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  • I wanted to create a thread for one of my all time favorite authors. Who's read anything by him, if so, what did you think?

    V - 1963
    The Crying of Lot 49 - 1966
    Gravity's Rainbow - 1973
    Slow Learner - 1984 (collection of early short stories)
    Vineland - 1990
    Mason & Dixon - 1997
    Against the Day - 2006
    Inherent Vice - 2009
    Bleeding Edge - 2013

    He's 83 now, but I'm hoping he's got at least one more book in him. If not, I thought Bleeding Edge was an incredible way to go out. For an author who's work is obsessed with America, what is is and what it can be, I think a detective novel set around 9/11 is a great finale.

    I haven't read V, Vineland or Slow learner, but I've read everything else. I'm currently reading Against the Day for the first time, which I'm loving as much as any of his other stuff.

    Of what I've read, I'd say Lot 49 and Mason & Dixon are my least favorite, but they're still incredible. Gravity's Rainbow might be the greatest thing I've ever read, although I have a very soft spot in my heart for Inherent Vice. I would start with either 49 (for it's novella length) or Inherent Vice if you're interested in reading a challenging, hilarious, and always rewarding author.

    Here is a recent passage from Against the Day that really stuck with me, and is a good example of Pynchon's mixture of history and science, with his signature wide eyed wonder for the world and the unknown, and a hint of the paranoia that can become relentless in his byzantine and colorful plots; full of incredible characters, even the smallest of which are given the respect that they could be the star of their own novel.

    "We learned once how to break horses and ride them for long distances, with oceangoing ships we left flat surfaces and went into Riemann space, we crossed solid land and deep seas, and colonized what we found," said Dr. Vormance. "now we have taken the first few wingbeats of what will allow us to begin colonizing the Sky. Somewhere in it, God dwells in His Heavenly City. How far into that unmapped wilderness shall we journey before we find Him? Will He withdraw before our advance, continue to withdraw into the Infinite? Will He send back to us divine Agents, to help, to deceive, to run us away? Will we leave settlements in the Sky, along our invasion routes, or will we choose to be wanderers, striking camp each morning, content with nothing short of Zion? And what of colonizing additional dimensions beyond the third? Colonize Time. Why not?"

  • May 1
    2 replies

    Had to read Lot 49 for an irony course, felt too big-brain for me to enjoy

  • May 2
    Rx Marcus

    Had to read Lot 49 for an irony course, felt too big-brain for me to enjoy

    He can be difficult, there鈥檚 no denying that. But I could see how a college course would sap the fun out of reading him. The point of Pynchon isn鈥檛 to have it all figured out and understand every single reference, it鈥檚 to dive into his language and world view and just have fun.

  • May 4
    1 reply

    Death Is Just Around The Corner is a podcast that basically dedicated like 10 straight episodes to understanding Pynchon in the context of his life and the events of the world around him. Worth a listen

  • May 5
    1 reply
    Lou

    Death Is Just Around The Corner is a podcast that basically dedicated like 10 straight episodes to understanding Pynchon in the context of his life and the events of the world around him. Worth a listen

    I鈥檒l definitely check that out.

    Have you read anything by him?

  • May 5
    1 reply
    rozco

    I鈥檒l definitely check that out.

    Have you read anything by him?

    Haven鈥檛 read anything, but that podcast sure has me intrigued. It more so deals with cultural changes in the late 20th century by examining the JFK Assassination and Iran/Contra and how Pynchon鈥檚 works were influenced by these events. I listen for the pop history, but there鈥檚 a lot about Crying of Lot 49, Gravity鈥檚 Rainbow, and Don Delillo鈥檚 Libra

  • May 5
    Lou

    Haven鈥檛 read anything, but that podcast sure has me intrigued. It more so deals with cultural changes in the late 20th century by examining the JFK Assassination and Iran/Contra and how Pynchon鈥檚 works were influenced by these events. I listen for the pop history, but there鈥檚 a lot about Crying of Lot 49, Gravity鈥檚 Rainbow, and Don Delillo鈥檚 Libra

    Interesting, this podcast sounds great. Gonna have to dive in at some point.

