11 years ago (!), my sibling Cecil Vortex introduced the concept of the “Deathmarch,” in which a group of brave souls work together to tackle some formidable piece of literature. In this way we conquered tomes including Gravity’s Rainbow, The Brothers Karamazov, Don Quixote, and many (OK, several) more.
The Deathmarch has been dormant since the 2011 battle of Infinite Jest, which resulted in quite a few casualties. But I talked to Cecil yesterday and we decided it’s time.
In part this is inspired by my recent Kurt Vonnegut kick (see four posts ago), and by the fact that two…or was it three?…Christmases ago I received a lovely edition of all Vonnegut 1963-73, which has been moldering in a cabinet as I make my way through the endless Pile of the Unread.
The edition of which I speak looks like this:
And here’s an Amazon link.
You are not necessarily required to own this edition to participate. The novels covered will be:
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater
Breakfast of Champions
But there are also some stories and essays at the end of the big book. I think we’ll decide whether to include these in the March when the time comes.
Of course, reading the work of Kurt Vonnegut scarcely deserves the name “Deathmarch”; his stuff goes down like popcorn compared to the weighty prose of a Pynchon or Wallace. But, you know, branding.
I’m thinking we’ll start next Monday, September 5. Who’s in?