Harold James (Hal) Incandenza
Our nominal narrator and (anti?) hero. Aged 17 during much of “the action” of the story, the events during YDAU. Left-handed.
I cannot make myself understood.
Novel opens with Hal’s first-person narration. November in the Year of Glad, down at the University of Arizona; his smile is more of a grimace, his words are incomprehensible.
“I ate this.”
RE: mold (Weston, MA) – as a child
“I am not what you see and hear.”
C.T. on Hal:
“He’s fine when he’s by himself.”
(Hal as introvert? introducing a theme there?)
Year of the Tucks Medicated Pad
- Hal is 13 (“will be in June”)
- Himself is still alive
- and has this persistent hallucination that Hal does not speak
- the discussion of implore and other words
- pp. 29 - 1st mention of Byzantine erotica
That’s Webster’s Seventh. That’s not the O.E.D.
LATER THAT SAME YEAR
- Hal found Himself’s body
- found Himself with his head in the microwave
something smells delicious
Hal’s Grief Therapy
- re: consumed by trying to “pass” grief therapy (like it’s a test)
- not actually processing the grief itself
- (does he even need to? (see also: “Hal as HAL 9000”?))
Year of the Perdue Wonderchicken
- Hal’s essays for Oglivie’s class
…case-study in the eschatology of emotional appeals.
re: Hal’s paper on advertising (esp. w/r/t/ V+V ad spots for NoCoat tongue scrapers)
Year of the Depends Adult Undergarment
- “Hal likes to get high in secret…” - but is more attached to the secrecy
- pp. 49 - 1st appearance of the one-hitter
- Avril never leaves the grounds
- Nov. 6th - first appearance of the NASA cup and Hal’s spitting.
Textually: passages / sections that are “first person Hal” (w/r/t/ POV) are sections where Hal “cannot make [himself] understood”; example:
- the opening passage in AZ
- when Ortho thinks he’s crying
- when Kenkle and Brandt think he’s laughing
THEORY: Hal as HAL
- Hal : HAL 9000 :: Himself : Stanley Kubrick
- Hal as a machine, so programmed, that comes undone