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Of Swine

I don’t know what I have, but I can only assume it’s swine flu. (Right? Because that’s going around?) I’m simply not up for writing right now. I owe a few kind commenters (and other bloggers) comments that I may not get around to posting. I hope I can build up enough steam to write something later in the week, as I sure don’t want to fizzle out right here at the end, having come all this way.

Meanwhile, I’ve gotten about halfway through Suttree (which I had picked up a few weeks before Infinite Summer started) and so got a neat little thrill to read Eden’s post today linking Infinite Jest and McCarthy.

In other Infinite Summer news, my copy of Dracula arrived today. I don’t have it in me to read or write about that one as obsessively as I did about Infinite Jest, but I look forward to reading this classic I’ve always managed to overlook. And I may write a word or two about it from time to time as well, whether here or elsewhere TBD. Anybody else coming along for that ride?

  1. Joan
    September 16, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    Get better soon – I for one want to hear your thoughts on Dracula! I’m definitely in for it, am ordering my copy today. And if you feel like posting on McCarthy I’d love to hear that too. I just put up a comment on Eden’s post – in a nutshell McCarthy is my favorite living American author but if I’d read IJ while DFW was alive it would have been a tie.

  2. September 16, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Joan, I’m loving the McCarthy. My early impression was that his writing was dense, organic, Anglo Saxon, basically loamy and rich. I still see a lot of that, but now that I’ve seen more of the dialogue, I see that he can be spare, too, and he seems to just nail the dialogue. I live in Knoxville, so Suttree is of particular interest to me. The city has changed so much since when the book was written (much less when it was set), and I find myself wishing I had known the city as Suttree knows it, just to be able to follow him around a little better. Anyway, I’m loving it so far, and McCarthy definitely stays on the list of writers to pursue beyond just the one book.

  3. September 16, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    My blog-wandering has also been cut a bit short, in part because there are now spoilers hanging around every corner, it seems. And me, with 75 pp. still to go, not wanting one drop to spill before it meets my lips. So to speak. Anyway, we’ve all got just a post or two left at most, so no worries.

    I’ll grab a copy of Dracula, but will have to see what ideas it (and the IS site) stimulates before committing to regular blogging. 2666 afterwards, though… 🙂

  4. September 16, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Hmm, I don’t know about 2666. I read it (and participated in a fizzled-out group read on bolano-l, moderated by wallace-l’s own Matt Bucher) just a few months ago. Maybe I’ll just read the blogs for that one and get in some other reading I’m behind on.

    • September 17, 2009 at 2:31 am

      Well, I’ll miss you, of course. I’m new to Bolano, so don’t know what I’ll think. It’s hard for me, right now, to think of any book after IJ, though I do have Stephenson’s Anathem waiting on my shelf. But if I am blogging, hope you drop by, of course. Keep me honest.

  5. Charlie
    September 17, 2009 at 3:06 am

    I commend you on reading Suttree. One of my absolute favorite novels. I alway find myself unable to compare it to Blood Meridian, but one of those two is my favorite McCarthy. I vacillate.

  6. September 17, 2009 at 8:06 am

    Daryl, I’m sorry to hear you’re under the weather. I had a swine-like thing in May and I’ve never been that tired and weak… I hope you get better soon!

    I will blog on IJ this afternoon or evening while you get your rest.

    I’ve passed the Sept 18th spoiler line and am strangely afraid to read on… guess I’m just not sure how it ends and not sure I want to know? But I will find out soon.

  7. September 17, 2009 at 8:12 am

    InfiniteTasks, you’re in my feed reader permanently, so you can bet I’ll stay tuned.

    Charlie, thanks for the tip. I’ll definitely be reading more McCarthy.

    Heather, thanks for minding the shop while I’m out. I actually hope to find some time tonight to write something too. I’m thinking now about the direction this blog’ll take (if any, and if I’ve a right to direct it, being after all only a hanger-onto of Scott’s original idea). Do you think you’ll be continuing on with Dracula or others IS books, and if so, do you think you’d like to write about them here, or have you had enough?

  8. September 17, 2009 at 8:29 am

    Feel better soon, Daryl!

    I probably won’t be on the Dracula bandwagon. I read it in school and happen not to find it particularly rereadable. It also feels to me to be a giant shark-jump from Infinite Summer. If they’d chosen another 20th-century masterwork or other skull-crusher, I might have tagged along: Ulysses, Underworld, JR, Gravity’s Rainbow, etc. Even a 19th-century magnum opus would have been OK (Moby-Dick, Tristram Shandy, etc.). Dracula just doesn’t seem toothy enough (pun intended) in my opinion.

    I plan to pop in now and then to comment, though, and hope you will too.

  9. September 17, 2009 at 9:09 am

    I’m thinking about it. As it happens, I’ve been reading Dracula along with Infinite Jest. I didn’t know that IS was going to do Dracula next. It was just an odd coincidence. So I’m about half-way through it at the moment.

  10. September 18, 2009 at 9:31 am

    I moved on to “House of Leaves.” Seemed like an appropriate book, considering it’s about a film that doesn’t (cannot) exist, it’s filled with footnotes, and it has great lines like this:

    “…a moment will come, maybe in a month, maybe a year, maybe even several years…Out of the blue, beyond any cause you can trace, you’ll suddenly realize things are not how you perceived them to be at all. For some reason, you will no longer be the person you believed you once were. You’ll detect slow and subtle shifts going on all around you, more importantly shifts in you. Worse, you’ll realize it’s always been shifting…”

    I’m skeptical of re-reading Dracula. I didn’t like it the first time I read it, and I’m not sure why group-reading a book that straightforward is necessary, or useful. I think I’ll still check out the blogs, though, and jump back in for 2666, which I’ll never otherwise read on my own.

  11. September 18, 2009 at 11:27 am

    I guess you guys may be right about Dracula. Presumably, it was selected because of the Halloween tie-in, and to be something of a breather after a pretty heavy book. I’m going to read it because I’ve never managed it before, but I see what you’re saying.

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