Monday, August 8, 2011

Thomas Pynchon

If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.

From his 1973 novel, Gravity's Rainbow, which has been compared to James Joyce's Ulysses -- most but not all people would consider that high praise indeed -- and is regarded by some critics as the greatest of all post-World War II American novels.

Pynchon is a recluse in the tradition of J. D. Salinger -- he has shunned reporters and photographers for over 40 years.  Pynchon invited author Salman Rushdie to meet him in New York City once, and Rushdie later described him as "extremely Pynchon-esque."

I picked this date for this post somewhat at random.  However, 8/8/11 can be seen as a representation of the "Dead Man's Hand" (a pair of eights and a pair of aces) that Wild Bill Hickok was holding when he was shot and killed by Jack McCall.  I think that is at least somewhat Pynchon-esque, although perhaps not extremely so.

Pynchon voiced himself in two episodes of The Simpsons:

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