Someone asked last class what the deal is with that weird circle illustration that begins quite a few sections in the novel.
As of our reading due Tuesday, this “hole punch” (as referred to in class) will have appeared on pages 3,17, 27, 32, 33, 39, 49, 63, 66, 68, 87, 127, 135, 151, 157, 181, and 219. The full list can be found on this Infinite Summer forum post, in which the post’s author, tomcollins, elaborates on his own meanings for the circle.
Honestly, I’m at a loss. When I first wondered what the hole punch could mean, I assumed it had something to do with Himself’s creation of annular fusion. But that’s a very narrow, shallow interpretation.
The hole punch bolsters the novel’s recursive structure. Annulation, circles, cycles, and rings appear often in the novel, whether as literally as the words themselves or in the recurring theme of addiction. Tomcollins suggests that it is an annular eclipse, among other things, due to the right-side shading. There are way more connections to make than the ones I’ve listed, I’m sure, so I was hoping this post could open up some discussion around this image.
Some things to consider:
- First, what is this image and why is it important?
- Why is it spaced out between sections in the way that it is?
- Is there an order to the particular pages it appears in, or is there some shared feature of each section that it shows up in?
- What exactly do we call this image?
- Trying to google “infinite jest hole punch” or “infinite jest annular ring image section heading” while my wifi has been spotty has left me no choice but to use the first few links that pop up on a basic search page. As a result, I haven’t been as thorough in researching this thing at all. Such as trying to find its proper name. My bad.