This is a comprehensive study of the most influential figure in postwar American literature. Over a writing career spanning more than fifty years, Thomas Pynchon has been at the forefront of America's engagement with postmodern literary possibilities. Famously elusive, he is nevertheless central to any understanding of the story that the nation tells about itself and its relationship to the wider world. Pynchon's fiction is at once encyclopedic and devastatingly satirical, formally experimental and acutely political. It ranges across a wide span of historical moments - pre-revolutionary America, both World Wars, the counter-cultural sixties, Reagan's California - to explore the idea of the "United States" as it collides and colludes with forces of corruption and reaction. In chapters that address the full range of Pynchon's career, from his earliest short stories and first novel, V., to his most recent work, Inherent Vice, this book offers a highly accessible and detailed series of readings of a writer whose work is indispensable for anyone wanting to understand how the American novel has met the challenges of postmodernity. The authors discuss Pynchon's relationship to literary history, his engagement with discourses of science and utopianism, his interrogation of imperialism, and his preoccupation with the paranoid sensibility. This wide-ranging study will be invaluable to Pynchon scholars and to everyone working in the field of contemporary American fiction. It surveys an entire writing career to show how Pynchon's complex narratives work both as exuberant examples of formal experimentation and as serious interventions in the political health of the nation.
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aesthetic allusions alternative American anarchism anarchist appears argues becomes Brian McHale Callisto Callisto’s capitalism capitalist central chapter characters Cherrycoke coherence complex contemporary continually countercultural critical Crying of Lot culture describes discussion disruption Entropy experience explicitly explore fantasy fiction figure film Flange Flange’s focalisation focus Frenesi global Gravity’s Rainbow Henry Adams human idea identity imagined Inherent Vice interpretation intertexts Jeremiah Dixon literary London Low-lands Mason & Dixon Mason and Dixon McHale meaning modern modernist modes narrative narrator Nineteen Eighty-Four Oedipa organisation paranoia passage plot political possibility postmodern potential present preterite Profane Profane’s projection Pynchon’s novel Pynchon’s writing reader reading reality resistance rocket Secret Integration sense Slothrop Slow Learner social space spatial Stencil’s story structure suggests Tanner temporal Thomas Pynchon tion Tony Tanner transcendence transformation Tristero University Press Vineland vision Vond William Pynchon Zone