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Thomas Pynchon (1 Viewer)

Buddy Glass

Senior Member
Postmodern, hysterical-realist author of Gravity's Rainbow, V., Mason & Dixon, etc, notorious recluse (only one or two photos of him exist), hasn't done any interviews or public appearances except for cameos on two Simpson's episodes in which he is featured with a bag over his head, so on and so on.

Has anyone read him and if so what do you make of him?
 

ClancyBoy

Senior Member
Why don't you start these threads with what you think about the author, rather than asking what everyone else thinks?

Actually hurry up and post threads on every author you're learning about in school. You've only posted three so far by my count, and I have to assume there are more.

Beckett? Henry James? Derrida?
 

Buddy Glass

Senior Member
Why don't you start these threads with what you think about the author, rather than asking what everyone else thinks?

Actually hurry up and post threads on every author you're learning about in school. You've only posted three so far by my count, and I have to assume there are more.

Beckett? Henry James? Derrida?

Oh Clancy-boy, I'm so glad you could make it. Why don't you go read a few books before you humiliate yourself again, huh?

Besides, I'm not a literature major. I study film.

You really need to work on your insults and judgments of character. You just keep missing the mark.
 

ClancyBoy

Senior Member
Oh Clancy-boy, I'm so glad you could make it. Why don't you go read a few books before you humiliate yourself again, huh?

Besides, I'm not a literature major. I study film.


You're right, that makes a HUGE difference. Film majors are never ever pretentious blowhards.

I haven't met one yet.
 

ClancyBoy

Senior Member
Also why is it you assume you're the only one who has read these books? I pretty sure most of the people you're calling ignorant are better read than you are.
 

Buddy Glass

Senior Member
Also why is it you assume you're the only one who has read these books? I pretty sure most of the people you're calling ignorant are better read than you are.
Sure, that's why everyone has so many interesting things to say about Joyce and Pynchon and what not.

Anyways, you're boring me. How about something about Pynchon?

Personally, I'm divided. I can admire a work like V. or Gravity's Rainbow, but like in the works of Barthelme and Barth (more so the latter), I feel that human emotion is sometimes drowned out by the stylistic emphasis. It isn't always true of Pynchon, but it's definitely there. Vineland was a terrible novel, in my humble opinion.
 

mwd

Senior Member
Vineland was a terrible novel, in my humble opinion.
Well you're not exactly alone on that one. But I like Pynchon despite his missteps. He's fun, and he manages to be fun even despite his, as you say, stylistic emphasis. Like I still remember that bizarre scene in Gravity's Rainbow where Slothrop gets flushed down a toilet, and I probably will never forget it, even if most of the rest of the book is one hazy blur (I haven't read it in a while).

I took it down from the shelf, and flipped at random to one of the earlier pages, and found:

"The night, full of fine rain, smells like a wet dog."

Awesome.

(Also, surprised you would say that in Barthelme emotion is sometimes drowned by style. He always seemed to me to be one of the postmodern writers with the most emotion, he just evoked it in an off-beat way, through all the strange non sequiturs and humour. But to each their own.)
 

Buddy Glass

Senior Member
(Also, surprised you would say that in Barthelme emotion is sometimes drowned by style. He always seemed to me to be one of the postmodern writers with the most emotion, he just evoked it in an off-beat way, through all the strange non sequiturs and humour. But to each their own.)

I'm torn. When I first read Barthelme, a little while back, I read him religiously and carried Sixty Stories with me everywhere - I particularly liked the one about Kierkegaard and Schlegel. But over the summer I re-read him and suddenly found it a little... I don't know, emotionally empty. I was surprised and disappointed, because I used to love Barthelme. But maybe I'm wrong. I definitely prefer Barthelme to someone like Barth.

Speaking of post-modernism - have you read The Recognitions? I've always wanted to...
 

Stewart

Senior Member
I've tried Pynchon but found him not to me liking at that point in time. I was completely unprepared for Gravity's Rainbow and had no idea what was going on, so I abandoned it about sixty pages in, although all I could make out in that time was somebody had crawled down (or up) a ladder. Urgh!

I toyed with Mason & Dixon and found the opening chapter more readable, although I wasn't grabbed to read the whole thing. But that was some nice writing there.

Then there's entry level Pynchon: The Crying Of Lot 49. I read a third of it but just couldn't get to grips with those sentences. To my mind, awful. Deliberately awkward.

But, because I haven't liked Pynchon to date doesn't mean I have ruled him out. I've loved authors and lost my appetite for them; just as I've struggled with authors and come to love them. He's an acquired taste - just one I've not acquired a taste for.
 
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