Infinite Jest: a scene-by-scene guide

Ch.

Scene

Page #

Year

Synopsis

1

1

3-10

YEAR OF GLAD

Hal narrates, Interview with University of Arizona Deans. Questions regarding Hal's rather stellar record.

 

2

10-11

(unspecified)

Hal narrates. Eating the mold.

 

3

11-13

YG 

Hal attempts to explain his record to the deans. Is there something wrong with his voice?

 

4

13-15

YG

Hal restrained in a U of AZ men's room

 

5

15-17

YG

Hal is taken away in an ambulance

2

6

17-26

YEAR OF THE DEPEND ADULT UNDER-GARMENT

Steve Erdedy, preparing for a marijuana binge, waits for a woman to deliver the goods.

3

7

27-31

YEAR OF THE TUCKS MEDICATED PAD

4/1: 12-year-old Hal goes to see a "conversation" doctor; it turns out to be his father in disguise. 

4

8

32-33

YDAU 

5/9: Hal gets phone call from Orin, Mario wakes up

5

9

33-37

YDAU

4/1: The medical attaché comes home to relax and watch some "Entertainment"

 

10

37-38

YEAR OF THE TRIAL-SIZED DOVE BAR

Clenette narrates, tells a tale about her friend Wardine's abusive family

 

11

38-39

(unspecified)

The tale of Bruce Green and Mildred Bonk

6

12

 39-42

YDAU

Hal and Mario in their room at night. They discuss Himself's funeral.

 

13

42

YDAU

 4/1: medical attaché is still watching...

 

14

42- 49

YDAU 

10/?: Orin wakes up in AZ, wishes last night's "Subject" would leave.

7

15

49-54

YDAU

17 yr. old Hal getting high in the basement of Enfield Tennis Academy

 

16

55- 60

YEAR OF DAIRY PRODUCTS FROM THE AMERICAN HEARTLAND

Autumn: Don Gately's criminal career comes to an end after accidentally murdering a Canadian VIP during a robbery. This VIP has ties to various anti-O.N.A.N. groups 

 

17

60

YDAU

Description of a state-of-the-art teleputer

 

18

60-61

YDAU

11/3: Troelsch sick in bed at ETA

 

19 

60-63

(unspecified)

1st(/2nd ?) person: description of 12 yr old's nightmare at E. T. A. 

20

63-64

(as of) YDAU

Brief description and history of ETA and its founder, James O. Incandenza

 

21

65-66

YDAU

11/1: Orin at football practice

9

22

66-67

YDAU

Michael Pemulis, as "Big Buddy," talks about drugs to his younger charges

 

23

67-68

YDAU

1st person: Hal, after a bong hit, relates a tennis dream

10

24

68-78

YDAU

Kate Gompert explains the extent of her addiction to marijuana ("Bob Hope") to a young doctor 

 

25

78-79

YDAU

4/2: the medical attaché's wife returns home...

 

26

79-85

YDAU

Gerhardt Schtitt and Mario talk game theory

 

27

85-87

YDAU

Tiny Ewell and an unnamed passenger are transported to the Enfiled Marine VA hospital

11 

28

87

YDAU

4/2: the list of people who have come to the medical attaché's house to look for him...

 

29

87-92

YDAU

4/30: Tuscon, AZ Maranthe and special agent Hugh Steeply (in drag) meet on a hillside to discuss the appearance, earlier that month, of a special form of Entertainment

 

30

93

(unspecified)

Description of a herd of feral hamsters in the Great Concavity

 

31

93-95

YDAU

4/30: Maranthe and Steeply continued

 

32

95-97

YDAU

11/3: locker room banter at ETA. Troelsch, Pemulis, Wayne, Stice, Struck, Freer and Hal are present

 

33

97

YDAU

4/30: Maranthe and Steeply continued. Sunset.

 

34

97-105

YDAU

More banter in the locker room. Complaints about Schtitt's expectations of them 

 

35

105-108

YDAU

4/30: Maranthe and Steeply continued. Talk of love...

