Hawking Up Hairballs

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Pynchon Interrupted

Well, I bogged down in Thomas Pynchon's Against The Day a couple of months ago and I haven't picked it up since. Quite frankly, it just doesn't seem to be worth the effort. I loved Gravity's Rainbow, and compared to that book, Against The Day seems like the work of a pallid imitator. A thought immediately comes to mind. In the '70's or '80's, Pynchon ran off with his best friend's wife. Now, Pynchon is notoriously reclusive and the former friend got his revenge by granting an interview and revealing various things that he knew about Pynchon and his personal life. One particular little story has stuck with me. This former friend said that one day Pynchon was over at his place. A copy of Gravity's Rainbow was on the table and Pynchon picked it up. He paged through the book and remarked that he was so stoned when he wrote most of it that he couldn't remember what he was trying to get at in many places. Now, it's hard to give much credence to such gossip but the contrast between that book and Pynchon's most recent is so stark that I can't help but wonder.


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