What may appear to be neglect of the Letters project has in fact been a time of reflection and strategizing about how to proceed with this project.
In reflection, I am still amazed at where this project has taken me in the last ten and a half months. I have had the opportunity to read some of the most challenging yet rewarding literature I have ever read. Many suppositions and preconceived ideas I hold have been challenged and questioned. My writing has stretched and evolved as I have allowed it to be influenced by one of the greatest voices of our generation. In many ways, I feel I am finally finding my true written voice. And I have found my way into the truly unique online community that is Wallace-l who have offered support and encouragement through this process.
As I have mentioned many times, this has turned out to be a much larger undertaking than I originally thought last December. The original reading list has expanded as I have found the trove of essays and interviews published online. And Lipsky’s book came along and required several readings. Then there is the upcoming release of DFW’s philosophy thesis and the unfinished Pale King to add. Trying to read it all – much less write about it as well – in a year was perhaps too ambitious of an undertaking.
This is not to say that I am giving up; I feel far too committed to this endeavor to call it quits. I will see it through, I am just radically altering my estimated time of completion. This blog will hopefully be going strong for a couple more years.
I have, however, begun to have other ideas for this blog. The one I have been entertaining lately is that of rewriting the Letters and publishing them in book form. I want to take what I have as a foundation and build upon it in terms of content and style. As my reading of DFW’s works have expanded, I am beginning to see recurring themes and ideas that I want to revisit and continue to struggle with.
As I am finding as a member of Wallace-l, much has been written about DFW and his work. I hope to add to that dialogue in my own way. While I consider myself a member of academia and I love the critical analysis of his works, my desire is to continue with the informal and personal response to his writings. From what I have read and heard about him, he desired this sort of response just as much as the formal and academic.
So my desire is to go deeper in this journey, to continue to struggle with his writing and all the themes and ideas and challenges that they bring. And my desire is to bring others along with me in that journey.
I will keep this blog going and continue to post to it periodically. But for now my focus is going to be on the book, rewriting what I already have and creating new material to go with it.