version's Thomas Pynchon masterclass


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have you read this yet? what about @craner have you finished maximus yet?
i've not no.

i have the opportunity to get it today, and can also get the kenner.

i did see maximus the other day and the size put me off, i've already got the divine comedy staring me down.

out of the kenner and maximus, which is the one?


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you have to read both. dont bother with dante its so boring you wont enjoy it. rubbish book.

Benny B

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i've not no.

i have the opportunity to get it today, and can also get the kenner.

i did see maximus the other day and the size put me off, i've already got the divine comedy staring me down.

out of the kenner and maximus, which is the one?
Fwiw, I just read some Olson poems for the first time, including a couple of the Maximus poems, Kingfishers and the projected verse essay in that New American poetry anthology Luka and Woops recommended me on here, and I've come away seriously impressed.


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i sometimes hear my own voice doing this quavery acid-casualty thing. then i have to leap onto a more assertive frequency band.
you hear it on a lot of the killa kela interviews with old graffiti writers too


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found in his1971 lecture on Olson’s Maximus IV V VI:
I mean, think of the extraordinary unlikelihood of what such a thing like
Stonehenge or Avebury were built to predict. They never thought they would
work. Oh, never. I mean, they were chance shots. Like, sooner or later it must
come round again, and it must come round again because it was wanted: and if it
was wanted, it would come. There is this immense controversy now about how
they knew over those immense periods of time that there were cyclic repetitions

in the movement of heavenly bodies. They didn’t know. They just wanted it.
That’s how it happened.
And the Olson poem also wants it. And if you read it, and if you hear it,
then you also want it. Then you can also have the particular condition of
transpiring through the noble arc, from the land to the shore, from the shore to
the sea, from the sea to the ocean, from the ocean to the void, from the void to
the horizonal curve, which is love. (“On Maximus IV V VI”

Benny B

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Maximus, to himself​

I have had to learn the simplest things
last. Which made for difficulties.
Even at sea I was slow, to get the hand out, or to cross
a wet deck.
The sea was not, finally, my trade.
But even my trade, at it, I stood estranged
from that which was most familiar. Was delayed,
and not content with the man’s argument
that such postponement
is now the nature of
that we are all late
in a slow time,
that we grow up many
And the single
is not easily

It could be, though the sharpness (the achiote)
I note in others,
makes more sense
than my own distances. The agilities

they show daily
who do the world’s
And who do nature’s
as I have no sense
I have done either

I have made dialogues,
have discussed ancient texts,
have thrown what light I could, offered
what pleasures
doceat allows

But the known?
This, I have had to be given,
a life, love, and from one man
the world.
But sitting here
I look out as a wind
and water man, testing
And missing
some proof

I know the quarters
of the weather, where it comes from,
where it goes. But the stem of me,
this I took from their welcome,
or their rejection, of me

And my arrogance
was neither diminished
nor increased,
by the communication


It is undone business
I speak of, this morning,
with the sea
stretching out
from my feet

Benny B

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Ah the formatting's not right when you paste it in, but I love this poem, might have to get Maximus


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It wasn't him and apparently it's not very good anyway. I suspect that was just a rumour someone started as a PR strategy as the only reason anyone seemed to talk about it was because they thought it might be Pynchon.


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I dunno where else to post this, but I fell into this hole the other night tracing a bunch of posts and discussion of posts on 4chan's /lit/ board in 2010 that a lot of users were convinced was Pynchon (the user themselves denied this and refused to give their identity. They copped to being a writer and publishing novels that are taught in current lit courses). The posts are really funny and thoughtful, and are a kind of madcap intelligent style that immediately derails all of the threads they are posted in. Its wild to see this stuff in the setting of 4chan and everybody immediately realizing this is not an ordinary poster. Whether or not it's actually Pynchon, I don't really care. Its fun to see someone fanboy-ing over Joyce and posting erudite Shakespeare authorship conspiracies (...The first English pope who annexed Ireland was named... Breakspear) and employing a poster to send a letter to Pynchon's Wife/Agent (complete with agency address) about Doc Sportello's erections and an episode of the show Love Boat.


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I've no idea whether it's him, I doubt it, but it's interesting, whoever it was;
I pray to God that before Pynchon dies somebody will point out that the secret answer to The Crying of Lot 49 is "Torquato Tasso". Thurn & Taxis? Torquato Tasso? The image of the badger on his back? Get it?

