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Pynchon Paper Dolls
October 27, 2006 8:26 AM   Subscribe

Thomas Pynchon Paper Dolls Something light because, yes, it's the run-up to the November 21st release of Against the Day, the new 1000 page doorstop from Thomas Pynchon. The Modern Word is using the time to update their already vast Pynchon site. Good luck. (A whole lot of other paper dolls previously.)
posted by OmieWise (37 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
After Gravity's Rainbow, nothing but slush. As DFW says, "a wasted talent."
posted by four panels at 8:31 AM on October 27, 2006


You're an idiot. Pynchon kicks ass and I can't wait for the new one.
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:36 AM on October 27, 2006


Your favorite pomo author sucks.

and...cut!
posted by sciurus at 8:40 AM on October 27, 2006


I presume DFW is David Foster Wallace? If so, HAHAHAHAHAHA
posted by Optamystic at 8:54 AM on October 27, 2006


Paper dolls freaking rule. I'm printing him out.

Oh My God. Thanks for reminding me of my mind-numbingly horrible first post, and the subsequent nitpicky thread.
posted by iconomy at 8:56 AM on October 27, 2006


ico, I didn't realize it was you. I liked the post! I wasn't around then or I would have said so.
posted by OmieWise at 9:00 AM on October 27, 2006


And once again, somebody has to jump in and make the first comment a snide putdown—but with a self-defeating reference to the Commissioner of Wasted Talent himself!
*high-fives Optamystic*

Can't wait to read the book—I don't think I'll be able to wait for the paperback.
posted by languagehat at 9:20 AM on October 27, 2006


When I was a bookstore clerk, I once rung up a purchase for a guy buying Infinite Jest, Mason & Dixon and Delillo's Underworld, all at once. The dude was either a serious intellect or just trying to build his upper body strength.
posted by jonmc at 9:22 AM on October 27, 2006


Wait--did David Foster Wallace actually say that about Pynchon? If so, can someone point me to a source?

Infinite Jest wouldn't have even been considered publishable if it weren't for Pynchon's work setting a precedent.
posted by Prospero at 9:28 AM on October 27, 2006


After a few minutes' Googling, I think four panels has David Foster Wallace confused with Dale Peck.
posted by Prospero at 9:35 AM on October 27, 2006


Gravity's Rainbow still seems almost incomparably great to me. Succeeding works are so much less I do wonder if producing GR was such a superhuman effort it damaged his brain-- especially since, to judge by the internal evidence, all kinds of drugs may have been involved in the creation.

Oh well, even if so, brains do have a way of restoring themselves given time, and 30-some years should be more than enough.

I'm trying to damp down my excitement as Against the Day approaches, but it isn't working too well.
posted by jamjam at 9:45 AM on October 27, 2006


Prospero, i hope you're wrong - i think it would be the bee's knees to be able to attribute that quote to "DFW". it makes my literary cortex short-circuit with delight.
posted by the painkiller at 9:47 AM on October 27, 2006


THAT was fucking hilarious.
I hate when Pynchon drops by unannounced and eats all of my Pizza Rolls -but what can you do?
Boy, does that guy like the letter "V".
posted by squidfartz at 9:52 AM on October 27, 2006


GUYS, GUYS, GUYS!

If you think a new Pynchon is a treat, looky what I just stumbled over:

Alexander Goddamn Theroux has a new novel coming out next March.

If that doesn't make your little tootsies tingle and your little hootoos hop, then you. are. dead. to. me.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:53 AM on October 27, 2006


That's cool about the Theroux...it's strange and a bit disturbing that he's getting published by Fantagraphics. I hope it means a ton of money, but I suspect it means he really had to shop for a publisher.
posted by OmieWise at 10:15 AM on October 27, 2006


If memory serves, Theroux wrote a couple of pieces for some of their old comic strip collections as well. But, yeah between the dense prose and the, well, maybe being a bit of an asshole, he probably did have to shop.

(And Darconville's Cat is still out of print. How utterly fucked up is that?)
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 10:21 AM on October 27, 2006


I adore Gravity's Rainbow, but I actually thought Mason & Dixon was stronger in a lot of respects. Very much looking forward to Against the Day.
posted by muckster at 10:25 AM on October 27, 2006


Hah! Those paper dolls must have been made from the one known picture of Pynchon I read somewhere that he's had his teeth fixed since then.

Very much looking forward to ATD.

Nicht ficht mit dem raketemensch!
posted by Afroblanco at 11:13 AM on October 27, 2006


Pynchon has talent to W.A.S.T.E.

There, fixed that.
posted by Haruspex at 12:34 PM on October 27, 2006


When I was a bookstore clerk, I once rung up a purchase for a guy buying Infinite Jest, Mason & Dixon and Delillo's Underworld, all at once. The dude was either a serious intellect or just trying to build his upper body strength.

Or a show-off.

When I was a bookstore clerk, I saw this incredibly hot girl walk up to the counter, and I looked down to see a copy of Atlas Shrugged.

Worst. Buzzkill. Ever.
posted by spiderwire at 12:47 PM on October 27, 2006


"A tradition that began with the diarrheic flow of words that is Ulysses; continued on through the incomprehensible ramblings of late Faulkner and the sterile inventions of Nabokov; and then burst into full, foul life in the ridiculous dithering of Barth and Hawkes and Gaddis, and the reductive cardboard constructions of Barthelme, and the word-by-word wasting of a talent as formidable as Pynchon's; and finally broke apart like a cracked sidewalk beneath the weight of the stupid — just plain stupid — tomes of DeLillo."

