Tuesday, May 9, 2017

“Day after day after day”

Hal Incandenza is thinking of his future as endless repetition:

Maybe the worst part of the cognitions involved the incredible volume of food I was going to have to consume over the rest of my life. Meal after meal, plus snacks. Day after day after day. Experiencing this food in toto. Just the thought of the meat alone. One megagram? Two megagrams? I experienced, vividly, the image of a broad cool well-lit room piled floor to ceiling with nothing but the lightly breaded chicken fillets I was going to consume over the next sixty years.

David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest (Boston: Little, Brown, 1996).
Yikes. But this passage is what came to mind when I read that a high-school junior amassed enough retweets to receive a year’s worth of Wendy’s Chicken Nuggets. Carter Wilkerson is sixteen. Hal is seventeen.

Related reading
All OCA DFW posts (Pinboard)

[One megagram: 2204.62 pounds.]

comments: 2

Chris said...

If you take food out of its cultural context and strip off the rituals of preparing, serving, and ingesting it, it becomes harder to conceal the fact that human beings are essentially tubes.

Michael Leddy said...

Funny you should say that: in the sentences that follow this passage, Hal imagines an enormous room filled with all the excrement his body will produce. The doors are bulging outward.