    I've never read any DeLillo, he sounds like he's right up my alley though.

  • May 11
    1 reply
    Rx Marcus

    Had to read Lot 49 for an irony course, felt too big-brain for me to enjoy

    a course on irony? sounds rly interesting, what else did you read? For me Lot 49 was challenging at first but once I got attuned to the language it was a rly fun and almost breezy read tbh

  • May 11
    1 reply

    I've dropped V before after 60 pages (even though I just started to enjoy it), only read 49 and Inherent Vice so far and loved both, def already an author whose entire oevre I want to go through sooner or later.

    I've read Infinite Jest before reading any Pynchon and it became really obvious how much DFW took from his prose style, and since DFW is still probably like my fav author I obviously love his a lot too.

  • May 11
    1 reply
    beflygelt

    I've dropped V before after 60 pages (even though I just started to enjoy it), only read 49 and Inherent Vice so far and loved both, def already an author whose entire oevre I want to go through sooner or later.

    I've read Infinite Jest before reading any Pynchon and it became really obvious how much DFW took from his prose style, and since DFW is still probably like my fav author I obviously love his a lot too.

    If never ready Infinite Jest but from what I know of Pynchon's influence on his writing, I'm sure I'd love it.

    I don't know why I've been putting off V. Since I'm so deep into his work at this point I feel like it might be fun to read his first book last.

    If you loved 49 and Inherent Vice, you would definitely love Bleeding Edge and Gravity's Rainbow. From what I've read of Against the Day so far, it's actually his easiest book to follow along even though it's his longest and has an insane amount of characters and plots.

  • May 11
    1 reply
    rozco

    If never ready Infinite Jest but from what I know of Pynchon's influence on his writing, I'm sure I'd love it.

    I don't know why I've been putting off V. Since I'm so deep into his work at this point I feel like it might be fun to read his first book last.

    If you loved 49 and Inherent Vice, you would definitely love Bleeding Edge and Gravity's Rainbow. From what I've read of Against the Day so far, it's actually his easiest book to follow along even though it's his longest and has an insane amount of characters and plots.

    I already own Gravity's Rainbow and Bleeding Edge they're next

  • May 11
    beflygelt

    I already own Gravity's Rainbow and Bleeding Edge they're next

    Right on

  • May 11
    1 reply
    beflygelt

    a course on irony? sounds rly interesting, what else did you read? For me Lot 49 was challenging at first but once I got attuned to the language it was a rly fun and almost breezy read tbh

    Yeah.. the English capstone I signed up for was called 鈥淭he Revolution Will Not Be Televised,鈥 which was gonna center around black movements and writers of the late 20th century, incl. Gil-Scott Heron of course, but the class switched last minute to Irony

    But we read a lot of interesting s***: theory from Plato, Kierkergaard, Wayne Booth; some stories by Thomas Hardy; Nabokov鈥檚 鈥淧ale Fire,鈥 DFW鈥檚 鈥 Pluribus Unum鈥; etc

    And it produced my best paper, which I wrote on irony in 鈥淏eloved鈥

    Yeah I鈥檝e been meaning to revisit Lot to see if it鈥檇 click, but it鈥檚 not really on my radar rn (just started a goodbooks account, so I have a lot on my shortlist ahead of it lol)

  • May 11
    1 reply
    Rx Marcus

    Yeah.. the English capstone I signed up for was called 鈥淭he Revolution Will Not Be Televised,鈥 which was gonna center around black movements and writers of the late 20th century, incl. Gil-Scott Heron of course, but the class switched last minute to Irony

    But we read a lot of interesting s***: theory from Plato, Kierkergaard, Wayne Booth; some stories by Thomas Hardy; Nabokov鈥檚 鈥淧ale Fire,鈥 DFW鈥檚 鈥 Pluribus Unum鈥; etc

