

Laurel Manderley, whose father controlled a large number of Blockbuster Video franchises throughout western Connecticut, and whose mother was in the final push toward certification as a Master Gardener, was herself destined to survive, through either coincidence or premonition, the tragedy by which Style would enter history two months hence. (245)

There was a premonition of not just danger but evil. (301)


The act of passing by, disregarding or omitting.

He had no innate sense of tragedy or preterition or complex binds or any of the things that made human beings' misfortunes significant to one another. (270)


former; once; at one time

My quondam or former first wife, Naomi, never accepted the fact that I did not want children with her; I was afraid of 'repeating the cycle.' (229)


irritating, repellent

...her convalescence from which was plainly so rebarbative and, frankly, sad or pathetic in its impotent vanity... (233)


a section of fortification that juts out to form an angle

...and had crossed his leg ankle-on-knee and slid so far down on his tailbone that his cocked leg was the same height as his chin, thereupon holding the salient knee with his fingers laced in such a way as to apply pressure and make his forearms bulge even more. (28)


marked by or given to using irony in order to mock or convey contempt

...'Yes,' the boy intending this answer not to be sarcastic or unhelpful but simply True... (131)

She said it was thanks to me that she'd discovered the difference between being penetrated and really known versus penetrated and just violated--needless to say, these thanks were sarcastic. (165-166)


A set of rules that govern how words are combined to form phrases and sentences.

All they needed was some hard study data showing unequivocally that human facilitators made a difference, that variable elements of their appearance and manner and syntax and/or even small personal tics of individual personality or attitude affected the Focus Groups' findings. (64)

No comments:

Post a Comment