Thomas Pynchon

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Pynchon, Thomas

(pĭn`chən), 1937–, American novelist, b. Glen Cove, N.Y., grad. Cornell, 1958. Pynchon is noted for his amazingly fertile imagination, his wild sense of humor, and the teeming complexity of his novels. He is sometimes grouped with authors of black humorblack humor,
in literature, drama, and film, grotesque or morbid humor used to express the absurdity, insensitivity, paradox, and cruelty of the modern world. Ordinary characters or situations are usually exaggerated far beyond the limits of normal satire or irony.
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 (such as Kurt VonnegutVonnegut, Kurt, Jr.
1922–2007, American novelist, b. Indianapolis. After serving in World War II, he worked as a police reporter and wrote short stories for mainstream and science-fiction magazines, work the contributed to the development of the distinctive voice and wry
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 and Joseph HellerHeller, Joseph,
1923–99, American writer, b. Brooklyn, N.Y. Heller is best known for his first novel, Catch-22 (1961). Set in World War II, it is a darkly humorous commentary on the illogic of war and bureaucracy.
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), who turned from realism to fantasy to depict 20th-century (and, in Pynchon's case, 21st-century) American life. His early novels include V. (1963) and The Crying of Lot 49 (1966). His masterpiece is the complex and often obscure Gravity's Rainbow (1973, National Book Award), which displays his diverse erudition. Set in London during World War II, it is a discursive rumination on war and death. In 1984, he published a collection of early writings, Slow Learner. His later novels are Vineland (1990), the witty and encyclopedic Mason & Dixon (1997), the sprawling Against the Day (2006), the psychedelic 1970s sleuth tale Inherent Vice (2009), and the wild, 21st-century New York investigative saga Bleeding Edge (2013).

Bibliography

See studies by T. Tanner (1982), P. L. Cooper (1983), D. Seed (1988), S. C. Weisenburger (1988), J. Dugdale (1990), A. McHoul and D. Wills (1990), J. W. Slade (1990), J. Chambers (1992), H. Berressem (1993), A. W. Brownlie (2000), A. Mangen and R. Gaasland, ed. (2002), N. Abbas, ed. (2003), H. Bloom, ed. (2003), and D. Cowart (1980 and 2012); I. H. Dalsgaard et al., ed., The Cambridge Companion to Thomas Pynchon (2012).

Pynchon, Thomas (Ruggles, Jr.)

(1937–  ) writer; born in Glen Cove, N.Y. He studied at Cornell (B.A. 1958), lived in Greenwich Village for a year, and worked on the house publication of Boeing Aircraft (Seattle, Wash.). He moved to Mexico while finishing his first novel, V. (1963), and later settled in California. An intensely private writer, he refused to be interviewed or photographed. He is best known for his novel, Gravity's Rainbow (1973), an ingenious examination of language and an attempt to organize the ideas and systems of modern life. A collection of short stories, Slow Learner (1984), has also been published.
References in periodicals archive ?
The reader is further disoriented by the Pynchonesque premium Gibson's style places on poetic information density.
The one time I met Pynchon he gave me an Amy Fisher comic book, an altogether Pynchonesque (Pynchonian?
The Strongbowian worldview turns Pynchonesque paranoia on its head:
Not many people remember, but FEMA has an ancestry of Pynchonesque intrigue and complexity.
The novel reaches a level of Pynchonesque paranoia when Laura decides to rid herself of all of Clare's products, only to realize it's an impossible task: Clare has infiltrated her life, from the snacks she feeds her kids to the pesticides she uses on her garden.
While The Lizard Club as a baroque and willfully Pynchonesque epic in miniature may seem far removed from the queercore concerns we have outlined, it exemplifies the subcultural insider's proprietorial gaze over secret signs.
The presence of such easy Pynchonesque laughs flags the essential problem Gibson, now forty-five and a postmodern icon himself, has had to wrestle with since the publication of Neuromancer almost a decade ago.
Bill, the great white hope, has gone into a Pynchonesque media hibernation and refused to publish anything further, because to do so would obviate him, replace the individual producer with a collective book or mass commodity.
Written after the favorable cult reception of his first two efforts - the Pynchonesque novel The Broom of the System and the arch, virtuosic collection of short stories Girl with Curious Hair - but before he embarked on the three-year marathon that resulted in Infinite Jest, "E Unibus Pluram" is the lament of a precocious talent at the crossroads.
How long can any of us, after all, actually five in a state of total Pynchonesque anti-paranoia, Baudrillardian schizophrenia?