I’m late in posting on Infinite Jest, and it looks like some people might have actually checked on this site since I mentioned that I’d be turning into a journal on IJ starting June 21. Well, I’ve been reading and writing a lot elsewhere so this has taken a back seat. This will be brief, but I’m not going to neglect the summer journal completely.

When I first started reading Infinite Jest, I was really reading into it and trying to interpret or guess the meaning of certain events. For example, when Hal goes on and on about what a voracious reader he is and that he doesn’t just read, but he also thinks and feels, and it appears as though he’s having a seizure… Well, I immediately started wondering whether he was physically incapable of articulating all these thoughts. Instead, it seemed like his attempt to get this all out came out as a seizure. Hal then says he can’t make himself clear and says, “Call it something I ate.” We’re then told about an incident in which Hal was a child and unable to articulate his thoughts after eating a chunk of mold. I can see the symbolism, but I also wondered whether the eating of the mold caused some sort of lasting effect on Hal and ultimately caused his seizures. That’s when I started thinking, “Okay, I’m reading way too much into this. Why don’t I just wait and see what’s actually happening? Why don’t I trust the author like everyone has been saying?”

I stopped analyzing every little thing and went on with it, paying close attention but not looking for some deeper meaning to it all. Not just yet, anyway. More on the other characters tomorrow.