Insert boilerplate apology here

Deadlines. Part-time parenting. More houseguests. Filthy house, piles of email, sick cat. Drunkenness, depression, anxiety, disgusted boss, sad friends. Also, summertime malaise. In short, even obsessives need a vacation from their normal fixations.

If you’re in need of intelligent commentary, please try a more elegant option.

And if you missed Stephany’s posts last week, scroll down to read her take on James Wood. (Lovemaking comparisons are made!) She’s urged me to respond — my opinion is a bit different — in a new “conversations” category early this week. As the name implies, the new category is for discussions between the two of us. Don’t worry — we’ll use “more” tags to keep the front-page discussions brief. Also, for those inclined to weigh in elsewhere, please understand: my stamina for prolonged and heated blog debates about literary criticism is low.