news on the march

Well, here's some news, on a couple of fronts.

I'm not one-third of the way through Against the Day. If I was reading it in hard copy, around 350 pages. So far, I have no idea where it's going and, frankly, no idea if it's going anywhere at all. There's a lot of interesting stuff happening (and some not so interesting stuff) but I feel like the person who criticized the first part of U-town for being "too much like life." And I remember that the biggest factor in which Pynchon novels are first class (and which are not quite there) is whether or not there's a real ending. Which I talked about here. But I'm certainly not about to stop, so I'll report more later.


I've got a lot of very helpful comments on the mystery stories from some excellent beta readers, and I think I have some idea what I need to do next. But then I remind myself that I'm not working on that project this year, so it may be time to start a new story instead.

I need to buy a new notebook. And maybe a new pen...


Oh, and Jo Eberhardt wrote an excellent post called, "Writing about Sex, Religion and Politics."

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2 Responses to news on the march

  1. sonje says:

    Your commitment to continuing on with a meandering 1000 page book is something. If I were 350 pages into a 1000 page book, and I didn’t know where it was going, I’d be putting it down. Actually would have put it down a good 150 pages previously.

    • If it was anybody other than Pynchon, I’d probably have bailed (I did bail when reading it in hard cover, but that was a weight issue 🙂 ). I’ve tried to read Infinite Jest, for example, but I’ve never managed to get any momentum going (David Foster Wallace was a Pynchon fan but so far he hasn’t grabbed me the same way — though I imagine I’ll try again at some point).

      With Pynchon It’s really two things. One is his track record. He’s written at least two of my all-time favorite novels. The other is his sentences. Whenever I read him, I’m always brought back to the conclusion that all of his sentences are better than any of mine. That can carry me through some dull patches.

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