    And it produced my best paper, which I wrote on irony in 鈥淏eloved鈥

    Yeah I鈥檝e been meaning to revisit Lot to see if it鈥檇 click, but it鈥檚 not really on my radar rn (just started a goodbooks account, so I have a lot on my shortlist ahead of it lol)

    lmao they just made it a completely different thing last minute?? wth

    that sounds rly hard tho. E Pluribus Unum was a gamechanger for me tbh and feel free to send me that Beloved paper lol, I'm intrigued

    But also goodbooks? Or goodreads? Cause no disrespect but the former got multiple Ayn Rand novels in their "top 100"

  • May 11

    I don鈥檛 want more fiction from him. Write an autobiography already

  • May 11
    1 reply
    beflygelt

    lmao they just made it a completely different thing last minute?? wth

    that sounds rly hard tho. E Pluribus Unum was a gamechanger for me tbh and feel free to send me that Beloved paper lol, I'm intrigued

    But also goodbooks? Or goodreads? Cause no disrespect but the former got multiple Ayn Rand novels in their "top 100"

    Professor had a family emergency.. was such a bummer for everyone

    But yeah I still have a folder of all the texts we read that stuck with me. Have a lot of cool s*** to revisit, including that fire Wallace essay

    Goodreads, yeah, my b. It's a very useful resource, despite its ratings

    Irony in Beloved

  • May 12
    1 reply
    Rx Marcus

    Professor had a family emergency.. was such a bummer for everyone

    But yeah I still have a folder of all the texts we read that stuck with me. Have a lot of cool s*** to revisit, including that fire Wallace essay

    Goodreads, yeah, my b. It's a very useful resource, despite its ratings

    Irony in Beloved

    lmao for a second I was worried your reading list was a pile of self-help books about how to become "successful" that didn't seem to add up but lol

    Goodreads community is so-so but it's still the best tool for cataloging around rn

    and thx!

  • beflygelt

    lmao for a second I was worried your reading list was a pile of self-help books about how to become "successful" that didn't seem to add up but lol

    Goodreads community is so-so but it's still the best tool for cataloging around rn

    and thx!

    Imagine

  • Jul 13
    1 reply

    Probably my favourite author when I go back to him but you need a break from Pynchon after finishing one of his books. Been trying to read Against The Day like 6 different times

  • Jul 14
    1 reply
    Joesuff

    Probably my favourite author when I go back to him but you need a break from Pynchon after finishing one of his books. Been trying to read Against The Day like 6 different times

    Oh 100%. His books are an investment.

  • Jul 14
    1 reply
    rozco

    Oh 100%. His books are an investment.

    How in depth do you go when reading? I鈥檝e tried to follow podcast reading groups of his that try and go through all the obscure references and it can be daunting especially some of his larger books and sometimes they just feel like a reach trying to tie things together that he most likely didn鈥檛 intend but I guess that鈥檚 the fun of Pynchon. Bleeding Edge was cool cause it was more modern and I knew a lot of the references just naturally

  • Jul 14
    Joesuff

    How in depth do you go when reading? I鈥檝e tried to follow podcast reading groups of his that try and go through all the obscure references and it can be daunting especially some of his larger books and sometimes they just feel like a reach trying to tie things together that he most likely didn鈥檛 intend but I guess that鈥檚 the fun of Pynchon. Bleeding Edge was cool cause it was more modern and I knew a lot of the references just naturally

    I haven't done any of those podcasts or anything, I like to just enjoy the book. If there's a reference that's so foreign to me I'm not understanding what's going on I look it up (ran into this in Mason and Dixon and Gravity's Rainbow in particular) but for the most part I just try to go with the flow. Like I don't know s*** about postwar Europe but Pynchon does a pretty good job of detailing environment and history so thoroughly, I usually feel like I know enough to stay in it.

  • Jul 14
    1 reply

    The goat 鈽濓笍

  • Jul 26
    1 reply

    kanye collab

  • Jul 26
    sherm liottta

    The goat 鈽濓笍

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