Infinite Summery – Week 5

07.25.09 | 15 Comments

Milestone Reached: 369 (37%)

Chapters Read:

Page 306: An overview of the prorectors’ weekend courses (including “The Toothless Predator: Breast-Feeding as Sexual Assault”!), plus a description of some anti-O.N.A.N. activity by the separatists (mirrors across the road). This section includes the 14 112 17-page “endnote 110”, a conversation between Hal and Orin regarding the true motives of the separatists.

Page 312: The birth and life of Mario Incandenza.

page 317 – 30 APRIL / 1 MAY / YEAR OF THE DEPEND ADULT UNDERGARMENT: Marathe and Steeply discuss the American concept of freedom (e.g., freedom from, not freedom to).

Page 321 – 8 NOVEMBER / YEAR OF THE DEPEND ADULT UNDERGARMENT INTERDEPENDENCE DAY / GAUDEAMUS IGTUR: The E.T.A. students play Eschaton, The Atavistic Global-Nuclear-Conflict Game™.

Page 343 – 8 NOVEMBER / YEAR OF THE DEPEND ADULT UNDERGARMENT INTERDEPENDENCE DAY / GAUDEAMUS IGTUR: An exhaustive description of the Boston AA chapter and a meeting in which several speakers relate unthinkable horrors.

Characters The below is an abridgment of the Wikipedia Infinite Jest “Characters” section (with all spoilers stripped out):

The Incandenzas

  • James Orin Incandenza: Filmmaker, founder of the Enfield Tennis Academy, committed suicide by putting his head in a microwave over. Nicknames include Himself, The Mad Stork, and The Sad Stork.
  • Avril Incandenza (née Mondragon): Jame’s Widow, heavily involved in the running of E.T.A., affiliated with the Militant Grammarians. Nickname: The Moms.
  • Hal Incandenza: The youngest of the three Incandenza children. One of the novel’s protagonists.
  • Mario Incandenza: The middle child. Born with deformities; also a filmmaker (like his father).
  • Orin Incandenza: The elder Incandenza. A punter for the Arizona Cardinals, serial womanizer, and cockroach killer.
  • Charles Tavis: The head of E.T.A. since James Incandenza’s death. Avril’s half- or adoptive brother.

The Enfield Tennis Academy

  • Michael Pemulis: Hal’s best friend; prankster, drug dealer, undisputed Eschaton champion, and not destine for The Show.
  • John “No Relation” Wayne: The top-ranked player at ETA. John Wayne was discovered by James Incandenza during interviews of men named John Wayne for a film.
  • Other Prominent E.T.A. Students: Ortho “The Darkness” Stice, Jim Troelsch, Trevor (“The Axhandle”) Axford, Ann Kittenplan, Ted Schacht, LaMont Chu, U.S.S. Millicent Kent (tried to seduce Mario!).
  • Lyle: Sweat-licking guru who lives in the E.T.A. weight room and dispenses advice.

The Ennet House Drug and Alcohol Recovery House

  • Don Gately: Former thief and Demerol addict, now counselor in residence at the Ennet House.
  • Joelle Van Dyne (a.k.a “Madame Psychosis and P.G.O.A.T, The Prettiest Girl of All Time”): Radio talkshow host; former lover to Orin, starred in many of James Incandenza films; wears a veil.
  • Kate Gompert: A cannabinoid addict who suffers from extreme unipolar depression.
  • Pat Montesian: The Ennet House manager.
  • Ken Erdedy: A cannabinoid addict.
  • Bruce Green: Ex-husband of Mildred Bonk-Green.
  • Tiny Ewell A lawyer with dwarfism who is obsessed with tattoos.
  • Other Prominent Ennet House residents: Randy Lenz, Geoffrey Day, Emil Minty.


  • Hugh Steeply (a.k.a. Helen Steeply): Agent for the Office of Unspecified Services; currently in disguise as a female reporter profiling Orin.
  • Remy Marathe: Member of the Wheelchair Assassins (separatists) and quadruple-agent who secretly talks to Hugh Steeply.
  • Poor Tony Krause (P.T. Krause): Almost killed by Drano-spiked heroin, accidentally steals a woman’s artificial heart, has a seizure while in withdrawal.

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