i fell asleep reading "against the day" (and didn't DIE), and i've realized something at least early-on with this work of pynchon's:
he's doing what the fans of more modern "walked across the room/holding a pen/my father" lit people (aka philip roth fans) always attribute to pieces of literature that aren't self-aware:
he's created an entire world, a universe, a language, and has it existing in a world that plays at being stripped, separated, removed entirely from the world in which we exist-and yet those moments of overlap, when suspension of disbelief gets fucked by the recognition of a random flicker of pop knowledge via the use of a tossed-off name in pynchon's glorious prose, are where the insights into the statement pynchon's making actually evolve from.
i.e. in the world of "against the day", nikolai tesla is head of a government program to find a clean source of fuel and energy.
i'm also having to read it really, really slowly, which is a bit painful-because the faster i read, the more i miss how each word fits into the puzzle, attaching last letter to the first letter of the next word, and piece by piece the picture is fitting together.
no one has finished "against the day" yet. most of the book journos i respect and read are chronicling their trumpling through the thousand pages as it happens-so i have none of the "scholars" to compare notes with.
and it makes me frightened, nervous, and excited, because-think about it:
imagine having been one of the FIRST people outside of joyce's circle of "friends" (yeah right like james joyce had any friends) to read "ulysses", and have no one to ask about it, no one labeled a "respected authority" to hold up, even in our lit student anti-"right answer" mindset, as a base, as a standard of comparison.
imagine having to be able to entertain ANY interpretation of the text, based solely upon the effects of the words on the reader.
that's what's going on with "against the day", and it's fucking flooring and frightening-because, let's face it, in literary study you tend to always know that if you're reading something wrong you can lie later.
from la weekly:
On this, the eve of the publication of Against the Day, we have gathered to count down to midnight at Skylight Books in Los Feliz to tip the best-seller scales in favor of Pynchon, grand master of the postmodern novel, and give challenge to Harry Potter’s cultural supremacy. And by “we” I mean a ragtag bunch of late-night browsers, the bookstore clerk girls, several local Skylight regulars, a handful of Pynchon fanboys, a homeless guy or two and a cat.
lucy gets here tonight, and that makes me so fucking incredibly happy. so excited, in fact, that i made my bed.
jethro tull tells you about kitties
i need to post a real, group-locked account of what's going on on the job front right now. suffice to say it's incredible that amy sedaris had the turnout it did, because everyone ended up being exposed to what the next step in my career plan is. however, until i officially walk out of the office this afternoon, across the small hallway that passes patricia (office manager/accountant)'s desk, out the back doors, get into my car, and turn out onto "scenic highway" (which has never proven itself scenic), i can't even begin to fathom what today means.
people talk shit about the first day of the rest of your life. lucy lands at 11pm tonight. 9pm abc is telling me is an "intense new grey's anatomy".
at some point around four pm this afternoon, the rest of my life will have changed, as well.