 

36

109-121

YDAU

11/3: Hal with his "little buddies" (Kent Blott, Idris Arslanian, Ingersol). He convinces them that their resentment of Schtitt is engineered by Schtitt and his staff. Switches to John (NR) Wayne, Troelsch, Struck, and Stice, each with his group of younger students. 

 

37

121-126

YDAU

Mid-Oct.: "Mario Incandenza's First and Only Even Remotely Romantic Experience, Thus Far." It is indeed only remote, with the "USS" Millicent Kent

 

38

126-127

YDAU 

4/30: Maranthe and Steeply continued.

 

39

127

YDAU

4/30: Maranthe and Steeply continued. (One line.)

12

40

127-128

YDAU

First description of the ETA's oiled guru, Lyle

 

41

128-135

(unspecified) 

"yrstruly" narrates a gruesome story involving C, Poor Tony, and the despicable Dr. Wo in Chinatown. C od's

13

42

135-137

YDAU

11/3: Hal receives a phone call from Orin O. asks him about Canadian Separatism.

 

43

137-138

(unspecified) 

Introduction to the Ennet House Drug and Alcohol Recovery House (sic)

 

44

138-140

YEAR OF DAIRY PRODUCTS FROM THE AMERICAN HEARTLAND

Excerpt from a letter to State Farm detailing a bricklayer's bizarre accident. This is perhaps Wallace's most obvious example of borrowing from urban myths. 

 

45

140-142

YEAR OF THE PERDUE WONDER-
CHICKEN

Hal's seventh-grade essay comparing "Hawaii-Five-O"'s Steve McGarrett with "Hill Street Blues"'s Frank Furillo. The latter is a post-modern, more complicated, and perhaps too mild hero.

 

46

142-144

YDAU

8/10: "Helen" Steeply's Moment article about a woman who carried her artificial heart in her purse. She was mugged... [Poor Tony was the purse snatcher.] 

 

47

144

(unspecified)

Alphabetic list of anti-ONAN groups.

 

48

144-151

(unspecified)

Why Videophony didn't work

14

49

151-156

YDAU

10/15: Urine tests at ETA, Pemulis sells clean samples

15

50

157-168

1960

James Incandenza's father narrates, addressing 10 yr old Jim. Discusses Marlon Brando, tennis, and his own father's reaction when he blew out his knee at a match. 

 

51

169-171

YDAU

11/4: Pemulis scores some DMZ (Madame Psychosis). 

 

52

172-176

YEAR OF THE
SHITSU 2007
MIMETIC-
RESOLUTION-
CARTRIDGE- VIEW-
MOTHERBOARD-
EASY-TO-INSTALL
UPGRADE FOR
INFERNATRON/
INTERLACE TP
SYSTEMS FOR
HOME, OFFICE
OR MOBILE (sic)

Hal's narration of Tennis and the Feral Prodigy, a film by Mario Incandenza

 

53

176-181

YDAU

11/5: Selected transcripts from Patricia Montesian's Log at Ennet House. Voices of recovering drug and alcohol abusers.

16

54

181-193

YDAU

Late Oct: at WYYY, Sixty Minutes More or Less with Madame Psychosis, is about to go on. The late shift engineer goes to the roof to drink a Millennial Fizzy and listen top the show. Mario, with Hal at HmH, listens to the show.

 

55

 193-198

YDAU

Description of Unit #'s 1-7 of Ennet House

 

56

198-200

YDAU

11/6: Freer and Kornspan work out while Rader consults with Lyle. Pemulis eavesdrops.

 

57

200-210 

YDAU

More detailed introduction to Ennet House and its residents. Tiny Ewell's obsession with tattoos.

 

58

211-219

YDAU

Michael Pemulis explains that he has scored some DMZ, the "Yale U. of the Ivy League of Acid" from some Canadian insurgents. The boys decide to plan on taking it the weekend before the WhataBurger Invitational, 11/20-21 

17

59

219-223 

YDAU

11/7: Joelle Van Dyne, star of Jim Incandenza's movies, goes to Molly Notkin's MA thesis party. 

