version's Thomas Pynchon masterclass

IdleRich

IdleRich
but, his book is not to be believed.
It kinda strains credulity at times... the woman who used to weigh his balls before sex to check that they were loaded up with enough semen, the giantess he fucks etc etc

not read the kinski book. i know him from the herzog association really, but he's good in 'the grand silence' as well.
Well stop fucking around on the internet and go and read it now.
There are two versions but really you need to read them all to get the good stuff, I think they made him do a new edition taking some of the most offensive stuff out... but he put in some new offensive stuff to make up for it. It's a genuinely good book though, his writing is often compared to Celine (admittedly by Kinski himself) and I think that the comparison stands up.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
just in re the character names, they can be a bit exasperating i.e. [shakes head, sighs] "Genghis Cohen"

even recognizing that their dad joke - if your dad was a literature professor - humor also serves some other, serious purpose

I do appreciate how being so on-the-nose (especially in a such a smart/dumb way) introduces its own kind of postmodern ambiguity

subverting the traditional serious literature approach to allusion with directness

no, her name is just Oedipa Maas. her is husband is [sighs again] Mucho Maas. that's it. that's who they are.

and in having no allusions but the most direct and obvious, everything becomes potentially an allusion

I can't be the first person to think that Pynchon is, among whatever else he may be, a kind of serious literature Philip K. Dick

another, near-contemporary, master of conveying reality forever collapsing in on itself, meaning forever slipping away just out of grasp

and PKD's character names often have an ersatz quality, like they were haphazardly chosen out of a phonebook from a warped version of 50's America

all the flop sweat terror and dexedrine tooth grinding underneath the Brylcreem veneer of both the actual 50s and the imagined raygun future of 50s science fiction

Pynchon is obviously the deconstruction of a different formative reality - unraveling the stoned rambling of the 60s, the entire universe is one note, etc

but it's a similar impulse I think, if arrived at via different means

tho version, you're the acknowledged expert, so perhaps I am wrong
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
one interesting name, especially as regards the sacred and the profane, the author of this either missed or didn't mention, is Nefastis

nefas in Ancient Rome meant something rendered illegitimate by religious law, or more literally something illegitimate in the eyes of the gods

you can't really make a direct translation but the closest I think would be sacrilege, with overtones of religious impurity or uncleanliness

a person, or a particular act could become or be declared nefas through violating divine law, failure to observe proper religious rites, etc

and because politics and religion were completely interconnected any time a major public decision was undertaken it had to be declared fas est, or religiously legitimate. i.e. auguries had to be taken and found favorable, specific rites or prayers had to be conducted depending on the event, etc.

anyway, I found it interesting. even when the references are more obscure, they're still smack dab on-the-nose.

Nefastis with his scientifically impossible - not to say heretical - machine which is nefas by the cosmological worldview of thermodynamics
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
@padraig (u.s.) I've only read one PKD (Do Androids...), so can't really comment. I've seen them compared by others though, Bolaño for one:

"Dick was a schizophrenic. Dick was a paranoiac. Dick is one of the ten best American writers of the 20th century, which is saying a lot. Dick was a kind of Kafka steeped in LSD and rage. Dick talks to us, in The Man in the High Castle, in what would become his trademark way, about how mutable reality can be and therefore how mutable history can be. Dick is Thoreau plus the death of the American dream. Dick writes, at times, like a prisoner, because ethically and aesthetically he really is a prisoner. Dick is the one who, in Ubik, comes closest to capturing the human consciousness or fragments of consciousness in the context of their setting; the correspondence between what he tells and the structure of what’s told is more brilliant than similar experiments conducted by Pynchon or DeLillo."
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
I'm pretty sure there's a McLuhan reference in Lot 49. Oedipa receives a letter from her husband, Mucho Maas, which doesn't really contain anything useful but which has a typo on the envelope that sets the gears whirring... the medium is the message... Mucho Maas = MM = Marshall McLuhan...
 
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version

Who loves ya, baby?
I was much more conscious of Oedipa being Pynchon last time I read it.

For she had undergone her own educating at a time of nerves, blandness and retreat among not only her fellow students but also most of the visible structure around and ahead of them, this having been a national reflex to certain pathologies in high places only death had had the power to cure, and this Berkeley was like no somnolent Siwash out of her own past at all, but more akin to those Far Eastern or Latin American universities you read about, those autonomous culture media where the most beloved of folklores may be brought into doubt, cataclysmic of dissents voiced, suicidal of commitments chosen the sort that bring governments down.

The above's more or less how he describes his own experience of college in the intro to Farina's novel, Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me. Also, iirc, he and Oedipa were the same age when he published the book, he was living in California and he made use of the library at Berkeley.
 

Linebaugh

Well-known member
I was much more conscious of Oedipa being Pynchon last time I read it.

For she had undergone her own educating at a time of nerves, blandness and retreat among not only her fellow students but also most of the visible structure around and ahead of them, this having been a national reflex to certain pathologies in high places only death had had the power to cure, and this Berkeley was like no somnolent Siwash out of her own past at all, but more akin to those Far Eastern or Latin American universities you read about, those autonomous culture media where the most beloved of folklores may be brought into doubt, cataclysmic of dissents voiced, suicidal of commitments chosen the sort that bring governments down.

The above's more or less how he describes his own experience of college in the intro to Farina's novel, Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me. Also, iirc, he and Oedipa were the same age when he published the book, he was living in California and he made use of the library at Berkeley.
This also works with the alleged Pynchon cross dressing story

How does the potsmaster typo link to McLuhan? The whole book screams Mcluhan, and Mucho is right at the heart of that with his disc jockey crisis, but Im not making the typo connection. Is it the famous McLuhan 'massage' typo?
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
How does the potsmaster typo link to McLuhan? The whole book screams Mcluhan, and Mucho is right at the heart of that with his disc jockey crisis, but Im not making the typo connection. Is it the famous McLuhan 'massage' typo?
It's not the typo itself. It's that the letter contains no relevant information, but the method in which it's been sent does, i.e. the medium is the message.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
I tried and couldnt get into it, is it worth it?
Well ultimately I suppose the answer is no as they cancelled after two seasons on a massive cliff-hanger so in the end it was really disappointing. I enjoyed it up to there but there was a kind of sense that maybe they were making it up as they went along... perhaps there was a brilliant plan to bring it together but I suppose I'll never know now.
But I mention it because the title is surely a reference to Pynchon and the company that employs (or employed( everyone - Orbis - is kinda like Yoyodyne and there are other sort of references to Lot 49 - to be honest it's many years since I read it but I think that the events in both the book and the series are catalysed by the death of the protagonist's father for instance.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
Always confronting and jolting to be reminded of just how bad at writing Bolano was
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
That's tied together very well, man.

I was unfamiliar with Paolo Friere, but that excerpt makes a succinct and robust argument, as far as I can tell. You also give a concise explanation of Oedipus here, an explanation that can help me, for one, get a better grasp of all that discourse.
 
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