30.8.13

On the Thomas Pynchon Trail

Boris Kachka on the life and work of an American writer
Pynchon, age 16 (left), and an artist's rendering of how he may look today (right)
From Boris Kachka (Vulture):
Let’s get a few things straight. First of all, it’s pronounced “Pynch-ON.” Second, the great and bewildering and, yes, very private novelist is not exactly a recluse. In select company, he’s intensely social and charismatic, and, in spite of those famously shaming Bugs Bunny teeth, he was rarely without a girlfriend for the 30 years he spent wandering and couch-surfing before getting married in 1990. Today, he’s a yuppie—self-confessed, if you read his new novel, Bleeding Edge, as a key to the present life of a man whose travels led one critic to reflect: “Salinger hides; Pynchon runs.” Now Pynchon hides in plain sight, on the Upper West Side, with a family and a history of contradictions: a child of the postwar Establishment determined to reject it; a postmodernist master who’s called himself a “classicist”; a workaholic stoner; a polymath who revels in dirty puns; a literary outsider who’s married to a literary agent; a scourge of capitalism who sent his son to private school and lives in a $1.7 million prewar classic six. [Read More]

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