 

60

223

YG

Chronology of Subsidized Time

 

61

223-226

YDAU 

Joelle thinks about Orin and his father, the "world's best hailer of Boston cabs."

 

62

227

YDAU

Helen P. Steeply's (Putative) Curriculum Vitae

 

63

227-240

YDAU

Joelle attempts to overdose in the bathroom at a party of cinema graduate students

18

64

240-242

YDAU 

Geographical description of Enfield, MA

 

65

242-258

YDAU

11/5: Hal and Orin on the telephone. Now Orin wants to discuss Himself's suicide. (He put his head in a microwave.) Meanwhile, Hal is clipping his toenails and making miraculous shots into the wastepaper basket.

19

66 

258-270

YDAU

11/6: Tennis meet at Port Washington Tennis Academy, Long Island, NY. Descriptions of Hal and John ("No Relation") Wayne playing their respective games. Pemulis gets sick Schacht plays a French-Canadian.

 

67

270-281

YDAU

Gately (substance-free for 421 days) is now staff Ennet House. Geoffrey Day, Charlotte Treat, Randy Lenz all appear.

 

68 

281-283

YDAU

ETA returns from Long Island Triumphant

20

69

283-299

(unspecified)

The story of Orin and Joelle, the Prettiest Girl of All Time (PGOAT). His switch from tennis to football in college.

 

70 

299-306

YDAU

11/14: Poor Tony goes through withdrawal in the bathroom stall of a Boston public library.

21 

71

306-312

YDAU

11/6: description of ETA's Saturday academic classes. Ex.: Mary Esther Thode's "The Personal is the Political is the pathological." Ex. of an exam on psychopathological double-binds. Troelsch's broadcast of the morning's games on WETA (ETA's intercom). Hal is in Theirry Poutrincourt's class on Canadian political history. Some details of anti-ONAN activity (large mirrors across highways) 

 

72

312-317 

(unspecified)

Mario's surprise birth, and a description of some of his deformaties.

 

73

317-321 

YDAU

4/30-5/1: Maranthe and Steeply continued.

22

74

321-342 

YDAU

11/8: Interdependence Day. A game of Eschaton.

 

75

343-367

YDAU 

11/8: Boston AA meeting. Description of several speakers, (a "fifty year old immigrant" waxes eloquently about his first solid bowel movement in years) and the "crocodiles." Gately is curious about new girl Joelle.

 

76

367 

(unspecified)

The Statue of Liberty's product is changed every Jan 1.

 

77

367-375 

YDAU

Boston AA meeting. A young girl describes her foster father sexually abusing her paraplegic stepsister... 

 

78

375

YDAU

4/30-5/1: Maranthe and Steeply continued.

 

79

375-376

(unspecified)

James Incandenza's Found Drama came out of a late-night session with Lyle 

 

80

376-379

YDAU

11/8: Boston AA meeting. Story of baby's death. 

 

81

379

(unspecified) 

James Incandenza and Lyle in the weight room.

23

82

380-386

YDAU

11/8: Mario Incandenza's film interpretation of the formation of ONAN

 

83

386-394 

YDAU

11/8: Lyle in the weightroom with sweaty ETA student Marlon and others (Anton "Booger" Douchette...) Return to Mario's film, which is now covering major political events with a montage of newspaper headlines. History of Johnny Genlte's CUSP and the Gre at Concavity. 

 

84

394-395

YDAU

11/8: Lyle tells Ortho "The Darkness" Stice, "Do not underestimate objects." Stice's bed has been moving at night.

 

85

395-398

YDAU

11/8: Hal watching Mario's film. Description of Himself's The Medusa vs. the Odalisque and THE JOKE.

 

86

398-410

YDAU

11/8: Continuation of Mario's film, with more headlines and a puppet show of Gentle and Rodney Tine, Chief, US Office of Unspecified Services. The story of legendary tennis player Eric Clipperton and his Glock 17 semiautomatic.

 

87

410-418

YDAU

11/8: Hal watching Mario's film. History of Interlace, proliferation of advertising, and garbage in space.

