Been thinking that “complexly” in Infinite Jest was an example of a non-poetic repetition of a word; that unlike the word “nothing” in King Lear, for example, the repetition of which contributes to a undercurrent or subtext of meaning, I’d say, “complexly” was just a word that Wallace found useful and maybe over-used a touch.

However this passage from the Eschaton chapter has got me reconsidering that and thinking that complexity is an important theme of a work which is complicated itself. This and other passages in the segment at least suggest that complexity and the fascination with it –and being overwhelmed by it– is baked into the rest of what Hal has been going through with respect to drugs — is “marijuana thinking”:

Troeltsch says he for his own part wouldn’t be just sitting and lying there if any of the Little Buddies under his personal charge were out there getting potentially injured, and Hal reflects that he does feel a certain sort of intense anxiety, but can’t sort through the almost infinite-seeming implications of what Troeltsch is saying fast enough to determine whether the anxiety is over something about what he’s seeing or something in the connections between what Troeltsch is saying and the degree to which he’s absorbed in what’s going on out inside the fence, which is a degenerative chaos so complex in its disorder that it’s hard to tell whether it seems choreographed or simply chaotically disordered.

%d bloggers like this: