That if Banksy wins for ‘Exit Through the Gift Shop,’ Thomas Pynchon will accept the award on his behalf.
In Mexico City they somehow wandered into a exhibition of paintings by the beautiful Spanish exile Remedios Varo: in the central painting of a triptych, titled “Bordando el Manto Terrestre,” were a number of frail girls with heart-shaped faces, huge eyes, spun-gold hair, prisoners in the top room of a circular tower, embroidering a kind of tapestry which spilled out the slit windows and into a void, seeking hopelessly to fill the void: for all the other buildings and creatures, all the waves, ships and forests of the earth were contained in this tapestry, and the tapestry was the world. Oedipa, perverse, had stood in front of the painting and cried.
This is pretty much sums up how I feel today.
I detest when publishers bring out new editions of books and make changes. Sometimes they repaginate, which really chaps my ass as all my notes and ideas are useless when I try to teach a book to a group of students who may have different editions—Vonnegut’s books have gone through this several times, and the worst might be Penguin’s Great Books of the 20th Century edition of Gravity’s Rainbow that completely changed the pagination that had been the exact same from the 1st Hardcover and 1st PB through all the ‘new’ versions that would come out with new Pynchon books. And the cover and the faux hand-cut pages were horrifically ugly.
But Snow Crash’s newer editions removed a really strange thing: the definitions of ‘snow,’ crash,’ and ‘virus’ that Stephenson had used as opening to the 1st edition.
I wonder if he/they did it because the definition of snow he used is out of date: ‘b. The white specks on a television resulting from weak reception?’ I wonder if this allusion (as well as the original image that opens Neuromancer mean anything to anyone under the age of 25?
Gravity’s Rainbow is the greatest novel ever written in the English language.
I will brook no quarter on this topic, although Ulysses is very good.
Finished Dexter Palmer’s The Dream of Perpetual Motion on the plane home yesterday; it was very good—a really interesting but subtle use of steampunk tropes and a play on The Tempest. Recommended.
Now I’m going to try, for at least the fourth time, Pynchon’s Against the Day. We’ll see.
All I really want to do today is go read Pynchon. V., Gravity’s Rainbow, Mason & Dixon? Yeah. All of it.
This is one of the last of Pynchon’s photos—the jolly jack tar—about 1956.
Proverbs for Paranoids, 1: You may never get to touch the Master,
but you can tickle his creatures.
Proverbs for Paranoids, 2: The innocence of the creatures is in inverse proportion to the immorality of the Master.
Proverbs for Paranoids, 3: If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.
Proverbs for Paranoids, 4: You hide, they seek.
Paranoids are not paranoids (Proverb 5) because they’re paranoid, but because they keep putting themselves, fucking idiots, deliberately into paranoid situations.
Hope it’s more accessible than Against the Day and more interesting than Inherent Vice.
Click the image for a larger view. And if it doesn’t get large enough, click it again… Pynchon. What to say?
New Pynchon is always a blessing.
The guy is going to be 75 next month.
Yeah, I’m especially looking forward to his appearance with Hoda and Kathy Lee.