The Crying of Lot 49

The Crying of Lot 49Suffused With Rich Satire, Chaotic Brilliance, Verbal Turbulence And Wild Humor, The Crying Of LotOpens As Oedipa Maas Discovers That She Has Been Made Executrix Of A Former Lover S Estate The Performance Of Her Duties Sets Her On A Strange Trail Of Detection, In Which Bizarre Characters Crowd In To Help Or Confuse Her But Gradually, Death, Drugs, Madness And Marriage Combine To Leave Oedipa In Isolation On The Threshold Of Revelation, Awaiting The Crying Of Lot

Thomas Ruggles Pynchon, Jr is an American writer based in New York City, noted for his dense and complex works of fiction Hailing from Long Island, Pynchon spent two years in the United States Navy and earned an English degree from Cornell University After publishing several short stories in the late 1950s and early 1960s, he began composing the novels for which he is best known today V. 1963

➵ [Read] ➱ The Crying of Lot 49 By Thomas Pynchon ➿ –
  • Paperback
  • 152 pages
  • The Crying of Lot 49
  • Thomas Pynchon
  • English
  • 14 July 2017
  • 9780060913076

10 thoughts on “The Crying of Lot 49

  1. says:

    so imagine you re browsing through a bookstore on a lazy saturday afternoon you stop in the pynchon section, and there, out of the corner of your eye, you see this guy and he s checking you out you think, wow this is one for the movies does this actually happen this is a sexually oriented biased review, sorry you proceed to chat, laughing at the length of gravity s rainbow and you go next door with your new books to grab a cup of coffee, which turns into dinner, whuch turns in to crepes at this great little shop, which turns into a long walk, which turns into a bottle of syrah in your living room over twelve hours later.and you re so compelled the conversation is amazing, he s SO dynamic, he tells good stories even though it has the tendency to be stream of consciousness, he s convoluted and mysterious and you never want this night to end he makes random allusions that you always pretend to recognize but don t really understand he draws random doodles on scraps of paper, napkins, bathroom walls, foreheads of strangers, anywhere he can get his point across you can t get out of your mind how brilliant this guy must be and how lucky you are to have him, in all his overeducated and hypnotic glory, sitting on your couch and with all the wine in your head, the evening takes a turn for the intimate it gets a much heavier that you would ever expect for a first encounter like this, especially because you just met this guy scandalous but you feel so wrapped up in his world that you just go along with it and enjoy and trust me, you do enjoy it and right as your about to come to the full, uh, realization of your enjoyment, he says, oh god and stops and looks at you awkwardly and you recognize at that moment that the enjoyment is um, bust, and you will never have that full realization that s what reading this book is like but trust me, the encounter is well worth it.

  2. says:

