#InfWin – Week 1: Jan 31 -Feb 8

The Silence and Speech of Hal Incandenza

*am compiling relevant posts from our subreddit w/ intentions of exploring this further

[–]Nutmegger1980 2 points 12 hours ago

Allusions to both Hamlet and the Metamorphosis of course. But I wonder whether his inability to speak is due to withdrawal from his pot addiction or is somehow related to his father’s inability to hear him (i.e. his view of his son as essentially mute.) Or perhaps a nervous breakdown from the stress of competitive tennis, his father’s death, and his mother’s various dalliances?

[–]Edraso 3 points 11 hours ago

Hal says: “Call it something I ate,” and then goes on to describe a childhood memory in a flashback sequence.

[–]MuratedNation 2 points 11 hours ago

Since this is also “the end” in the timeline of the book, there is the theory that he ate the DMZ, which we wouldn’t connect until rereading this section after finishing the book. I’ve always been a little hesitant on the DMZ theory but now I’m a little more on board.

[–]makingabirdhouse 7 points 9 hours ago

The Aaron Swartz version of the DMZ theory is the most convincing to me. It says that the James Incandenza wraith dosed Hal’s toothbrush with the DMZ (a mold that grows on mold) in order to counteract the effect of the mold he ate a child. Whereas Hal had always been able to communicate brilliantly, he was unable to feel real emotion. The DMZ had the effect of reversing this situation. You can find the whole thinghere

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