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22 votes

Why is Gravity’s Rainbow considered postmodern, yet Finnegans Wake is not?

The answer to this is very simply one of time frames. Modernism is the name given to a series of linked movements across the arts that spans from the late 19th century to roughly the Second World War. ...
Matt Thrower's user avatar
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20 votes
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Why is Gravity’s Rainbow considered postmodern, yet Finnegans Wake is not?

The premise of your question is unjustified. It is a very widespread view that Finnegans Wake is precisely a postmodernist work. Take a look, for instance, at this answer on here, which states: ...
Segorian's user avatar
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6 votes
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What’s up with Slothrop the paedophile?

Slothrop is not a pedophile, Bianca is not a child Bianca (on the first look) is 11-12 but in fact she is around 16-17, which would make the sexual relation far less squicky without pedophilic ...
Yasskier's user avatar
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6 votes
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What order should I read Thomas Pynchon's novels in?

If you're tackling the first three books, I'd say Lot 49, followed by V., followed by Gravity's Rainbow. "A Journey into the Mind of Watts" makes a nice addition somewhere in there. There is a ...
Kevin Troy's user avatar
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3 votes
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Is there a consistent set of messages that run throughout the works of Thomas Pynchon?

Short Answer: I believe one of the main unifying themes in Pynchon's work is history, and more specifically the question of how history is relevant to the present; how, and in what way, do we and can ...
spassgodzilla's user avatar
3 votes

What’s up with Slothrop the paedophile?

It's a long time since I read it, but ... I don't think you should expect a proper "handling", nor do I think scholasticism or moral apologetics, as suggested in other answers, can save it. As for ...
wolfgang kemptner's user avatar
3 votes

What order should I read Thomas Pynchon's novels in?

(Admittedly, this advice is contrary to what most people say on the subject - Kevin Troy's answer has the standard advice covered very nicely - but I'll give my answer nonetheless. If it's not useful ...
TheTermiteSociety's user avatar
2 votes

Why is "The Crying of Lot 49" considered metafiction?

I'm going to issue a frame challenge in answer to this one: The Crying of Lot 49 is not, generally, considered historiographic metafiction, and essays that suggest otherwise are misusing the term. The ...
Matt Thrower's user avatar
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2 votes
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Meaning of "But were Oedipa some single melted crystal of urban horse” from “The Crying of Lot 49”

As per the comments, and so that we have an answer present, "horse" is a slang term for heroin, so the simile being used is comparing the road to a hypodermic needle, and Oedipa as a dose of a drug, ...
Sean Duggan's user avatar
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2 votes

Is there a consistent set of messages that run throughout the works of Thomas Pynchon?

@spassgodzilla, I'm going to start with a generalisation that's so broad as to be almost meaningless but it's helpful for what I want to say so here we go. There are 'novels of ideas' and then there ...
Adam Gold's user avatar
2 votes
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Any differences in structure between editions of Pynchon's V?

The first edition of V does indeed contain the V of Vs. Not quite a proof, but here is a Pinterest image of what is claimed to be the Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1963 edition. This image can now be found ...
fundagain's user avatar
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