Infinite Jest

Infinite Jest


David Foster Wallace

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Infinite Jest: Chapter 29 Summary & Analysis

4 November Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment. Michael Pemulis travels through Boston, taking an indirect route in case he is being followed. An extremely powerful drug called DMZ has become the second most difficult substance to find in North America; it originates in a rare mold that only grows on other molds, and is known as “the single grimmest thing ever conceived in a tube.” Boston drug users have nicknamed it Madame Psychosis after a “cult radio personality” on M.I.T.’s student-run station, WYYY. Mario is a devout listener. Pemulis gets home to his E.T.A. dorm and immediately calls Hal, who gives the code indicating that he would like to buy something from Pemulis.
Recall that at the beginning of the novel, Hal mentions a moment in childhood wherein he ate a piece of mold. Some interpretations of Infinite Jest hold that this mold was DMZ, or at least a component of it, and that Hal’s inability to communicate stems from his consumption of it. However, there is a division of opinion over whether the DMZ stayed in his system and was synthesized through changes in his body’s chemistry later in life, or if—as we will see eventually—James’s spirit later drugs Hal by depositing DMZ on Hal’s toothbrush.
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