INFINITE JEST readalong pp 809-854

Imagine this on Gately's forehead

Imagine this on Gately's forehead

And, once more into the fray as we begin the last chapter, 28, of Infinite Jest.

I’m going to jump right into the summaries. This chapter reminded me of the run-on ones in Ulysses where breaks were few and far between.

pp 809-827 The return of Don Gately! Yay! Don is one of my favorite fictional characters. I might even be a little in love with him. He’s in the hospital, the ceiling is breathing, and Otis Lord whose head is in a TP post-Eschaton is next to him in the room. Don keeps having bad dreams and people keep showing up and sharing deeply personal stuff with him. He’s in pain, not on drugs, and can’t respond.

pp 827-845 More Gately, and a ghost, and it’s JOI, and Gately wonders why JOI isn’t haunting his son, but hey, maybe that’s why Hamlet went mad, seeing his dad’s ghost and all. Ghosts apparently can zip around really fast, and appearing to someone and talking with them in their head is really difficult.

pp 845-846 is a short section, but things come together. Randy Lenz is the worst, isn’t he? And, well, poor Tony. Canadians are going to do bad things but in the service of their country, so that makes it OK. Where is Kate?

pp 846-851 Gately dreams of Joelle and there’s more tragic backstory. Gah.

pp 851-854 Hal returns, in first-person POV! 20 November is four days after the Gately section, and is in the period between Interdependence Day (hence the Gaudeamus at the start of the section) and the Whataburger tournament, and there’s supposed to be an exhibition with kids from Canada, though we know they’re going to be delayed and replaced with AFR guys after mirror shenanigans(though usually it’s the FLQ who do mirror stuff) .

Hey, aside from the moderator here. I just learned TODAY that Whataburger is an actual southwest purveyer of burgers! I thought it was just an IJ joke, a fake company.

And, that brings us to the end of this week’s section. Who’s still with me?

A favorite sentence, though this section had many great ones:

“The whole right side of himself hurt so bad each breath was like a hard decision.” (818)

Just three more sections/weeks till we finish on November 10, just in time for the next Minneapolis meeting at Indeed Brewing of Books and Bars, which will be for Neil Gaiman’s Graveyard Book, as some of you know.

10/27 pp 854-902
11/3 pp 902-941
11/10 941-981 THE END

One Response to “INFINITE JEST readalong pp 809-854”

  1. V Says:

    I am surprised how this read I find more interest in Gately than anything at the tennis academy.

    One worry in the back of my head throughout the read is that I could track the time jumps, because I totally missed this one. The new years are too jarring.

    But I thought my favorite part were the people dumping their fears and worries into a half-conscious Gately, an empty confession booth as I think he termed it. The Wraith portions took a lot of concentration but I found it worth the effort, too.