I wrote intros for new contributors Matt Bucher and Matt Kish and promptly realized that several who had written for 2666 had never gotten formal introductions. Then another blogger signed up. I hate to lump these together, but I also hate to bombard you with a bunch of short individual intro posts on the eve of the kickoff, a day on which I imagine several posts about the book itself will land. So with apologies to the contributors I may be giving short shrift here, please allow me to introduce the other zombies.
Jeff Anderson is a writer and copy editor; he’s also a quilter, an incessant reader, a sometime musical ambassador to Cuba, and a member of that very exclusive elite: the 150 Jeopardy! contestants who lost to Ken Jennings. Although he wrote about Infinite Jest at his own blog, he started writing for Infinite Zombies as we plunged into 2666, about which he wrote this memorable and defining and pitch-perfect haiku:
I was just thinking,
“You know what else this book needs?
Prison rape with blades”!
Jeff lives in Los Angeles with his husband.
Paul Debraski is a librarian in New Jersey. But he does not relish your silence…speak out about what you love. Paul loves his wife and two awesome kids. Pictures of said kids are littered about the internet but can be seen by following specified links on his blog I Just Read About That, where you’ll find more thoughts about Moby-Dick and all manner of other big books. Paul has been a frequent commenter here at IZ, but this will be his first time blogging here (if you haven’t read his summaries of 2666 at his blog, run — don’t walk — go to take them in).
Joan Sberro has been a part of the Infinite Summer series of readings from the beginning but made her debut as a blogger right here at Infinite Zombies, cutting her teeth, so to speak, by writing a number of posts pertinent to Dracula. Although she was visible in the comments for 2666, she didn’t blog much about it, but she’s enthusiastic about Moby-Dick. And, having swum with the pink porpoises in the Amazon and walked under the great squid model every day on her way to work at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, how could she not be enthusiastic about this sea-faring book? Joan now lives in Orlando and plays Wagner at high volume for her retired greyhounds.
Well, and then there’s me. Just because I’m organizing this thing doesn’t mean anybody knows who I am. I’m Daryl L. L. Houston, and I happened into administering this site after signing up as a “maybe” blogger for Infinite Jest last summer. I wound up writing obsessively and, it sometimes must have seemed, near-daily, and I guess I ran everybody else off. I’m squatting still. A computer programmer and sysadmin by trade, I’m a student at heart. Moby-Dick is one of my all-time favorites, though I’ve enjoyed it largely in a vacuum and so am excited to see what emerges from the discussion here. I live in Knoxville with my wife and two kids.
And now for the plug. When contemplating a post the other night, I wanted to count occurrences of a particular family of words in the first week’s section of reading. Not wanting to reread the whole section and tally the words manually, I fetched the text for free from Project Gutenberg and wrote some code to count the words for me. That effort blossomed into a little project to make it so that I could do the same for any word, and then I decided it might be neat to make it available to any other nuts who’d be interested in that sort of analysis. It makes for a fun few minutes of poking around in the text, in any case. So, for fellow-nuts, I hereby plug Moby-Diction.
Thanks Daryl! I’m thrilled and very humbled to be in such a great group – I’ve truly enjoyed Jeff and Paul’s posts and am hoping for more great haiku. Matt Bucher did fantastic work leading the 2666 read (even though I felt beaten nearly to death by that book). Matt Kish – wow, your work is fantastic. And Daryl, your thoughts and insights are inspiring. This is going to be a blast – here’s to the wonderful discussions to come!