Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
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 Post subject: Page 3 to 63 - WITH SPOILERS! For re-readers.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 3:37 am 

Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2009 2:42 am
Posts: 75
Warning: This forum is for re-readers and WILL contain spoilers. We can not be held responsible for any damage to your head that may be caused by your reading, glancing or perusing these messages.

Something I ate - I have read a lot about what happened to Hal between the beginning and the end, but I don't think there is anything conclusive. Maybe it doesn't matter. During this re-read, I know Hal has an addiction and too much pot could be his obvious problem, but maybe the deeper issue is he "ate" from the tree of knowledge as Eve ate the apple.

By this I mean, maybe he just got to the point where he sees through the absurdity of the show and his life up to this point. He has all of these internal thoughts and struggles and he's just tired of being able to "function" as a great tennis player and not a person.

 Post subject: Re: Page 3 to 63 - WITH SPOILERS! For re-readers.
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 2:58 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 6:58 pm
Posts: 13
I think I was just struck by how much attention Hal was paid by the Moms when he came upstairs having eaten the mold/shroom/whatever. (p. 10 ff The Moms looses her shit, shrieking, holding the mold aloft, running back and forth within the very tightly prescribed lines of the garden. Imagine the impression ingesting something we assume is hallucinogenic when you were very young. Your own physical/psychological reactions would be weird enough; to have your slightly 'round-the-bend grammarian mother add to the drama with her responses would make for a really memorable, possibly not altogether unpleasant memory.

Hal starts the recollection with "It's funny what you don't recall." Not only do we forget or fail to recall incidents throughout our lives, we often fail to recall the importance or significance of an incident accurately once time's put some distance between us and whatever it is that happened.

Hal sketches the scene as a first encounter of the otherworldliness he's going to feel throughout his life, whether substance-induced or not. Does he know that it's a sentinel event in his adiction history? Probably not.

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 Post subject: Re: Page 3 to 63 - WITH SPOILERS! For re-readers.
PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:59 am 

Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 7:08 am
Posts: 48
I'm inclined to assume, at this point, that what we're being given the hints to here is that Hal in"jest"ed the "incredibly potent DMZ"--but that he did not do so knowingly. Pemulis's stash is raided, which means the double-agent John Wayne might've dosed him--or Pemulis himself, trying to get back at the school that just kicked him out, might have decided to dose Hal. The hint that Hal hasn't done so intentionally is what you've pointed out above: "It's funny what you don't remember." That is, in all the times he describes the mold scene, he's never actually speaking from memory--only from what others have said. (Which supports the idea that he could be narrating the entire book, filling in the blank bits with sections that he's heard from others he's met--like Gately, who could fill him in on C, Emil, &c.

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