    Appetite for DeconstructionMost readers approach a complex novel, like a scientist approaches the world or a detective approaches a crime with an appetite for knowledge and understanding, and a methodology designed to satiate their appetite The Crying of Lot 49 TCL49 presents a challenge to this type of quest for two reasons.One, it suggests that not everything is knowable and we should get used to it.Second, the novel itself fictionalizes a quest which potentially fails to allow the female protagonist, Oedipa Maas, to understand the situation confronting her.Arguably, Pynchon serves up a work that reveals about method than it does about the subject matter of the quest, the world around us.Who Dunnit If this were a who dunnit, we don t end up learning who dunnit.It is all hunt and no catch.If we are seeking the metaphysical truth, we do not find it.The truth might even have escaped or got away.It might never have been there in the first place.Or there might not be something as simple as the truth.To this extent, TCL49 might be a novel about futility, rather than success.Get It Inevitably, this affects the way any review approaches the novel.It is not simply a matter of whether the reviewer got it and conveys this to their readers.Even if you think you got it, there is no guarantee that your understanding reflects what Pynchon intended behind the scenes.You could be wrong You might even be making the very mistake that TCL49 might be trying to caution us against.Pierce Inverarity s WillThe novel commences with Oedipa learning that she has been appointed Co Executor of the Estate of California real estate mogul and ex lover, Pierce Inverarity.An Executor is a person who inherits the assets and liabilities of a person the Testator on their death and has to distribute the net assets of their Estate their Legacy to the Beneficiaries identified in the Testator s Will their Last Will and Testament.Often, people only find out that they have been appointed an Executor when the Testator has died and their Will has been located.However, it is a good idea to let somebody know during your lifetime that you wish to appoint them as your Executor, because they might not wish to accept the burden after your death.It is implied in TCL49 that Pierce has actually died the legal letter says that he died back in the spring , but it does not automatically follow from learning about your appointment that the Testator has died.This is My Last Will and TestamentA Will is literally an expression of your intentions your will with respect to your property You give instructions or directions to your Executor.It is often called a Testament, the etymology of which is related to the Ten Commandments or Testimony issued by God.In a very loose metaphorical way, the novel sets up Pierce s Will as the Will of God, something which Oedipa is and feels compelled to obey.There is a potential clue in her reaction to the legal letter Oedipa stood in the living room, stared at by the greenish dead eye of the TV tube, spoke the name of God, tried to feel as drunk as possible Whether or not Pierce might be symbolic of God, Oedipa s actions in the novel are dictated and driven by his Will.Pierce Inverarity s NamePierce s name is also pregnant with implication, if not necessarily definitive meaning.The noun arity means the number of arguments a function or operation can take in logic, it determines the number of inferences that may be deduced from a particular fact Verarity is not a word in its own right, but it is quite close to veracity , which has lead some commentators to infer that it suggests a concern with the truth.When you add the prefix in as a negative to it, the word could be concerned with the absence of truth.When you add the first name, Pierce, to the equation, some have suggested that it implies the piercing of the truth or untruths.Alternatively, the prefix in might mean into which might imply the piercing or penetration of the truth.There are also suggestions that Inver might be a pun on the word infer or the process of inference.Sign of the TimesI haven t seen any references to the American philosopher Charles S Peirce different spelling who made an enormous contribution to the field of semiotics the study of signs and sign processes.If there is any link, then Pierce s full name might imply unreliable or untruthful signs.Charles S Peirce also recognised that logical operations could be carried out by electrical switching circuits as long ago as 1886.This concept is the foundation of logic gates and digital computers of which, later All Manner of Revelations When Oedipa discovers her obligations as Executor, she is initially skeptical aren t you even interested In what In what you might find out As things developed, she was to have all manner of revelations.Hardly about Pierce Inverarity, or herself but about what remained yet had somehow, before this, stayed away Originally Oedipa saw herself as a pensive Rapunzel like figure, waiting for someone to ask her, in the sixties, to let down her hair.Pierce arrives, but is not quite what she is looking for Despite a romantic holiday in Mexico, she remains in her tower Such a captive maiden, having plenty of time to think, soon realizes that her tower, its height and architecture, are like her ego only incidental that what really keeps her where she is is magic, anonymous and malignant, visited on her from outside and for no reason at all Having no apparatus except gut fear and female cunning to examine this formless magic, to understand how it works, how to measure its field strength, count its lines of force, she may fall back on superstition, or take up a useful hobby like embroidery, or go mad, or marry a disk jockey If the tower is everywhere and the knight of deliverance no proof against its magic, what else The Tristero SystemOedipa s appointment as Executor is the beginning of a series of revelations or, in the Biblical sense, Revelations that end her encapsulation in her tower.The trigger for these revelations is Pierce s stamp collection his substitute often for her thousands of little colored windows into deep vistas of space and time She had never seen the fascination The stamps turn