 

88

418-430

YDAU

4/30-5/1: Maranthe and Steeply continued.

 

89

430-434

(unspecified)

Eric Clipperton's death.

 

90

434-436

YDAU

Gately's other job, cleaning bathrooms.

 

91

436-442

YDAU

Mario's film continued. More headlines and puppet's. The origin of subsidized time.

24

92

442-449

YDAU

Gately's relationship with the crocodiles. He remembers the death of his mother.

 

93

449-450

YDAU

Very late Oct: Hal's bad dream. 

 

94

450-461

YDAU

11/9: Morning drills at ETA. 

 

95

461-469

YDAU

Don Gately's responsibilities at Ennet House. His boss, Pat Montesian.

 

96

470-475

YDAU

Pre-dawn 5/1: Maranthe and Steeply continued. Discussion of BS gov't experiments on human subjects...

 

97

475-489

YDAU

 Gately out in Pat M.'s car . Interesting shift, via a piece of garbage, to Lucien and Bertraud Anitoi's store. Arrival of and interrogation by the dreaded ATF

25

98

490-491 

YDAU

 Pre-dawn 5/1: Maranthe and Steeply continued.

 

99

491-503 

1963

Jim Incandenza helps his father fix a mattress...

 

100 

503-507 

YDAU

At a NA meeting, Ken Erdedy gets a hug.

 

101 

507-508 

YDAU

Maranthe and Steeply continued.

 

102 

508-527 

YDAU

Hal anticipate an official scolding from Charles Tavis for the Eschaton game. He waits in "Lateral" Alice Moore's office, overhears Avril counseling the pre-teen female ETAs. 

 

103 

528-530

YDAU

Pre-dawn and 5/1: Maranthe and Steeply continued.

 

104 

531-538

YDAU

11/11: Discussion between Gately and Joelle. The latter explains her membership in UHID

26

105 

538-547

YDAU

Randy Lenz discovers his penchant for killing animals. 

 

106 

548

YDAU

No door at Ennet House... 

 

107 

548-549

YDAU

Early Nov: Rodney Tine and his special metric ruler.

 

108 

550-553

YDAU

Pemulis interrupts John Wayne and Avril Incandenza in a game of sexual football. 

 

109 

553-559

YDAU

Randy Lenz and Bruce Green walking Boston at night.

 

110 

560

YDAU

Hal in bed after lunch. John Wayne stops by.

 

111 

560-562

YDAU

Randy Lenz and Bruce Green walking Boston at night.

 

112 

563-565

YDAU 

11/11: Selected snippets of Gately's interactions with Ennet House residents.

 

113

565-567

YDAU

Orin and a Swiss hand model in a motel room.

 

114 

567-574

YDAU

Idris Arslanian, in a blindfold, runs into first Ted Schacht, then Mike Pemulis. 

 

115 

574-575

YDAU

 Orin at motel door with a man in a wheelchair.

 

116

575-589

YDAU

Bruce Green and Randy Lenz. Green remembers the death of his mother (coiled toy snake in a can). Lenz separates, kills a dog tied up in yard of a house having a Hawaiian party. 

 

117 

589-593

YDAU

Mario, who can't sleep, walks outside. 

 

118

593-596 

YDAU

More of Gately's responsibilities at Ennet House. 

 

119 

596-601

YDAU

Still at the motel door, Orin answers the man in the wheelchair's "survey." 

 

120

601-619

YDAU

Gately's showdown with the Canadians. Gately seriously wounded. 

27

121

620-626

YDAU

"The new millennium's passion for standing live witness to things." Grad student engineer for WYYY is kidnapped by a man in a wheelchair.

 

122

627-638

YDAU

11/11: Suppertime at ETA. Troelsch's conspiracy theory that the milk is powdered.

 

123 

638-648

YDAU

5/1: Maranthe and Steeply continued. Steeply's father's addiction to BS-era show "M*A*S*H."

 

124 

648-651 

YDAU

11/13: Kate Gompert, Geoffrey Day, and Bruce Green late-night rap session. Day describes the "large, dark, billowing, black shape" he's felt twice in his life.

