Text Patterns - by Alan Jacobs

Monday, December 12, 2016

what I'm doing here

Just a quick post here to note that this ongoing orgy of Pynchoniana will be neither systematic nor scholarly, but rather impulsive and haphazard. I am reading Pynchon with a particular set of concerns in mind, and don't feel obliged to be either fair or balanced, though I do hope to be unafraid.

A few weeks ago I confessed to my friend Edward Mendelson — who remains, for my money, the best critic of Pynchon, even though other interests and obligations have kept him from writing about Pynchon for many years — that I treasure in my secret heart the desire to write a book-length theological meditation on Pynchon. Edward agreed, first, that Pynchon is one of the most theologically literate of novelists (though this is rarely recognized), and second, that I really ought to write that book. These posts are a kind of trial run for that potential project, as well as for the bigger project linked above. As I've explained before, is what I think blogging is for: trying out ideas. What I like about blogging is that you have a responsibility to write clearly and accessibly but you're not required to manifest the scholarly completeness and logical rigor that would be expected in published work. That, for me, when I'm trying to develop and try out ideas, is a nice place to be.

So we'll see how this works out.


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