Torquato Tasso was a famous literary artist who went mad and got locked away. In other words, Oedipa's experience of paranoia is a form of artistic madness. That's it. It's a puzzle book, just like Pale Fire expects you to work out the puzzle that the crown jewels are hidden in Kobaltana. This, incidentally, is why my good friend Tommy basically disowned Lot 49 in the preface to Slow Learner.

Again, the fact that no academic has noticed this about Pynchon---even men as bright as Edward Mendelson or Tony Tanner---shows more about the limitations of the academic mindset than anything else.

Shall I lay it out in lemmata? (That being the proper Greek plural.)
1. The "Taxis" in Thurn & Taxis is ascribed as being derived from the Italian word "Tasso" meaning "badger." Here's the passage....

"Soon he had added to his iconography the muted post horn and a dead badger with its four feet in the air (some said that the name Taxis came from the Italian tasso, badger, referring to hats of badger fur the early Bergamascan couriers wore). He began a sub rosa campaign of obstruction, terror and depredation along the Thurn and Taxis mail routes. Oedipa spent the next several days in and out of libraries and earnest discussions with Emory Bortz and Genghis Cohen". (If you don't believe me.)
2. Look up the Latin verb "torqueo, torquere". It means: to twist, turn, screw. "Torquato" is a Latin past-participle. Torquato Tasso = Turned Badger.
3. Of course "Thurn" is the German word for "tower", like the tower in Remedios Varo's painting.
4. Of course there is a famous poem about Torquato Tasso (besides Goethe's) by Shelley (Julian & Maddalo) which describe's Tasso as a madman locked away in a tower.
5. Shall I go on?


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Shakespeare criticism is by and large an index of things not worth saying about Shakespeare.

He has a massive vocabulary, a command of differing high and low styles, and most importantly there's no biography we have that could "explain" his work away. In other words, he's still a mystery in a way that Dante (who did meet Beatrice and wrote from that inspiration) or Joyce (who did meet Nora and immortalized the day she first gave him a handjob) are not. Because we figure, oh Dante or Joyce did it for a girl they loved and lost or didn't lose, or whatever.

Hence, the authorship debate. Freud thought the plays were written by the Earl of Oxford. Walt Whitman and Mark Twain believed the Bacon theory. HELEN FUCKING KELLER believed the plays were written by Francis Bacon. (See the new book by Shapiro, "Contested Will", if you doubt me.)

You want to know my theory?

One English writer gets to be the most famous writer of all time. His name? Shakespeare (or so they say).

Meanwhile, 400+ years earlier, the only Englishman ever to be elected Pope gets elected as Pope. He promptly uses his powers to give Ireland to the King of England, which says a lot about the Papacy and about Irish Catholics. What was his name?

Well, Pope Adrian IV. The only English Pope. Look it up. His real name was Breakspeare.

Obviously Shakespeare was some kind of pen name. Obviously there is a conspiracy. I just find it hilarious that it's only within the past 10 years or so that people have started to suggest (based on the "Shake-shafte" found in a Catholic recusant household during Shakespeare's lost years) that Shakespeare might have been Catholic. DUH. Joyce noticed this, Antony Burgess noticed this, they both knew about Shakespeare / Breakspeare. They just had better things to write than more fapping over the supposedly greatest writer of all time.


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Did you find the Hipinion thread via the Reddit thread on that odd Twitter account?

For anyone out of the loop, there's a Twitter account that's appeared recently called "Sam Harpoon" that seems to be a fictional Hollywood producer in Paul Thomas Anderson's new film and whoever they are, they keep tweeting out fictional (?) anecdotes about their career. The Pynchon connection's that some people think it's him dicking about to help his mate, PTA, promote the film, or at least someone who wants people to make the connection because they've been tweeting stuff like;

'2022 marks 50 years since I began the journey of crafting "Rainbow," my studio debut and the film which has defined my career for better or worse (arguably both). The "arc" of its creation is a tale of great ambition and high drama. Do not be fooled by "counterfeit accounts." SH.'


'Gurdjieff once wrote, "Essence is the truth in man." This was the guiding philosophy at the heart of "Juju and the Caper Crew" which I made for Fox in 1974. However due to a financing snafu with Westinghouse it was only shown at the NATO training base in Szczecin. Great film! SH.'