 

125

651-662

YDAU

11/11: The match between Stice and Hal. Narrrative "clicks" to scan Gatley, Poor Tony, Pemulis and Struck, Steeply's sedan, CT, and even Orin in AZ. Steeply chats with Aubrey deLint as they watch the match. 

 

126 

663-665

YDAU

Epistolary exchange between Steeply and Marlon Bain, friend of Orin's during adolescence. 

 

127 

666-673 

YDAU

11/11: sub-14 males in ETA's tunnels on clean-up detail. There are rumors of feral hamsters, but instead they find a refrigerator full of rotting food.

 

128 

673-682

YDAU

11/11: Steeply speaks, in French, to female prorector Thierry Poutrincourt.

 

129 

682-686

YDAU

11/11: Matty Pemulis, male prostitute, eats in a diner. Memories of sexual abuse from his father.

 

130 

686-689

YDAU

11/11: after supper, Hal decides to watch some of Himself's films. Description of Wave Bye-Bye to the Bureaucrat.

 

131 

689-691

YDAU

11/14: Poor Tony contemplates a purse snatching before he heads to the Antitois.'

 

132 

692

YDAU

Geoffrey Day: almost misses Lenz "brandishing the Hog" in the 3-man room.

 

133

692-698

YDAU

On Kate Gompert's depression and depression in general. Himself's The American Century as Seen Through a Brick described.

 

134 

698-700 

YDAU

11/14: Kate Gompert and Ruth van Cleve on the street, followed by Poor Tony Krause.

 

135

700

YDAU

Troelsch puts in a pro-wrestling cartridge. 

 

136

700

YDAU 

Pemulis adjusts a ceiling tile in Subdorm B.

 

137

700

YDAU

Lyle sitting.

 

138

701

YDAU

Coach Schtitt with Mario in his BMW

 

139

701

YDAU

Avril calling Arizona.

 

140

701-711

YDAU 

Hal watches Blood Sister: One Tough Nun. The plot of this film in detail. Hal thinks about another of his father's films, Low-Temperature Civics. Switch to Joelle at a Cocaine Anon meeting, listening to a speaker describe his lowest moment (walking out on his wife and child.)

 

141

711-714

YDAU

The end of Blood Sister: One Tough Nun.

 

142

714-716

YDAU

Kate Gompert right after Poor Tony snatched her purse.

 

143

716-719

YDAU

Lenz, high on coke, plans to rob the "Oriental women."

 

144

719

YDAU

The plan of Les Assassins des Fauteuil Rollents

 

145

719-721

YDAU

Poor Tony running from Ruth van Cleve.

 

146

721-723

YDAU

AFR's USA cell's leader, Fortier: how the AFR found the Entertainment at the Antitois'. 

 

147

723

YDAU

Fortier enjoys the USA's condescension toward the wheelchaired. 

 

148

723-724

YDAU

Joelle worries about her teeth.

 

149

724-728

YDAU

The Wheelchair Assassins discover the samizdat Entertainment.

 

150

728-729

YDAU

Lenz in a back alley after robbing the Asian women.

 

151

729-735

YDAU

Maranthe at Ennet House.

 

152

736-747

YDAU

Joelle cleaning her room. How Joelle and Himself became close. Descriptions of Prenuptual Agreement of Heaven and Hell and The Medusa v. The Odalisque. Thanksgiving dinner at the Incandenza house. 

 

153

747-751

YDAU

Maranthe's entry interview (with Pat M.) at Ennet House.

 

154

751-752

YDAU

Joelle cleaning

 

155

752-755

YDAU

Maranthe's entry interview (with Pat M.) at Ennet House continued.

 

156

755-769

YDAU

11/11: Mario filming for his documentary. Interviews Felicity Zweig, LaMont Chu, and then the Moms. He asks her, "How can tell if somebody's sad?" 

 

157

769-774

YDAU

Mario and Hal talk in their room. Hal describes how Pemulis talked his way out of the urine test.

