Saturday, March 03, 2007

Defective Time Travel

So I finally finished Pynchon's Against the Day, the other Day (Wednesday). Its very good. You should read it. Takes some time though - 1080 or so pages long but unlike Gravity's Rainbow, its really readable throughout - never goes off the deep end the way GR does now and then. Won't say a whole lot about it, at this juncture, I suppose since I don't think that any of our gentle readers out there have read it yet either. If you have, email me, and I'll discuss it. I will say that it seems most similar to me, out of Pynchon's novels, to be most similar to V. in that it operates from a more-or-less central thesis throughout, and really says something critical through the fiction.

I really like Pynchon because whatever it is that makes his works "postmodern" (the cartoony aspects of GR, for instance) is always contained within the text. He never breaks character, doesn't have footnotes (like, say, Infinite Jest (I like this book less and less every time I think about it) or Kiss of the Spider Woman (very cool book, but esoteric and probably uninteresting to most)), never enters the authors voice into the text (like, you know, Kundera, or Stoppard, or whoever it was that wrote The French Lieutenant's Woman), and general his books are just so fucking fascinating.

My feeling, having finished the novel, was something akin to my feeling after watching all of David Lynch's Twin Peaks - there's so many interesting characters and events, one wishes the author would continue the output because it'll be a long time before the characters and what they do would get boring.


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