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The Infinite Jest Liveblog: Brief Interview with Hyperhidrosis Man

January 11, 2012

This is the latest entry in Words, Words, Words the ongoing liveblog of David Foster Wallace’s “Infinite Jest.” 


January 11, 2012, pgs 663-665/1046-1052. On the matters of Orin and Avril Incandenza we hear directly from Marlon Bain, uncontrollably sweaty and nonfunctional obsessive compulsive; founder of the successful Saprogenic* Greetings (now owned by ACME Family of Gags N’ Notions which formerly employed Bruce Green’s father); late son of parents killed on Jamaica Way by a falling traffic helicopter, presumably Lateral Alice Moore’s; former ETA student and childhood companion of Orin Incandenza; former and potentially current unrequited love interest of Lyle the fitness guru; current reclusive dweller in some kind of doorway-less children’s room of a former pubic library and apparent answerer of only odd-numbered questions. To “Infinite Jest” what Eli Cash was to The Royal Tenenbaums.

Other than his uncanny connections to various other players in the story, Marlon sheds little light. We see that he was (or at least thinks he was) irrevocably changed by using “deadly-serious hallucinogens at a sort of larval psychological stage.” There is another appearance of the Near Eastern medical attaché, this time with Avril. And we learn more about Orin’s unsavory past. And of course Bain’s sweatiness is akin to the author’s own struggles with constant public sweating (allegedly the impetus behind the bandana), and is a character trait that is repeated in greater detail with David Cusk from “The Pale King.”

*/ˌsaprōˈjenik/ Adj. Causing or produced by putrefaction or decay.

Read the full Infinite Jest Liveblog

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