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Summaries

Infinite Summery – Week 1

06.27.09 | 47 Comments

Milestone Reached: Page 73 (7%)

Chapters Read:

Chapter Beginning Page Synopsis
YEAR OF GLAD 3 Hal interviews at the University of Arizona; in a flashback, Hal eats mold as a child.
YEAR OF THE DEPEND ADULT UNDERGARMENT 17 Erdedy awaits a delivery of pot.
1 APRIL — YEAR OF THE TUCKS MEDICATED PAD 27 Hal speaks with a “professional conversationalist”.
9 MAY — YEAR OF THE DEPEND ADULT UNDERGARMENT 32 Hal, sharing a room with his older brother Mario, receives a call from the eldest brother Orin
YEAR OF THE DEPEND ADULT UNDERGARMENT 33 A medical attaché discovers that his wife is out, and so selects an unmarked entertainment cartridge to watch.
YEAR OF THE TRIAL-SIZE DOVE BAR 37 Clenette describes Wardine, Wardine’s mother, and Roy Tony; Bruce Green falls in love with and eventually woos Mildred Bonk.
YEAR OF THE DEPEND ADULT UNDERGARMENT 39 Hal and Mario reminisce about their father (Himself) and his death; medical attaché continues to watch cartridge.
OCTOBER — YEAR OF THE DEPEND ADULT UNDERGARMENT 42 Orin kills roaches and wishes he could get rid of last night’s “Subject”.
YEAR OF THE DEPEND ADULT UNDERGARMENT 49 Hal smokes pot in the Pump Room.
AUTUMN — YEAR OF DAIRY PRODUCTS FROM THE AMERICAN HEARTLAND 55 Don Gatley accidentally kills a man while robbing his home.
3 NOVEMBER — YEAR OF THE DEPEND ADULT UNDERGARMENT 60 Jim Troelsch–a student at the Enfield Tennis Academy (ETA)–is sick; someone has a nightmare about a face in the floor (told in first-person).
AS OF YEAR OF THE DEPEND ADULT UNDERGARMENT 63 The history of ETA and its founder James Orin Incandenza (father to Hal, Orin, and Mario).
DENVER CO, 1 NOVEMBER YEAR OF THE DEPEND ADULT UNDERGARMENT 65 Orin glides into Mile High Stadium in a Cardinals costume; Michael Pemulis talks to his “Little Buddies” at ETA about drugs; Hal relates a dream that he used to have nightly.
YEAR OF THE DEPEND ADULT UNDERGARMENT 68 (continues to page 85) Kate Gompert is in the hospital, speaks about the depression her addition to pot engenders.

New Characters:

Characters in bold appear to be major.

YEAR OF GLAD (page 3)

  • Harold (Hal) James Incandenza: Protagonist. Student at the Enfield Tennis Academy; son of James Orin Incandenza and Avril Incandenza; younger brother to Orin Incandenza and Mario Incandenza.
  • Dr. Charles Tavis: Hal’s mother’s “adoptive brother”; accompanies Hal to University of Arizona interview.
  • Avril Mondragon Tavis Incandenza (“The Moms”): Wife to James Orin Incandenza, Mother to Orin, Mario, and Hal. Dean of Academic Affairs at ETA; grammarian supreme.
  • Aubrey F. deLint: ETA prorector.
  • Kirk White: University of Arizona Varsity Coach.
  • Mr. Sawyer: University of Arizona Dean of Academics.
  • Bill: University of Arizona Dean of Athletics.
  • Unnamed: Dean of Admissions, Dean of Composition.

YEAR OF THE DEPEND ADULT UNDERGARMENT (page 17)

  • Erdedy – Pot addict, who swears that each pot binge will be his last.
  • Unnamed: Female who promised to deliver pot to Eldedy.

1 APRIL — YEAR OF THE TUCKS MEDICATED PAD (page 27)

  • “Conversational Professional”: Possibly Himself in disguise.

9 MAY — YEAR OF THE DEPEND ADULT UNDERGARMENT (page 32)

  • Mario Incandenza: Older brother to Hal; has some sort of deformity.

YEAR OF THE DEPEND ADULT UNDERGARMENT (page 33)

  • Unnamed: Medical attaché (first to watch the mysterious, unnamed cartridge), Medical attaché’s wife.

YEAR OF THE TRIAL-SIZE DOVE BAR (page 37)

  • Clenette Henderson: Relates the story of Wardine.
  • Wardine: Clenette’s half-sister and friend who is beaten by Roy Tony.
  • Reginald: Wardine’s boyfriend.
  • Roy Tony: Dealer; Wardine’s mother’s “man”.
  • Delores Epps – Clenette’s friend.
  • Columbus Epps – Delores’ brother, killed by Roy Tony four years ago (over Clenette’s mother).
  • Unnamed: Wardine’s mother.
  • Bruce Green: Husband to Mildred L. Bonk; father to Harriet Bonk-Green.
  • Mildred L. Bonk: Wife to Bruce Green; mother to Harriet Bonk-Green.
  • Tommy Doocey: Harelipped pot-dealer (possibly the source of Erdedy’s pot).
  • Harriet Bonk-Green: Mildred and Bruce’s daughter

OCTOBER — YEAR OF THE DEPEND ADULT UNDERGARMENT (page 42)

  • Orin Incandenza: Eldest Incandenza brother. Plays football, sleeps with “subjects”, hates roaches.

AUTUMN — YEAR OF DAIRY PRODUCTS FROM THE AMERICAN HEARTLAND (page 55)

  • Donald “Don” W. Gately: Enormous guy (over 6 ft., close to 300 lbs), thief, murderer (albeit by accident), and “active drug addict”.
  • Guillaume DuPlessis: Homeowner killed by Gately.
  • Trent ‘Quo Vadis’ Kite: Gately’s “associate”.

3 NOVEMBER — YEAR OF THE DEPEND ADULT UNDERGARMENT (page 60)

  • Jim Troelsch: Ill member of the 18s B squad at ETA.

AS OF YEAR OF THE DEPEND ADULT UNDERGARMENT (page 63)

  • Dr. James Orin Incandenza (“Himself”): Husband of Avril, father to Orin, Mario, and Hal. Founder of ETA, filmmaker, inventor. Died in The Year of the Trial-Sized Dove Bar.

DENVER CO, 1 NOVEMBER YEAR OF THE DEPEND ADULT UNDERGARMENT (page 65)

  • Michael Pemulis: Member of the 18s B squad at ETA; friend to Hal and Mario.

YEAR OF THE DEPEND ADULT UNDERGARMENT (page 68)

  • Kathrine “Kate” Ann Gompert: Pot addict, depressive. First seen in hospital.
  • Unnamed: Kate’s doctor.
  • Gerhardt Schtitt: Head Coach and Athletic Director at E.T.A. Old; borderline fascist; friends with Mario.

Vocabulary: We we originally planning to have a weekly “vocab dump” as part of the summaries, but that now strikes us as unnecessary. For one thing, most readers appear to have have taken to heart the suggestion that IJ be read with the OED at hand. For another, the Infinite Jest Wiki lists most 37¢-words and definitions by page number, and the Infinite Jest Vocabulary Glossary is also available for perusal.

Sources consulted during the compilation of this summation: the Infinite Jest Character Profiles (author unknown), Ben’s Infinite Spreadsheet, Dr. Keith O’Neil’s Infinite Jest Reader’s Guide, and Steve Russillo’s Chapter Thumbnails.

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