I’m up to chapter 66 in Mason & Dixon, just 140 pages from the end. I love this book, but, after last Tuesday, I don’t feel like it’s the right book for me right now. I’m going to finish it this week/weekend, but I’m not sure I’m ready for more Pynchon for Infinite Winter. I think I’m done with the conspiracy theories and the paranoia for a little while. I don’t want to read about the Schwarzkommando or be reminded of the Herero genocide or even deal with that coprophilia scene. Sorry, Canelli, but it looks like I’m not going to go big on this one.
I was thinking of reading Their Eyes Were Watching God before starting Infinite Winter, but, really, at this point, I don’t think I can do that either.
And, honestly, I’m having a tough time finishing The History of Rome podcast. I’m up to episode 140 (out of 179): Diocletian has established the economic system that’ll quickly morph into the medieval feudal system, Constantine has established Christianity as the dominant religion in the West, and now Constantine’s kids are eating each other like tiger shark pups in the womb. When the San Antonio Spurs head coach said “We are Rome” last week, I couldn’t help but think how right he was. It’s a heavy comment that goes beyond Julius Caesar throwing away the Republic or Nero doing his thing while Rome burned. It’s just the perpetual civil war Rome was embroiled in for almost it’s entire history: a people, like ourselves, founded and perpetuated by armed conflict. God damn it.
All this is to say, for our second Infinite Winter, I think I’d prefer to retreat into Don Quixote. Canelli, I think this is what we should do. If you’re still unemployed and have free time, then you should definitely read Gravity’s Rainbow, but I’d recommend it not be your primary text as winter starts up.
How’s that sound?