reading Pynchon

Some years ago I tried to write a book that I called Anthropocene Theology … well, actually, I did write that book, but once I had written it I wasn’t satisfied. It arose from a series of blog posts on my old Text Patterns blog, and perhaps for that reason I couldn’t make it sufficiently coherent. I dunno, maybe someone would have published it anyway, but I wouldn’t have been happy with it, and I don’t need another book on my CV. So I set it aside. 

There was a lot about Thomas Pynchon in it, ideas that were and are important to me, so a couple of years ago I extracted all that and tried to make a book out of it also. But editors told me that the book was too short to be published in the form I sent it. (I own many shorter books, but hey, you can’t argue with editors about stuff like that.) Alas, it is also too long to be published as an essay. I will get it out into the world some day, even if only as a self-published thing, but in the meantime I want to share an offshoot of the project. 

Pynchon is a notoriously difficult writer, but also, in my view, a very great one who is not read as widely as he should be. So it occurred to me that it might be useful for me to write a kind of introduction to Pynchon: an overview of his life and work that might entice new readers and guide them in their efforts. So I did, and here it is. I hope some of you will find it useful. 

UPDATE: I’m very pleased to report that the long essay on Pynchon is not, after all, too long and will be published in the Summer issue of The Hedgehog Review