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Infinite Summer • View topic - What happened to Hal? (Spoilers)

Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
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 Post subject: Re: What happened to Hal? (Spoilers)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:54 am 
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 Post subject: Re: What happened to Hal? (Spoilers)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:17 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: What happened to Hal? (Spoilers)
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:04 am 
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Or to Gately. Or to Pemulis. Or to Orin. Or to Joelle. Or to John Wayne. Or to the AFR's plan to invade ETA. Or to the master copy of the Entertainment. Or to the future of the fictional world of IJ during the Year of Glad: n. 114 (p. 1022) reveals that the Year of Glad was "the very last year of O.N.A.N.ite Subsidized Time" [my emphasis].

The very last year?!?! What happened?

Beats me.


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 Post subject: Re: What happened to Hal? (Spoilers)
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:55 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: What happened to Hal? (Spoilers)
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 5:27 am 
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 Post subject: Re: What happened to Hal? (Spoilers)
PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 1:07 pm 
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w/r/t the digging up of the head - I hate being all picky about this, but I've always thought this was more likely to be something implanted in both Hal's and Gately's heads by the wraith of JOI, since it is explained in the phone conversation with Orin that in eliminating his own map JOI had also (literally) obliterated his own skull...whence so, the head? (Or did I miss something?) Implication being that (for some reason JOI and Lyle (Through astral traveling? He's not dead is he?) are trying to forge a non-corporeally-existent link between the wounded psyches of both Hal and Don G. For what possible reason, I can't fathom, other than a sense of injustice at how they end up (seems to me that Himself was big on confronting injustice), and for the sake of another Hamlet reference.

I'm of the more (pedestrian?) opinion that Hal's decline is a combination of delayed response to childhood ingestion of unsynthesized basement-sourced DMZ combined with a serious depression which had heretofore been masked by Hope (in every sense of the word). I think the Pemulis-sourced DMZ is a MacGuffin, there only to explain the effects of this meta-mold, in a foreshadow-y way.

But, yeah, I don't really know.


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 Post subject: Re: What happened to Hal? (Spoilers)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 8:19 am 
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My experience is that while reading the novel, I never really connected Chapter 1 with anything else, and had essentially forgotten it. When I got to the end (WTF?), I went back and looked for chapters that occurred chronologically later than November of YDAU, and thereby discovered that Chapter 1 was the only one.

Is this anyone else's experience?


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 Post subject: Re: What happened to Hal? (Spoilers)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 12:37 pm 
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For me at least, the first chapter hung over my entire reading. This could be because I read it (the chapter) twice when I started, stopped, and then later started the book again.... but I've read many people expressing the "oh-man-what-was-the-deal-with-that" feeling lingering throughout their journey. The basic questions that the opening create for me are: 1) Why the disconnect between Hal's feeling of being able to communicate, "I could, if you'd let me, talk and talk. Let's talk about anything," and the administrators' inability to understand him?, and 2) "I am in here." Who? Where? These questions are basic, and therefore inane, obvious, and/or impossible to answer. If the book doesn't supply an answer to "what happened to Hal," it does offer a 1000 page answer to "who," "where", and, least basic, "Why?"


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 Post subject: Re: What happened to Hal? (Spoilers)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 2:08 pm 
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I'm also struck with Hal's "I am in here," vs. the Gately's oft-used phrase "Out There," i.e., not in AA, still abusing substances.


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 Post subject: Re: What happened to Hal? (Spoilers)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 4:43 pm 
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