Pynchon and the Political

By Samuel Thomas

© 2007 – Routledge

214 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415809146
pub: 2011-12-15
US Dollars$54.95
Hardback: 9780415956468
pub: 2007-09-14
US Dollars$150.00

About the Book

Thomas Pynchon's writing has been widely regarded as an exemplary form of postmodern fiction. It is characterized as genre-defying and enigmatic, as a series of complex and esoteric language games. This study attempts to demonstrate, however, that an oblique yet compelling sense of the "political" Pynchon disappers all too easily under the mantle of postmodernity. Innovative and unsettling discussions of freedom, war, labor, poverty, community, democracy, and totalitarianism are passed over in favor of constrictive scientific metaphors and theoretical play. Against this current, this study analyzes Pynchon's fiction in terms of its radical dimension, showing how it points to new directions in the relationship between the political and the aesthetic.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Text-Politics-Criticism-Methodology 1. Retro-Vertigo: Escaping the Enlightenment in Mason & Dixon 2. Blank Checks: Invisibility and Economy in Mason & Dixon 3. Theatre of Operations: Surgery, War and Questing in V. and Gravity’s Rainbow 4. Memento-Mori: War-Life and War-Experience in Gravity’s Rainbow and V 5. (What’s so Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding? Resistance vs. Withdrawal in The Crying of Lot 49 6. Sir Yes Sir!: Doing It To Yourself and Doing It For Yourself in Vineland. Conclusion: Pynchon-Politics-Everybody

About the Series

Studies in Major Literary Authors

Studies in Major Literary Authors features outstanding scholarship on celebrated and neglected authors of both canonical and lesser-known texts.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / American / General