Dale Peck, from "The Moody Blues," a review of The Black Veil by Rick Moody
posted by xod at 12:50 PM on October 27, 2006


When I was a bookstore clerk, I once rung up a purchase for a guy buying Infinite Jest, Mason & Dixon and Delillo's Underworld, all at once. The dude was either a serious intellect or just trying to build his upper body strength.

Sounds like my kind of bookstore visit. Except I already have all those.

Or a show-off.

Erm. Please stay out of my library. Yes, I did read all those. I can't help it. No, you can't have any. Go away.
posted by loquacious at 12:55 PM on October 27, 2006


Funny how some of the same people so willing to slag Tom P. will swallow Neil Stephenson's latterly-godawful tripe with an audible gokkun.
posted by adamgreenfield at 1:07 PM on October 27, 2006


"Pynchon's another one whom I regard as really kind of old-fashioned. I like early Pynchon. I like The Crying of Lot 49. I like Gravity's Rainbow. But the Pynchon of Slow Learner and Vineland, which I didn't like very much, seems to be making the same tired jokes -- 'look how shallow and superficial the culture is.' "

D.F. Wallace, interview.
posted by xod at 1:11 PM on October 27, 2006


"I like early Pynchon....But the Pynchon of Slow Learner..."

Incredibly, DFW betrays his ignorance in even this short sentence, since Slow Learner is a book of early stories. The earliest, basically.
posted by OmieWise at 1:17 PM on October 27, 2006


Yes. I was wondering what he meant by that. I suspect that it is not simply an ignorant statement.
posted by xod at 1:38 PM on October 27, 2006


Dale Peck is a useless shit.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:44 PM on October 27, 2006


Agreed.
posted by xod at 1:48 PM on October 27, 2006


Erm. Please stay out of my library. Yes, I did read all those. I can't help it. No, you can't have any. Go away.

Jeez, I have 'em all too, but I'm guessing that neither of us bought them all *at the same time*.
posted by spiderwire at 1:48 PM on October 27, 2006


pynchon sucks. in a different story, the website created one of the largest coincidents i've ever experienced. it says "Thomas Pynchon paper dolls were made for esther, because she had the audacity to get hit by a car. if you get hit by a car i'll make something for you too"

i was just hit by a car no less than 30 minutes ago while riding my bike. r.i.p. noble puegot and some skin on my elbow. but anyways, i demand something to be made for me.
posted by localhuman at 2:26 PM on October 27, 2006


I have a coffee cup in storage in Berlin. It bears a fetching image of a V-2 rocket and the name of the touristic locale in Germany where I bought it: Peenemünde.

The most brilliant epigraph in the history of literature (I'm making a sweeping claim not out of omniscience but wild enthusiasm) comes at the beginning of Gravity's Rainbow: "Nature does not know extinction; all it knows is transformation. Everything science has taught me, and continues to teach me, strengthens my belief in the continuity of our spiritual existence after death.—Wernher Von Braun." When I first read those words, as a college freshman, I took them at face value—as scientific proof (very much in vogue at the time) of the reality of the spiritual realm. I had no idea that Von Braun, developer of the V-2, was Hitler's chief rocket scientist. Still less did I know of his salvation at the hands of American troops, as Berlin fell, or of his subsequent rehabilitation in the United States, where he became Nixon's chief rocket scientist and a member of the nasa team that put the first man on the moon (no wonder Von Braun believed in life after death).

From a short essay by Jeffrey Eugenides in "Pynchon from A to V."
posted by xod at 2:43 PM on October 27, 2006


Jeez, I have 'em all too, but I'm guessing that neither of us bought them all *at the same time*.

They're books that get mentioned together a lot though, it could of been a graduate course on "3 big novels", or maybe it was this metafilter member.
posted by bobo123 at 2:56 PM on October 27, 2006


Pynchon is considered pomo?!?

This is like finding out that really cute girl you've been flirting with at work is an emohipstergoth.

/lies down
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 5:15 PM on October 27, 2006


Any fiction author whose fiction requires annotation can't write fiction, or won't bother to try. Of David Foster Wallace, I actually borrowed a couple of his "story" collections from the library and so far he isn't delivering decent fiction either: the only piece of his I enjoyed was The Depressed Person, and that was not so much for the writing (which was okay) as because I can relate (to my discredit).

On the other hand, John Cheever could write. I'm re-reading The Wapshot Chronicle for something like the fifth time in 20 years. (I rarely re-read anything; there so much out there and most of it turns out to suck.)
posted by davy at 5:51 PM on October 27, 2006


I'm guessing that neither of us bought them all *at the same time*.

I read threads like this and then hit the bookstore up for a bunch of titles at once. on Monday I'll pick up Darconville's Cat, The Wapshot Chronicle, maybe something else mentioned here further down, and will ask around for a galley of Against The Day. maybe I'll get lucky. these awesome threads--- where everyone's name-dropping who they read and why something's important while the other thing's serifed feces--- are great for to-read lists.
posted by carsonb at 7:37 PM on October 27, 2006


...and will ask around for a galley of Against The Day. maybe I'll get lucky.

I will be sooo jealous if you score one. At [large book related company where I work] there have been only rumors of one galley arriving for one of the fiction buyers, and that's because he's been in the business for decades.

Viking/Penguin play their cards close with Pynchon: right before Mason & Dixon came out a co-worker was at a convention with a prominent display of copies. He rushed over to have a look, only to discover that they were mock ups and completely blank inside.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 3:34 AM on October 28, 2006


davy writes "Any fiction author whose fiction requires annotation can't write fiction, or won't bother to try."

I assume you aren't talking about Pynchon, since none of his books require annotation. It's true that folks who have a hard time understanding difficult ideas might do better to consult annotation, but that doesn't make it a requirement.
posted by OmieWise at 11:35 AM on October 29, 2006


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