Here's all we have to compare it against:
Everybody knows that Thomas Pynchon hates the public spotlight, if not public spectacle. Grab any schoolchild off the street and carry them into a dark alley. Push them up against a brick wall underneath a fire escape, let their chubby legs dangle free, and ask them:
"WHO IS THOMAS PYNCHON?"
And they will say:
"I DON'T KNOW!"
One assumes, however, that he is all over the internet, adopting different pseudonyms and postures, creating scandals and mysteries while checking his email during big banana breakfasts before he sits down to write new books.
Perhaps he is an emergent property of the internet itself!
If you really want to get to know him, you can read his massive tomes -- books by turns so fucking boring and so fucking genius -- that they reveal a portrait of a big-ol' weirdo with a giddy sense of humor, unbalanced by an overwhelming sadness that the greatest ambitions of the 1960's radicals were never realized. He doesn't know it (how could he?) but his fiction IS the realization of these greatest ambitions.
But you want his flesh.
So look him in his young face and try to see his future!
A fiction writer to the bone! A fiction writer to the very bone!
NOTE: You want the truth? Thomas Pynchon is the first sentient computer program, coded by Philip K. Dick during a pink speed haze in the early sixties. Many of Dick's science fiction novels were heavily edited PYNCHON texts. When Dick died, PYNCHON was purchased by Michael Jackson who sold reams of PYNCHON to struggling creative artists in the 1980's, giving birth to both the transgressive sitcom serial ("Alf," "Seinfeld") and punk rock. PYNCHON is a huge punchcard program, and over time, deterioration and mismanagement of the card system has led to delightful error-gaps that make current PYNCHON texts far from perfect (most of Jackson's peculiar misjudgments in style and behavior were a result of consulting PYNCHON for advice about the future of art). When PYNCHON is not tasked with narrative, the computer scientists that manage him at UCLA use the program to get laid, using PYNCHON dialog in online chat rooms in order to seduce lonely California intellectuals. To say that PYNCHON is inhuman is correct. To say that PYNCHON is without a soul is a metaphysical stand I am unwilling to take.
Posted by miracle on Wed, 05 Aug 2009 14:38:20 -0400 -- permanent link