consultants are sandburs

Monday, September 16, 2013

Pynchon has a new book out. I would like to arrange a blind date between Pynchon and Michele Bachmann. "Oh, and what do you do for a living ...".

Each deceives their public, things always being inexact, incomplete, tangible but elusive with the intangible so close. They would absolutely hate one another, the very sight of one another but deeper than that, and it would be fun to watch.

"Bleeding Edge," NYT review, here. LAT, here. Publishers Weekly, here. Guardian. I like the LAT one best among the four, but it's wholly a personal matter of taste.  I did not read any of the four entirely. Reading how reviewers handle his work, you understand his reclusiveness.

UPDATE: Rupert disses. Amazon praises. Is that a surprise?

FURTHER UPDATE: One review of the four, longer than needed, did capture a spirit, saying:

Still, reading Pynchon for plot is like reading Austen for sex. Each page has a little more of it than the one before, but you never quite get to the clincher.

Luckily, Pynchon and Austen have ample recourse to the oldest, hardest-to-invoke rule in the book --when in doubt, be a genius. It's cheating, but it works. No one, but no one, rivals Pynchon's range of language, his elasticity of syntax, his signature mix of dirty jokes, dread and shining decency.

It's a peculiarity of musical notation that major works are, more often than not, set in a minor key, and vice versa. Bleeding Edge is mellow, plummy, minor-key Pynchon, his second such in a row since Against the Day (2006)--that still-smoking asteroid, whose otherworldly inner music readers are just beginning to tap back at. But in its world-historical savvy, its supple feel for the joys and stings of love--both married and parental--this new book is anything but minor. On the contrary, Bleeding Edge is a chamber symphony in P major, so generous of invention it sometimes sprawls, yet so sharp it ultimately pierces. All this, plus a stripjoint called Joie de Beavre and a West Indian proctologist named Pokemon. Who else does that?

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