Pynchon Just for the Hell of It

Bookforum throws 19 or so authors into a discussion of Pynchon and his legacy for no particular reason at all. It’s nice, and not entirely un-Pynchonesque, when magazines do things like that.

From Gerald Howard:

In 1973, Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow landed on my brain and exploded there like,Thomas_pynchon_01 well, a V-2 rocket. It was precisely the book I needed at the time, which tells you something about my mental and spiritual condition. Hey, it was the ’70s. The country was low in the water and so was I. Tar-black humor, crushing difficulty, rampant paranoia, accelerating entropy, jaw-dropping perversity, apocalyptic terror, history as a conspiracy of the conjoined forces of technology, death, and sinister Control—it was all good. I preferred having my spirit crushed by a great American novel to the everyday humiliations of my first year of postcollegiate life and the cultural and political demoralizations of the era.