Thomas Pynchon - Against the Day

catalog

Well-known member
Oh yeah but as well as all those others, i've got to read finnegans wake first.

I do think pynchon is an excellent writer, but I agree with what you said in the Joyce thread about the difference between Joyce and pynchon

This is partly what I was getting at re: Joyce mentioning lots of mundane things alongside the cosmic. It feels stable despite the scope, complexity and experimentation. Deleuze's "piece of fresh land". Nothing's solid in what came after. Once you get to Burroughs, Pynchon etc, it's all in pieces.

I like what I would call the "process" element of Joyce, where its rooted in very ordinary day to day stuff. Although maybe that goes out the window with the Wake.

Whereas when I read pynchon, I feel quite strongly that it's all inside his head, he's making it up as he goes along. It's great, he has a lot of good things to say, the flights of fancy and the tying of the maths to the spiritual are very enthralling, but you can get lost because of that issue.

And, more importantly got me I suppose, you care about the characters less.

Like one of the chums if chance, in the opening section, has this quirk where he's very obsessed with grammar and pronunciation being correct, it's a tic of his. But the next time you meet him, several hundred pages later, that side of his character doesn't really come into play, as though Pynchon has forgotten about it, or it no longer serves the story.

So as a result you find it hard to get a solid picture of these people.
 

version

Well-known member
Mason & Dixon resolves that by having two very strong lead characters whilst retaining the encyclopedic thing. I think you'll like it.
 

catalog

Well-known member
Sounds good actually. There are central characters in against the day that are very well drawn, particularly the traverse family, but he does love adding a new person constantly.
 

version

Well-known member
There are loads of characters, but it all revolves around the two surveyors and their line, so it doesn't have the sprawl of something like GR. It's following one thread, for the most part.
 

catalog

Well-known member
On the time travel tip, it's interesting to me that in the supposedly limitless world of the Internet, the most common control actions used on Web browsers is consistently the "back" button.
 

catalog

Well-known member
Yeah, couple of weeks ago. Good book. Sort of tailed off a little towards the end, after the high point in the middle, but there was still a lot of gold.

I made a lot of notes with the intent of posting it all but haven't done so yet.
 
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