So Long For Now

I’ve been blogging group reads here at IZ for well over a year now. I didn’t think I would be much of a participant in the original Infinite Jest read, but I wound up being pretty much the only person writing about it here. I more or less phoned Dracula in (but then so did Stoker). 2666 went on forever, but I hung on for my second reading of it in a year and had a richer experience for it. I actually instigated the Moby-Dick read, and it was in its way a life-altering experience for me. The last few weeks have been a pretty big slog for me, but I’m glad I did it, and I’m grateful to Judd Staley for getting us started.

But now it’s time for a break. I have derived so much satisfaction and stimulation from writing here about my reading that I’m almost afraid to stop, for fear that should I surface in the future, the magic (for it has been a sort of magic for me, even during the thin times) will be gone. But I have other projects I want to work on. I’m going to read a lot of short fiction, for one thing. And I’m going to try writing some things out of my own head instead of whatever kind of writing it is I do here (I daren’t call it criticism, but I think it’s sometimes something a little north of merely appreciative or opinion writing).

I may write here from time to time. If a tantalizing group read pops up (@infinitesummer mentioned a few weeks ago doing House of Leaves this Fall), I may find myself unable to resist. I’ve been asked to blog Zora Neale Hurston’s short Their Eyes Were Watching God for a local group doing The Big Read in October, and I’ve agreed to do that; maybe I’ll cross-post those pieces here, or maybe there will be enough interest to make it official here. That aside, the plan for now is to be pretty quiet and to focus on my own private projects. I’m so very grateful for the contributions that people have made here as both bloggers and commenters. I suppose I’d still be watching reruns of Knight Rider every evening if Matthew Baldwin hadn’t started this all up last summer with the Infinite Summer project. It’s been fun and more rewarding than I can say.

So that’s it. Thanks a million. I’ve had a great time. Maybe I’ll be back (if so, I sure hope to see you then).

9 thoughts on “So Long For Now

  1. Sorrento August 30, 2010 / 11:15 pm

    Thank you, Daryl. It has been a great time and I’ve enjoyed it immensely even if I haven’t commented much. For those who can’t get enough of the online group read, is starting The Last Samurai by Helen Dewitt on September 19th.

  2. Cathy Hand August 31, 2010 / 1:33 am

    So Ulysses did you in, eh? No, just joking… even after such a hard slog as Ulysses (my first online group read) I find I’m going to miss this place, but I’m ready for a break. Thanks, Daryl, I feel fortunate to have met up with you, and with everyone else here.


  3. Paul Debraski August 31, 2010 / 9:33 am


    Thanks for everything. I’ve felt an uncanny kinship reading along with you on all of these projects (sans Dracula). I understand the burnout. Although I certainly get a lot more out of books when I read them believing that others will read what I write about them.

    I like that you don’t use the word criticism. I don’t feel like a critic when I write (since I’ve never had anything published, who am I to say?). But as they say, “I know what I like”

    I hope you’ll give some updates here, letting us know what you’re up to.

    I’m about to try The Corrections for the first time (not that I’m trying to entice you).


  4. Daryl L. L. Houston August 31, 2010 / 10:29 am

    Paul, I don’t think I’m down for the count — just want to take a break to work on some things that the intensive group read projects have gotten in the way of. I’ve started reading House of Leaves and suspect that if that group read materializes, I won’t be able to resist speaking up. And I may cross-post the few things I write for the quick (4-week) Hurston read. I imagine I’ll be back for The Pale King, though I may decide I want to keep that one to myself.

    Ditto the feelings of kinship, and your blog will remain in my feed reader for sure.

    I read The Corrections a couple of years ago and found it to be sort of meh. It took me a couple of tries to get past the first page. That’s really all I’ve read of Franzen save a short story I saw recently that some raved over and I, again, found sort of meh. I’ve got The 27th City on my nightstand but haven’t opened it yet. I’m guardedly optimistic about Freedom but still haven’t convinced myself to buy it yet. I want mostly to focus on shorter things for now. Will be interested to learn what you think of The Corrections, which I’ll admit I read fairly carelessly.

  5. Stevie August 31, 2010 / 1:37 pm

    Well, thanks. I’m sorry I wasn’t around for any of those earlier reads, & I’m totally going to stay tuned to see if I can join the next read. This was a really fun experience.

  6. SilverSeason August 31, 2010 / 7:14 pm

    I may not have said much, but I have enjoyed reading your “criticism” or maybe you prefer the term “informed comments.” Please cost post. I want to hear what you think of the Hurston book.

  7. Daryl L. L. Houston August 31, 2010 / 9:54 pm

    Thanks, SilverSeason, Stevie, Cathy, and Sorrento. I’m really glad you’ve enjoyed the blog. It’s insanely validating and makes me want to keep going (but I still think I’ll take a little break!).

  8. stephen September 8, 2010 / 1:57 am

    just read comments on your group read, guess if i had of found this at the same time as you all i would have been a part of your group. but i just finished reading this.i think these ‘feedbacks’can be read for opinion.opinion relevant to yourown time/words.good big books are great x s

  9. stephen September 8, 2010 / 2:01 am

    ps -infinite jest got me reading again after a few years off. 2666 is still going on.
    sinclair- redon daughters anyone ?

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