web counter VISITORS SINCE JUNE, 2006

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Thomas Pynchon's "Vineland"

My lack of time accounts for not having written anything in the month of September. My courses are keeping me extremely busy, and leave me with little or no time to read. It took me nearly a month to finish Nabokov's "Glory," and I am worst off with Pynchon's "Vineland." The novel begins with Zoyd Wheeler, a drop out hippie, last generation of tuned out people living away from the Nixonian Regime. But like every Pynchon novel, "Vineland" turns surreal before you can say "recluse writer," and trying to keep up with the appeareance of ridiculously named characters is enough to keep one entertained and occupied. I mean to say that it is, in many ways, an interesting and well-written novel. I like it and I wish I could actually have more time to devote to it. Here's a passage I thought particularly well-written:



"At some point he must have gone drifting off to sleep, and she hadn't noticed. She watched over him, hers for a while, allowing presence, his beauty, the fear at the base of her spine, the prurient ache in her hands.... at last, so swept and helpless, she leaned in to whisper to him her heart's overflow, and saw in the half-light that what she'd thought were closed eyelids had been open all the time. He'd been watching her. She let out a short jolted scream. Brock started laughing."



Pynchon is a master of the surreal, of that which they call Magic-Realism in Latin American literature of the Boom. I recognize some of the major influences, incredibly so Faulkner is included here. The novel turns into a cloak-and-dagger thing of sorts with all kinds of agents and double-agents raiding and driving the plot of the novel in continuos changes of persona. It is hard to believe I have been struggling with this novel for so long and I still have over 100 pages to go. Again, it is sad I haven't posted much since school began.



I think my book list for the year has been shot. With only a few months to go I still have over ten books to read and at this pace I don't think I will be able to finish. That will be the first time I haven't been able to do so since 2005. Next year I am doing a full-year reading of Classics I have not yet read. There's a lot of Austen and Bronte I need to read, as well as more from antiquity and Dickens. Writing on the blog feels great again. I intend to make my rounds to my friends' blogs in the not so distant future.

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4 Comments:

At 8:52 PM, Blogger Kate S. said...

It's good to see you back blogging! I know what you mean about the way one's teaching duties can swallow up time. I'm finding my classes more onerous than usual this term as well. It doesn't seem to slow my reading--I think that I turn to books to unwind when I arrive home much the way some people turn to alcohol! But it has slowed my blogging considerably...

 
At 2:56 PM, Blogger Orange Blossom Goddess (aka Heather) said...

Glad you're back! You personal Classics Challenge sounds really good. I just bought a copy of Bleak House - I suddenly decided I needed to read Bleak House.

 
At 2:49 PM, Blogger david santos said...

IT LOOKS FOR HERE: http://www.interpol.int/public/thb/vico/default.asp

Wanted: search for this man photographed sexually abusing children
INTERPOL is seeking the help of the public to try to identify this man, photographed sexually abusing children in a series of images posted on the Internet.
The photos shown here are from a series of around 200 pictures involving 12 different young boys, believed to have been taken in Vietnam and Cambodia in 2002 or 2003.
These pictures have been produced by specialists from Germany’s federal police force, the Bundeskriminalamt, working from originals found on the Internet, which had been digitally altered to disguise the man’s face.
Extensive police efforts worldwide to identify the man have so far failed and Interpol is now enlisting the support of the media and the public to help identify him as a priority.
Anyone with information on his identity or whereabouts should contact their local police or INTERPOL’s Trafficking in Human Beings Unit via email.

http://www.interpol.int/public/thb/vico/default.asp

 
At 6:00 AM, Blogger Suzan Abrams said...

Hi JCR,
Looks like I've lost the comment I've
been writing out to you.
Thanks for remembering my blog and like the others, I'm glad you're back.
My own life has been haphazard.
I'm in Dublin at the moment but will be back in London in a few days and all that I can think about are my favourite bookshops. :-)
JCR, it's a pity I can't log in with my Wordpress blog, where I am currently. This is Behind the Curtain

 

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