 

158

775-782

YDAU

Maranthe and Kate Gompert meet in a bar

 

159

782-785

YDAU

Mario tells Hal that he seems sad.

 

160

785-787

YDAU

11/17: Johnette lets an upscale kid (Hal) into Ennet House.

 

161

787

 

footnote 324

 

162

787-795

YDAU

Results of Rodney Tine Jr.'s interrogation of Molly Notkin. Description of Thanksgiving dinner at Joelle's parents house, YTMP. 

 

163

795

 

footnote 332

 

164

795-808

YDAU

Hal at what he thinks is a meeting for Narcotics Anonymous. Turns out the meeting focuses on the Inner Infant, and one of the speakers is Kevin Bain, Orin's friend Marlon's brother.

28

165

809-827

YDAU

Gately in the hospital. Interactions with Tiny Ewell, Joelle, Pat M., Calvin Thrust.

 

166

827-845

YDAU

Gately in the hospital. The wraith. Gately remembers the MP that used to live with his mother.

 

167

845-846

YDAU

11/16: The AFR's plan to replace the Quebecois tennis players en route to ETA

 

168

846-851

YDAU

Gately in the hospital: His memories of Mrs. Waite and his vision of Joelle as death.

 

169

851-854

YDAU

11/20: Hal narrates. He wakes up after a bad dream.

 

170

854-864

YDAU

Gately in the hospital. Joelle visits him.

 

171

864-876

YDAU

Hal narrates: Ortho "The Darkness" Stice with his forehead stuck to a window in the dorm's hallway. Late introduction of Kenkle and Brandt, ETA janitorial staff.

 

172

876-883

YDAU

11/20: Meeting between Rodney Tine, Sr. (and staff) with Glad regarding Year of Glad and "Fully Functional Phil," the prancing ass.

 

173

883-896

YDAU

Gately in the hospital. Memories of "Nom" from "Cheers!" Ferocious Francis visits. More about Gatley's past: how he started crewing.

 

174 

896-902 

YDAU

Hal narrates: in his room, he lies down and is unable to get up.

 

175

902-906

YDAU

Gately in the hospital. The history of his substance abuse.

 

176

906-911

YDAU

Hal narrates: he talks with Pemulis then watches part of his father's film Good-Looking Men in Small Clever Rooms That Utilize Every Centimeter of Available Space with Mind-Boggling Efficiency.

 

177

911-916

YDAU

Gately in the hospital. Remembers working for Willie Sorkin with Gene Fackelmann.

 

178

916

YDAU

Pemulis finds several drop-ceiling panels on the floor of Subdormitory B. He's looking for an old sneaker behind the relevant panel.

 

179

916-934

YDAU

Gately in the hospital. Memories of. More on Gene Fackelmann. His ex-girlfriend Pamela Hoffman-Jeep. His dream about a kid and Joelle in a graveyard…"Too Late."

 

180

934

YDAU

Joelle is apprehended.

 

181

934-938

YDAU

Gately in the hospital. Remember getting high with Gene on the drug Gene bought with stolen money.

 

182

938-941

YDAU

Joelle being interviewed by Helen Steeply.

 

183

941-958

YDAU

Hal narrates: Mario and Kyle Dempy Coyle are also watching one of Himself's films. Explanation of what happened to Stice. Description of Accomplice!

 

184

958

YDAU

Joelle returns to Ennett House, sees a police car stationed outside

 

185

958-960

YDAU

Mikey, a "sick fuck," tells his story at an AA meeting

 

186

960-964

YDAU

An ADA talks with Pat M. about the Ninth Step. He needs to Gately to forgive him.

 

187

964-971

YDAU

11/20: Immediately Pre-Fundraiser Exhibition Fête. Narrated by an unnamed ETA student. 

 

188

971-972

YDAU

Orin in a huge inverted glass, interrogation by Luria P------ 

 

189

972-981

YDAU

Gately in the hospital: After the drug binge, Bobby C arrives to punish Gene Fackelman.  

Please send suggestions and corrections to: oneill@sunydutchess.edu