The Incandenzas

James Orin Incandenzatumblr_na3sqcQcE21qks0zqo1_500

“Himself”, “The Mad Stork”, “The Sad Stork”, “Jim”. He is married to Avril M. T. Incandenza (See Below) until he sticks his head in the microwave and kills himself in the Year of the Trial-Size Dove Bar. He is a freakishly tall alcoholic like his father before him, and they find a bottle of Wild Turkey on the counter next to his dead body. He is a scientist studying annular fusion, and later, the founder of Enfield Tennis Academy and a filmmaker of the aprés-garde variety. His films are not all successful (note The Joke) and most are criticized for lacking plot, though his execution and experimentation with lighting and cinematography are praised. He is the auteur of the much sought-after samizdat, or Entertainment, cartridge (Infinite Jest, starring Joelle van Dyne) that is said to have such powers of pleasure that it eliminates all choice and forces its watcher to watch it, over and over and over again until they die of dehydration. This film is rumored to dabble in the art of holographic projection, and James’s last contribution to the scientific world is the designing of holographic conversions of highly poisonous environments, allowing scientists to study the subatomics of these environments without suffering from the effects of the poisons. James also starts a Neorealism movement called Found Drama whilst staying in McLeans’s Hospital (a place he frequented), which he deems that future of cinematic art (an example is ripping out a page from the White Pages and throwing a dart at the page and using the name the dart lands on as the target of some form of drama for a while). His relationship with his children is strained (even with Mario Incandenza (See Below) with whom a passion for film is shared) and he finds it difficult to maintain conversations with any of them without the aid and mediation of his wife (although he goes to great lengths to combat this strain, such as dressing as a therapist and creating the Entertainment as a way to force his children (mainly Hal Incandenza (See Below)) to talk with him). The Master Copy of the Entertainment is rumored to be buried with him.


Avril Mondragon Tavis Incandenza, Ed.D, Ph.Dtumblr_m4djbumMjj1ru71nzo1_500

“The Moms”. She is widowed wife of James O. Incandenza (See Above), and the mother of Orin Incandenza (See Below), Hal Incandenza (See Below), and Mario Incandenza (See Below). She is the Dean of Academic Affairs and of Females at Enfield Tennis Academy. She is a grammatical stickler and a high functioning OCD sufferer, and has never been treated for the disorder because she can function with it. Her obsessions are so compulsive that she has them planned out so she can indulge in all of them without it affecting the rest of her scheduling and planning and order-making. She is freakishly tall for a woman, and beautiful, with long white hair. She is obsessed with never interfering or influencing any one of her children’s lives or decisions in any way possible, and this passivity actually directly influences and impacts her children’s lives and decisions on a major scale (particularly with her child, Orin Incandenza, with whom she has a toxic relationship). She has a way of making all the people around her seem like they’re the ones with the OCD, because they find themselves obsessing over her obsessions. Often times, Avril guilts her children into taking things from her (such as an apple) by telling them she’s not going to use it if they don’t take it, creating a complex in them about taking it and knowing she needs it and not taking it and watching her dispose of something she could have had. Her constant and unwavering affection towards her children often comes across as fake, because it is not humanly possible to support everything that happens to them in the manner in which she does. There is speculation about her faithfulness to James, and at one point it is rumored that she’s slept with anything with a Y chromosome (including John Wayne, the Medical Attaché, Charles Tavis (See Below) and even Orin (although the latter two are never confirmed)). She is the glue that holds the family together, and is so while exerting an excruciating amount of effort into make it seem as though she’s doing nothing at all.


Orin James Incandenzatumblr_lm3joebpxK1qks0zqo1_500

“O.”, “The One”. He is Avril Incandenza’s (See Above) and James Incandenza’s (See Above) firstborn son, and Hal Incandenza’s (See Below) and Mario Incandenza’s (See Below) oldest brother. He is a tennis player turned renowned and critically praised Arizona Cardinals punter (the sudden switch, according to Avril, never needing to be explained). He and Avril have an extremely strained relationship, this stemming from Orin’s belief that Avril is bat-shit crazy and that she guilts all of her children on purpose. Orin is a promiscuous flirt, and toys with the hearts of females whom he calls “Subjects”. He uses women to make himself feel useful and connected to someone. This idea of having “Subjects” comes about after his break-up with Joelle van Dyne, and he’s never been the same since. He begins to fall in love with Hugh/Helen Steeply, the journalist writing a soft-profile on him for Moment magazine, though he does not realize that she is actually a man in disguise. Orin has a deep fear of cockroaches, which comes back to haunt him in the final chapters (See Luria Perec).


