Marathe, he of the name I would not utter (see previous post), and also of The Wheelchair Assassins, has been revealed, only one episode later, as a (the?) central figure in Infinite Jest. So central, in fact, that he may have just been responsible for expressing the main thesis of the novel:
Our attachments are our temple, what we worship, no? What we give ourselves to, what we invest with faith…Choose your fanaticisms carefully. Choose your temples of fanaticism with great care.
Pretty much every character, including Hal himself, is dealing with some sort of addiction. There also seems to be a lot of meta-commentary about the state of American consumerism. DFW seems to be equating drug addiction and consumerism with this temple of fanaticism.
He’s right. We should choose our temple of fanaticism with great care. Sports was a poor choice. Especially if you’re a Knicks fan (thankfully I’m not).
We also learned a great deal more about Hal, and the social and academic dynamics at ETA. As well as more insight into the calendar that’s in vogue in Infinite Jest. They refer to the years before subsidization as B.S., as in 1979 B.S.
Next, I’m going to read footnote 304, since it was referred to again. Wish me luck!
Vocab Word: Sangfroid Coolness, indifference, absence of excitement or agitation.
You are reading my live blog of Infinite Jest. Start at the beginning.