Infinite Jest Readalong ch 23, 380-442

The last section, which alternated between Eschaton and Boston AA, was about triggering situations. This section (the 23rd moon) is about hygienic stress. I’m going to both recap and comment, so let’s see how this goes. I’m writing this well in advance of the pub date of this post–look at me; I’m so responsible!

P 380:


Mario’s puppet film adaptation of his dad’s ONANtiad, explaining Gentle’s administration, Tine’s role (did he remind anyone else of Dick Cheney, written years before Cheney held power?), and how the convexity/concavity came to be.

p. 386. Lyle and a kid named Marlon Bain who sweats a lot. David Foster Wallace also had problems with excess sweat. Lyle counsels other kids who sneak out of the film to get advice.

p. 390 more Mario’s movie, with alternating headlines, some of which we’re told is false. This is an interesting echo: DFW put a lot of fiction in his “fact” non-fiction writing, and a lot of fact in his fiction. Hard to tell sometimes which is which.

p. 394 “Do not underestimate objects” says Lyle to Ortho Stice, whose room gets rearranged while he sleeps.

p. 395 Hal thinks about some of JOI’s movies

398: more headlines and puppet movie

407: The Eric Clipperton story, about the kid who brought a Glock onto the court and threatened to shoot himself. It mirrors how Gentle threatens to bomb his own territory.

410: Hal, and the history of advertising, the fall of network TV and advertising.


Marathe and Steeply argue about soup, and personal choice. Steeply doesn’t have a lot of ground to stand on, so to speak.

430 Clipperton is accidentally properly ranked, flips out and visits ETA. There was video of Clipperton when he finally shot himself, in the company of Mario and JOI, but it was buried with JOI along with a bunch of other stuff.

434 Yay, back to Don Gately, who “sunlights on the side.” Wow, how about that job, eh? I thought my “secretary at a tanning salon having to wipe up people’s sweat” was bad.

436 The sad Nestle Quik story feeds back into Mario’s film and we are shown how the subsidized time came to be based on naming rights and Chinese menus.

One Response to “Infinite Jest Readalong ch 23, 380-442”

  1. Heidi Says:

    Can’t in all honesty say it’s a favorite section of mine either. May or may not have skimmed the entire puppet theater/film thingie. Or, to quote a line about M. Steeply, “His expression was one of patience together with polite impatience.” p.428