Mario Incandenza9a692f2729d0aa50d26ac22834185aec

“Boo”, “Booboo”. He is Avril Incandenza’s (See Above) and James Incandenza’s (See Above) surprise secondborn son. He has a multitude of physical disabilities, including a ginormous head and a disorder that causes him to stand at a 45˚ angle and requiring that he use a cane to stand straight. He is also a homodontic. Mario is considered to be mentally slow, although he is perhaps the most cheerful and genuine of persons at Enfield Tennis Academy.  Most of his friendships are with older faculty members (See Gerhardt Schtitt), and he doesn’t often socialize with the students (although he does have a romantic interaction with U.S.S. Millicent Kent). He, like James, is a film-conosseuir, and he even assists James on his films and eventually inherits James’s film-lab at E.T.A. after his death. Every Interdependence Day, Mario shows a puppet film at E.T.A. that stars President Johnny Gentle and his cabinet members discussing the Great Concavity and the Reconfiguration (the film acting as a sort of homage to his father’s films). He often goes on insomniatic-late-night-walks (that Avril doesn’t necessarily condone but also doesn’t not condone because she wants him to feel independent and free to do as he wishes) that lead him to Ennet House, and he’s even had a few conversations with Patricia Montesian whilst there. Mario is an avid listener and fan of Madame Psychosis’s (See Joelle van Dyne) late-night radio talk-show, and he is perturbed (which is highly unusual for him) when Madame Psychosis goes on hiatus. It is speculated that Mario is child of Avril and Charles Tavis (See Below), though that is mere speculation.


Harold James Incandenza0f21890be1d19d53c60955cc7718d3fe

“Hal”, “Hallie”, “Inc”, “Incster”. He is Avril Incandenza’s (See Above) and James Incandenza’s (See Above) last-born son. He is one of the better tennis players at Enfield Tennis Academy, though his true passion (or rather, addition) is to marijuana, which he smokes in the underground tunnels of the academy in secrecy every day. He eventually becomes addicted to the secrecy of the addiction, as well. Hal is a dictionary junkie, and knows nearly every definition to every word in the Oxford English Dictionary, something he’s been reading and studying since he was a child. Hal is a self-conscious person who wishes to be the opposite, but doesn’t know how to be unless he’s high. Hal’s relationship with Avril is not exceptionally healthy, and he often gets annoyed by her constant withdrawal and guilt-trips. His relationship with James is strained, and James goes to great lengths (dressing up as a therapist, creating the Entertainment) just to get them to talk to each other. Hal and Orin Incandenza (See Above) generally communicate over the telephone, and Orin often confides in Hal his feelings towards his “Subjects” (Hal is also the only family member whom Orin still communicates). Hal, though younger than him, watches over Mario Incandenza (See Above) during their stay at E.T.A., and is his roommate at the academy. Hal eventually suffers some sort of breakdown, whether it be from the mold he eats as a child, his withdrawal from marijuana, or the pressure he puts on himself to be the best tennis player at the academy, which results in people not being able to understand what he’s saying.


Dr. Charles Tavis

“C.T.”. He is the Uncle of Hal Incandenza (See Above), Mario Incandenza (See Above), and Orin Incandenza (See Above), and is their mother, Avril Incandenza’s (See Above), adoptive brother. Once James Incandenza (See Above) dies, Charles becomes the Headmaster of Enfield Tennis Academy. He often ponders whether James’s sons like him for replacing their father at the academy, and Charles is so weirded out by the physical appearance of Mario that he leaves the room if Mario enters. Whilst at the academy, Charles achieves Total Worry, and is in charge of all the scheduling (which often keeps him up at night). It is speculated that he and Avril are sexually intimate, and that he is the father of Mario.



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