Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
It is currently Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:27 am

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: "I am in here."
PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 6:44 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 6:47 am
Posts: 63
Location: Brooklyn, NY
No spoilz or anything but: Spoiler! "when you read about The Final Party note what the guest asks when he knocks on the door of the bathroom Joelle is in. Another North American bathroom (!) just like the one Hal finds himself in at the beginning of the book, and at least a few other times so far."


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: "I am in here."
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 8:46 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 2:03 pm
Posts: 7
Location: Lynchburg, VA; Gambier, Ohio
I read somewhere on the site that it was another "Hamlet" allusion (are play titles in quotation marks or underlined?). The first two words of Hamlet are "Who's there?" and Hal responds with "I am." which I interpreted to be what the "I am in here" builds on.

I liked the spoiler dioramaorama provided, though.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: "I am in here."
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 4:29 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2009 7:54 pm
Posts: 11
I like that Hamlet (potential) tie-in, it has an elegance to it that works for me.

Whether or not that's correct, I understand the "I" to be Hal's consciousness (or soul), his "real" non-repressed/buried self, which has been silenced/unable to communicate with the outside world for whatever reason. We see in the YOG section that Hal is able to think, remember, reason normally, but he cannot "interface" with third parties; he is unable to make "I"-contact with others (forgive the pun). That's a good catch on the "what he sees as my eye" line -- I think that ties in, remembering that the "eyes are the window to the soul."

To put it another way, by this point, Hal's consciousness/soul is completely abstracted from/trapped within the "machine" of his highly-skilled body. The administrators rightly worry they would be viewed as "using" Hal (really, his tennis-playing machine), while Hal's "I"/consciousness internally protests "I am not just a machine." He is, literally, the dues ex machina -- the "ghost" trapped in the machine of his body.

As for how/why Hal's consciousness gets abstracted from / trapped within his body... Spoiler! "Near the end, as Hal enters his emotional crisis and begins to lose his ability to communicate normally, he has a vision of his body as an organic machine, consuming vast quantities of food and producing vast quantities of waste -- this is the perfect image for the "I" abstracted from / trapped within the body's machine, unable to know itself or communicate with others. There are lots of examples that suggest that Hal increasingly represses his emotional life, which is probably the process that culminates in his existential crisis."


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: "I am in here."
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 3:38 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2009 2:42 am
Posts: 75
Interesting note that on page 168, Jim's father (Hal's Grandfather) says "Can you understand...That I was in there, out in the heat, listening, webbed with nerves?"


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
Translated by Maël Soucaze © 2009 phpBB.fr