Or perhaps Professor Irwin Corey, the World’s Foremost Authority, will again accept on Pynchon’s behalf, on Banksy’s behalf.
Paul Thomas Anderson and Robert Downey doing Pynchon’s Inherent Vice? This appeals to my interests.
The Chums of Chance section opening the novel is great, but I always get bogged down about 250 pages in. Perhaps not this time!
During the worst of my depression, I could not read fiction. Plots and characters slipped from my mind like steam through a sieve. And during that time, AtD came out.
I was excited—new Pynchon!—but couldn’t read it with any sense of a critical eye. I got ~250 pages in, and felt like I hadn’t read a page.
And that feeling made my depression worse— I was supposed to be a literary scholar—an expert in Pynchon. What a fraud. A reader who couldn’t read.
But now, I think, my depression is under control, and I am loving AtD. The language is rich, evocative, poetic. I think I finally get it. Like Blood Meridian, it’s about the West, which means death treads heavily upon the living. There’s no character like the Judge thus far, but rather the devil lies in wait.
@Angwe: Gravity’s is a beast. But hot damn it’s a blast. There is a fantastic online reading guide/wiki by Tim Ware here: http://www.thomaspynchon.com/
I’ll be happy to do a group read.
Haven’t really added anything to my on-going queue, but Against the Day is going along nicely.
Much, much better mind-set this time (4th time trying read this); it makes a lot more sense to me. It’s about revenge, the Peter Pan syndrome our culture has embraced since the 1950s, violence in America, money, power, and steampunk airships. Giggity.
Pynchon’s Spanish Jesuit, Zaparzo, describes the Mason-Dixon Line’s episteme:
The Model,’ … ‘is Imprisonment. Walls are to be the Future. Unlike those of the Antichrist Chinese, these will follow right Lines. The World grows restless,— Faith is no longer willingly bestow’d upon Authority, either religious or secular. What Pity. If we may not have Love, we will accept Consent,— if may not obtain Consent, we will build Walls. As a Wall, projected upon the Earth’s Surface, becomes a right Line, so shall we may need, be it in a Crofter’s hut or a great Mother-City,— Rules of Precedence, Routes of Approach, Lines of Sight, Flows of Power,—(522)
The flows of human power have run-roughshod over natural lines. And, the Mason-Dixon Line drew clear lines of jurisdictions and State control. The Missouri Compromise of 1820 created a similarly divisive line at 36° 30’ North; this line established a new line as the northern boundary of slavery and the for the continued legal expansion of the “peculiar institution” west and south of this line according to the voters (white, male land-owners) of each territory
Sorry, Tom. I just give up. I will not finish Against the Day. Maybe not ever.
It’s beaten me. It’s too big , too many plots and characters, and in Pynchon, that goes with the territory. Too many notes, and I’m bored.
So I’m moving on to Chabon’s non-fiction—today, Maps and Legends. Then on to fiction—Hakurami’s 1Q84 and, at last, DFW’s The Pale King. It’s time to dance with that devil.
Pete Campbell is lost, so of course he’s reading Pynchon. Oedipa Maas is similarly lost and tries adultery, among other things, to try to find meaning in her world of boring housework and domestic incarceration.
There’s a moment when Oedipa remembers staring at a triptych by Remedios Varo and weeps, recognizing the prison of her life, and later is given the ‘gift’ of being named executor of a former lover’s will. Probating the will opens her up to a series of strange encounters and secret systems of mail delivery. She even meets a band trying for Merseyside accents at a motel called Echo Courts, suggesting the myth of Echo and Narcissus.
So what does this portend for Pete? I think liberation from Trudy. But at the potential cost of his sanity, as Oedipa has to confront the possibility, unresolved, that she has gone mad, or his life, suggested by the open elevator shaft Don avoided.
The skis, a gift, certainly project a world where Pete might be free, but broken legs are common side-effects of the search for such freedom.
As Pete tries harder in his narcissistic quest to be Roger and Don, the worse his life gets; in ‘Gravity’s Rainbow,’ the first ‘Proverb for Paranoids’ is: “You may never get to touch the Master, but you can tickle his creations.” Careful what you wish for, Pete.
Weiner knows his Pynchon, that’s for sure.
If you don’t like McCarthy we can’t be friends.
He’s just the greatest American prose writer since Faulkner. Pynchon is amazing, especially in V., Gravity’s Rainbow and Mason & Dixon; David Foster Wallace was a master, but didn’t pare his work down enough at times (imvho); Neal Stephenson makes literature out of Captain Crunch and pop-up ads.
But it’s McCarthy who tears away the extraneous and makes the leanest, rawest prose poetic and moving.
I’m going to finish all the other books on my nightstand asap and then just read all the McCarthy books left in his oeuvre. Maybe I can get a paper out of this man’s work; maybe it’s too powerful for me to touch without burning myself.
Happy Birthday to my favorite reclusive author, Mr. Thomas Pynchon, 76 today.
What did you think of Inherent Vice? PT Anderson is making a film of it with Joaquin Phoenix and Benecio del Toro.
The Rainbow is a beast, but if you read with the online guide at HyperArts, you should be ok.
Shit just got real weird, real quick. Looking forward to whatever fever dreams this spawns.
I’ll probably need a resource to follow along with on this one. Suggestions, brevetcaptain?
Yeah, Pirate Prentice’s banana morning is pretty weird. Wait til Slothrop arrives on the scene.
Here’s what you need to have open all the time: http://gravitys-rainbow.pynchonwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page