So we’re a little bit more than half way through the week, which means to be on pace you probably want to be around page 60 or so (if not you can always catch up). Here are just a few of my thoughts on the first half of the reading (don’t forget to post your own at some point!):

  • As a few people have mentioned, the answer to the trivia question is that Infinite Jest comes from Hamlet, specifically the scene where Hamlet speaks to the skull of one “Poor Yorick.” Have you seen that name anywhere in the book (the footnotes perhaps?). This Hamlet reference makes Hal’s whole relationship with his dead father more interesting (here’s a line: Hal in the ambulance says “I think of John N. R. Wayne, who would have one this year’s WhataBurger, standing watch in a mask as Donald Gately and I dig up my father’s head.” (17)) What could this mean? What’s going on? I don’t really know…
  • We’ve met a lot of different people already–Hal, Mario, Don Gately, the medical attache (just to name a few)–do you find anyone’s story particularly enjoyable? Moving? Interesting? Is there one you relate to more than the others?
  • On page 55 there is a line which I think sums up DFW’s reason for writing the book: “The reason being it’s a lot easier to fix something if you can see it.” What is he trying to show us? What needs fixing?

Be sure to post your questions and comments whenever you get a chance, either here or at Hope the reading is going well, and don’t forget to check back on Wednesday for next week’s reading assignment and some more things to think about!

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