Infinite Jest on Reddit

After reading Infinite Jest again this past summer I made the experiment of posting a few things on the Reddit page devoted to the topic:

Pretending to need to sniff
Heads and Shoulders in the Room
— Squeaks: (1) (2)

My experience of Reddit, though mainly limited to this, was that, though often the posts themselves are of a fairly basic or social character, the commentariat is quite helpful and often extremely knowledgeable, which most comes out when there are posts that ask the community about basic aspects of the book.

(As I think of it, I’ve had a similar experience with the ancient Greek “subreddit” — serious commenters, less serious posts.)

Probably this comment from commenter “ahighthyme” was the most personally enlightening to me, helping to explain Don Gately’s dream near the end of Infinite Jest:

The idea of digging up a head with some kid (he doesn’t yet know Hal, or anything about something believed to be buried in a dead guy’s head) is being put into Gately’s head by James’ wraith, just like the other ghost words he didn’t know. He’s simply baiting Gately to follow through by including naked Joelle and giant bags of corporate snacks—which Gately can’t resist—in order to prevent a Continental Emergency by showing AFR agent Wayne that the supposed master cartridge everyone’s trying to find was always just James’ head, which obviously no longer exists because it was blown to bits.

%d bloggers like this: