The Fictional Labyrinths of Thomas Pynchon

The Fictional Labyrinths of Thomas Pynchon

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260 pp, 4 illus.

The possible meanings and allusions in Thomas Pynchon's work are almost infinite. His rich, polyvocal texts and his personal ability to remain virtually invisible pose a number of questions to readers and scholars alike: How do we read these encyclopedic fictions? What is the effect of all the tonal shifts? Where-is anywhere-is Pynchon's own voice, and how do we begin to interpret it?

This is lucidly written study gives a careful and detailed reading of Pynchon's fiction from the early short stories to Gravity's Rainbow. David Seed stresses the intricacy of Pynchon's narratives and discusses such issues as her parody of myth, influences from the Beats, and the various uses of comedy and American culture.

While taking previous criticism into account, Seed reinterprets Pynchon's texts from an original perspective, showing the continuities, obsessions, and deeper generative concerns that run through all of Pynchon's writing to the novels for which he has written promotional comments. A unique appendix includes the text of a letter written by Pynchon discussing the research for his third novel.

A regular contributor to Pynchon Notes, Seed draws on this specialized knowledge as well as items from secondary sources to include information that the most dedicated Pynchonian will find provocative. His jargon-free writing and sense of excitement about the enormous wealth of Pynchon's work reanimate the texts and make us want to read them all over again.