Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
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 Post subject: End of Book - Hal/Orin - Spoilers
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:03 am 
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I know there's already a mammoth Hal thread going around but there's another side to this whole DMZ thing nobody's really looked at, as far as I know. I'm doing this without my book, so no pg numbers, just what I remember - could be wrong.

First of all how do we know that the DMZ is legitimate? Pemulis gets it from the Antitois who get it from some mysterious old man that also gives them the Entertainment, who as far as I know is some sort of Deus ex Machina. 1) Who is the old man? 2) Who's to say the DMZ is real?

Also, the ending seemed to suggest to me that Hal's about as far as he's ever been from wanting to experiment w/ DMZ. Isn't it a bit offensive to Hal, and ignorant of the direction in which Wallace is trying to go, to say that he'll just go and do something as irresponsible as that? It seems to me like the end is about people doing the right thing - Gately, the A.D.A., Hal - or at least they're trying to.
It's more than just pessimist/optimist, here, though. Isn't it more likely that Hal's bad SATs/Senior Year grades (remember they doctored all of them, he says early on) have to do with the moment of enlightenment/collapse of the psyche he has near the end?

To me the end as far as Hal is concerned is all about how, finally, his PinkFloydish wall of intellectual fluff is being torn down. And he can get out of the Anhedonic - if that's a word - hole he's been in since just about when Joelle entered her hole, and/or much earlier. He's finally able to do what he really should have done after Himself's death, with the grief therapist.


Re: Orin. What happened? Has anyone found a clue in the Year of Glad chapter or wherever as to whether he's still alive or not?


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 Post subject: Re: End of Book - Hal/Orin - Spoilers
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 1:23 pm 
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I'd never thought to look at Hal's behavior/affect in YG as a delayed-onset grieving of his father's death. This strikes me as true, but I'd like to stew on it/read more before I really jump in. Thanks so much for this thought-provoking post.


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 Post subject: Re: End of Book - Hal/Orin - Spoilers
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 2:30 pm 
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thelastbulgarian wrote:
Re: Orin. What happened? Has anyone found a clue in the Year of Glad chapter or wherever as to whether he's still alive or not?


The only clue explicitly in the text is that it is mentioned in the first chapter that Orin plays in the NFL. There's no mention that he played, so I feel that's a relatively safe assumption. Lord knows that if Orin died or something that CT would have certainly thrown it in as an excuse for Hal's behavior at some point in his mealy-mouthed verbal diarrhea to the admissions staff after Hal's breakdown.

The last we see of Orin, that he's trapped in a large, glass cage obviously reflecting his preferred cockroach-control method seems to be too surreal to really be happening as described. At the least he seemed to be in the middle of some level of torture or "technical interview," and perhaps he gave his interviewers what they wanted and was spared. He abandoned his family fairly easy (I honestly never saw his reasons as justified), so selling them out to the AFR or whoever wouldn't be out of character.


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 Post subject: Re: End of Book - Hal/Orin - Spoilers
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 3:10 pm 
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I agree, Hal would most likely have mentioned that Orin had died and I think you're right Convexity if O was dead CT would've figured out a way to spin it to Hal's favor w/r/t his breakdown.

As for Hal, well I feel like I'm going to have a breakdown tying to figure out what happened to him in the missing year and frankly what exactly is happening to him from the Eshcaton scene (the first I can recall that refers to him checking his face to see if the expression he thought he had he actually has) up until the end of the book. Interesting to think of it as a delayed grief reaction vs. the DMZ/mold/withdrawal. But given that we know there are AFR spies at ETA and the shoe with the DMZ stash is missing from the "relevant" panel, I think if Hal was dosed with DMZ I think it was by one or more of these spies (Wayne, Perrincourt, and whoever the other one is) not by Pemilus. Could even be possible he was gradually dosed with ever increasing quantities during the 10 or so days from Eschaton to 11/20, which might explain his getting progressively more disassociated during that time frame. I don't know, just a hastily formed thought.


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 Post subject: Re: End of Book - Hal/Orin - Spoilers
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:53 am 
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This is not at the end of the book but occurs at the end of Hal's and Orin's lengthy telephone conversation : after Hal describes toenails as vestiges of talons and horns, Orin says "what's the matter?" Then after Hal's next sentence Orin says, "Did this f* you up, me probing for details after all this time?" and finally "I can call back when you're more yourself" It seems to me that even this early on, Hal had some communication problems (besides the obvious oddness of his and Orin's talk to begin with.)


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 Post subject: Re: End of Book - Hal/Orin - Spoilers
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 7:07 am 
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Quote:
But given that we know there are AFR spies at ETA and the shoe with the DMZ stash is missing from the "relevant" panel, I think if Hal was dosed with DMZ I think it was by one or more of these spies (Wayne, Perrincourt, and whoever the other one is) not by Pemilus


Actually hadn't thought of that. Makes me wonder, though, why the AFR would dose Hal? As in, why not just give him the old technical interview?

That and it seems like Marathe's at least showing signs of crossing over once and for all, playing for the USA (he spares JvD's life, after all, and admits to himself that he had a hard time killing the Antitoi with the broom... kind of an O'Conner 'A Good Man is Hard to Find'-type moment if anything), and remember they do put him entirely in charge of the ETA affair. Seems slightly more likely that he somehow sabotage the ETA plan, maybe by doing something obvious (personal theory: remember in the last section about Loach, some of the restless ETAs go up out of the locker room and never return? What's up with that? It's like an ominous foreshadowy-type line...) and really out-in-the-open. I don't know, something about the Hal being dosed thing doesn't click...

joeminter, that's a very cool observation, thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: End of Book - Hal/Orin - Spoilers
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 8:37 pm 
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Does anyone think that Orin in the glass and then the cockroaches rushing in is reminiscent of "1984" and the scene where the face mask with the rats is used to torture Winston and he says "Do it to Julia!" Was Orin referring to the Moms, JvD, who????


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 Post subject: Re: End of Book - Hal/Orin - Spoilers
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 11:05 pm 
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jce711 wrote:
Does anyone think that Orin in the glass and then the cockroaches rushing in is reminiscent of "1984" and the scene where the face mask with the rats is used to torture Winston and he says "Do it to Julia!" Was Orin referring to the Moms, JvD, who????


I had the exact same thought when I first read that section. The whole set up is so reminiscent of "1984" and then the whole "Do it to her!" line seemed a little out of no where in re to IJ (unless if I've seriously missed somthing which is a real possibility). Myself, I like the thought that he's referring to JvD, though almost anyone seems odd since Orin seems really confused about what is actually going on during the 'interview'.


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 Post subject: Re: End of Book - Hal/Orin - Spoilers
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:07 pm 
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ellis wrote:
Does anyone think that Orin in the glass and then the cockroaches rushing in is reminiscent of "1984" and the scene where the face mask with the rats is used to torture Winston and he says "Do it to Julia!" Was Orin referring to the Moms, JvD, who????


I thought Orin was just referring to the "Swiss" hand model, his current Subject. Interesting thought that he could have been talking about JvD or Avril.


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 Post subject: Re: End of Book - Hal/Orin - Spoilers
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 12:50 pm 
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Marathe didn't capture JvD - it was Steeply & the ONAN group that brought her in, then subsequently let her go. Marathe went to Ennet House looking for Joelle, but I didn't ever see him find her.

Also, I'm pretty sure that Orin was talking about the Moms there - she seems to sit at the center of most of his neuroses (i.e. picking up young mothers and making them cheat on their husbands, because he always had an issue with Avril's infidelities) AND she's really OCD about cleanliness - thus she'd be almost as freaked out about the cockroaches as Orin.


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