Week 15: I will not let thee go except thou be blessed

And so we came to the end, not with a bang but with a whimper. At the end of this week, the group read of 2666 is officially over. But I feel like there is a lot of unfinished business. There are a lot of sections in the novel that I still want to investigate further. The book is so dense with names and allusions that it will take a lot of work to explicate all of them. There are lists to be made, connections to tease out, and maps to be drawn.

But I am proud of what we have accomplished here. The level of discussion throughout has been superb. I have learned so much from my fellow contributors here on the site and on the other blogs.

I want to thank the lovely and talented Maria Bustillos for graciously agreeing to co-host this project with me. Her posts have been the highlight of the group read for me. It’s been so thrilling to see her reactions and interpretations of things I missed or couldn’t pinpoint. Thank you, Maria.

I want to thank Daryl Houston for consistently tracking one of the most complex pieces of data in this novel: who dreams what. Daryl’s analysis and posts at Infinite Zombies are some of the best extant scholarship on 2666. I look forward to reading Moby-Dick with him and the other zombies.

I want to thank Michael Cooler and Nicole Perrin who meticulously tracked every death in 2666. For those who wondered, Bolaño documents the murders of 112 women in The Part About The Crimes. Thank you both for volunteering your time and your excellent work every step of the way.

I want to thank Meaghan Doyle for tracking the vocabulary, Brooks Williams for tracking the characters, and Sara Corona Goldstein for tracking the locations. I truly appreciate it.

I want to thank Lorin Stein for talking about 2666 with me on this blog, and for helping to bring Bolaño to the forefront of world literature.

I want to thank everyone who commented here, on the forums, on Twitter, and Facebook. Your participation has added to everyone’s understanding of the novel. This is the end of the schedule, but it’s not the end of this blog, posts about 2666, or your welcome here. Please stick around.

Introducing the Trackers

One way this group read will be different from other previous group reads is that we will have several readers assigned to tracking different strands or threads throughout the novel. We will post on these strands or topics every week. In some cases that will mean adding to a running tally, and in some cases it will mean posting a new batch of summaries. We have six volunteer trackers following five strands. Part of the idea here is to make more of an analytic study of the novel. The weekly commentary will also delve deeper into the themes and ideas interspersed throughout the book.

The trackers are:

Daryl L.L. Houston – Dream Tracker (short summaries of every dream sequence in the book)

DARYL L.L. HOUSTON of Infinite Zombies signed on to blog Infinite Jest for the original installment of Infinite Summer and had so much fun doing it that he decided to stick around and blog Dracula as well. Now he’s here yet again to write from time to time about 2666. He has worked as a pig farmer, roller coaster driver, and copy editor and now pulls levers and knobs as a computer programmer in Knoxville, Tenn

Brooks Williams – Character Tracker (an annotated list of all the character names in the book)

BROOKS WILLIAMS lives in rural Illinois. He blogs at 4everoverhead.blogspot.com and is @brooks on twitter. He wishes he could bathe in the smell of old books.

Meaghan Doyle – Vocabulary Tracker (a list of difficult words and their definitions)

MEAGHAN DOYLE is a lawyer, librarian, and lover of books, TV and movies—but not necessarily in that order. In her spare time, she helps maintain the blog Infomavens’ Desktop, a fun and insightful (hopefully) blog about books, media, information and anything else they find interesting.

Michael Cooler & Nicole Perrin – Death Trackers (an annotated, numbered list of every death in the book)

MICHAEL COOLER was born in 1983 and grew up in Lakeview, a remote town in Eastern Oregon, land of sagebrush and cattle. Now living in Springfield, Oregon, he enjoys reading, hiking, brewing beer, and cooking pizza.

NICOLE PERRIN is an editor, reader, and print junkie who blogs about
books at www.bibliographing.com.

Sara Corona Goldstein – Location Tracker (a list of all place names in the book)

SARA CORONA GOLDSTEIN is a graduate of Pomona College, where she studied English and Spanish and spent time in Santiago, Chile. She works as a college admissions officer.

Don’t forget: the group read launches next Monday (January 25), but you can read up to page 51 before then. The schedule is here.

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