1. DromedaryLights
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    DromedaryLights Active Member

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    Finally Finished Against the Day

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by DromedaryLights, Aug 25, 2014.

    And I have no idea what happened. What just happened? Is anything real? General post-Pynchon confusion etc.

    Any other Pynchon fans out there? Do you actually understand his stuff? Does it even matter, or can it be enjoyed purely on a moment-by-moment basis without really comprehending the larger story, insofar as there even is a story? And, if that's the case, is that even a valid approach to writing? SO MANY QUESTIONS.
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    My son is a serious Pynchon fan. I have Gravity's Rainbow on the shelf waiting to be started.
     
  3. DromedaryLights
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    DromedaryLights Active Member

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    Oh man, Gravity's Rainbow was my first Pynchon book, which I feel like was sort of a mistake (starting with Crying of Lot 49, or with similar but less difficult authors like DFW probably would have made my life easier easier), though I'm very glad I read it. I've heard it said, and this might be true: No matter what you think at first, resolve to get through at least the first 100 pages. Anyway, good luck!
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2014
  4. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I've only read The Crying of Lot 49. Pynchon's a tough writer for sure. You need to be completely focused when you read him. His books need to be read several times to truly understand all the nuances. He's kind of like Joyce in that regard. Pynchon is also probably among the top 5 best living writers.

    I'll tag @Lemex because he's a huge Pynchon fan, so he'll have some good stuff to add to this thread.
     
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  5. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Oh god do I know this feeling all too well. I've read Against the Day, and my reaction was just like yours. However, unlike other Pynchon novels where I had threads of meaning in my head that started to come together after thinking about the novel, and even during a second reading. I knew, somehow, that Gravity's Rainbow was in some ways a confession, I knew it was about the Vietnam War in other ways, in a third still way I knew that it was about how senseless the Cold War was; but I thought all this on a sort of unconscious level. I find the more you put into Pynchon, the more you get out of him, and you need to do a lot of work to understand it all - if you ever do. I thought I knew his V. outright until I met someone else who read it, and their interpretation of the novel was so totally different to mine, yet their interpretation was just as valid as mine.

    This didn't happen with Against the Day. I think the novel is about the apocalypse, but exactly what it is saying I have no real idea. I have a feeling it has something to do with that weird Tibetten quotation that appears before the novel. I've read what it says, but what it means is every kind of illusive. The themes of the novel are clear, the fact it ends just after 'the war to end all wars' is poignant. But, what does it all mean?

    Of all Pynchon's novels I know this one the least. Mind, what is with his rabid output since the 2000s? Two novels in just over a decade? Calm down Pynchon! :p
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2014
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