out to be forgeries , postage stamps used not by the official postal service, but by an underground rival or illegitimate shadow called Tristero.No sooner does Oedipa learn of the existence of Tristero, then she starts to find evidence that it still exists on the streets of California its symbol is a muted post horn, adding a mute to the horn of its traditional private enterprise rival in nineteenth century Europe, Thurn and Taxis.Her quest is to learn the significance of Tristero and how much Pierce knew about it W.A.S.T.E Tristero s modern American manifestation is W.A.S.T.E , which we eventually learn stands for We Await Silent Tristero s Empire.It delivers correspondence between various disaffected underground, alternative and countercultural groups, bohemians, hippies, anarchists, revolutionaries, non conformists, protesters, students, geeks, artists, technologists and inventors, all of whom wish to communicate with each other without government knowledge or interference.The postal system confers privacy, confidentiality on their plots and plans.Its couriers wear black, the colour of anarchy.Yet, from the point of view of Tristero, it is not the content of the correspondence that matters, it is its delivery.It s almost as if these companies are early proof that the medium is important than the message.All postal systems grew from early attempts to guarantee safe passage of diplomatic correspondence between different States and Rulers in Europe.Indeed, Tristero s rival, Thurn and Taxis, was an actual postal service and is still an extremely wealthy family in Germany.A World of SilenceSilence is important to any non conformist or underground movement, not only from the point of secrecy, but in the sense that Dr Winston O Boogie A.K.A John Lennon subsequently maintained that, A conspiracy of silence speaks louder than words.It is the desire for silence that unites the underground in opposition to the Government and the mainstream political culture For here were God knew how many citizens, deliberately choosing not to communicate by U S Mail It was not an act of treason, nor possibly even of defiance But it was a calculated withdrawal, from the life of the Republic, from its machinery Whatever else was being denied them out of hate, indifference to the power of their vote, loopholes, simple ignorance, this withdrawal was their own, un publicized, private Since they could not have withdrawn into a vacuum could they , there had to exist the separate, silent, unsuspected world Note the idiomatic but ambiguous use of the expression God knows how many , as if God or Tristero or Pierce did actually know how many From Aloof Tower to UndergroundOedipa is a relatively middle class, middle aged woman, who married a used car salesman and DJ for a radio station called KCUF, after her affair with Pierce.Her quest drags her from her tower and exposes her to another side of life, just as life in America well, Berkeley, San Francisco was starting to get interesting 1966.She is a stranger in a strange land, having grown up and been educated during the conservative, Cold War 50 s she had undergone her own educating at a time of nerves, blandness and retreat among not only her fellow students but also most of the visible structure around and ahead of them, this having been a national reflex to certain pathologies in high places only death had had the power to cure, and this Berkeley was like no somnolent Siwash out of her own past at all, but akin to those Far Eastern or Latin American universities you read about, those autonomous culture media where the most beloved of folklores may be brought into doubt, cataclysmic of dissents voiced, suicidal of commitments chosen, the sort that bring governments down While Oedipa is ostensibly trying to get to the bottom of Tristero, she is actually going on a journey of self discovery.The narrative forces her down from her tower of withdrawal to street level engagement and then ultimately into the underground.Bit by bit, she ceases to define herself in terms of her husband or Pierce, but in terms of her own identity.Like the symbol of Tristero, she has been silenced, her horn has been muted, she has had to stand by her man and be secondary.Her adventure frees her from the chains of middle class conformity.It is a preparation for a new life of autonomy.Scientific MethodOedipa s methodology is that of a flawed scientist or detective.She uses logic to make sense of what she perceives.She constantly asks the question why She builds and applies logical systems where she processes information in a simplistic binary either or , zero or one fashion pre empting computers , according to whether it proves a point or disproves it.She applies the Law of the Excluded Middle Everything must either be or not be Or the Law of Noncontradiction Nothing can both be and not be She learns things and processes them as best she can.But she misses opportunities and fails to investigate clues she ought to She is human She is fallible.She reads old books with different typesetting and sees y s where i s should ve been I can t read this, she says.So she learns the limits of logic And she learns the appeal of nonconformity and freedom and communication.Despite the masculine nature of the metaphor, she removes the mute from her horn The Crying of Lot 49The eponymous Crying of Lot 49 is the auction of the forged Tristero stamps that takes place in the last pages of the novel.Oedipa discovers that a major bidder possibly associated with Tristero has decided to attend the auction personally, rather than bid remotely by the book.The novel ends with the anticipation of Oedipa and the reader discovering the identity of the bidder for the stamps.Is it Tristero Is it even Pierce Pynchon deprives us of this revelation.This has frustrated many readers However, it suggests that this was not the most important revelation that was happening in the novel.The real revelation is Oedipa s discovery of herself She sees I where previously she has seen only why.At the same time, she discovers America and its diversity, which is far greater than the white bread community who are content with the U.S Mail She had dedicated herself, weeks ago, to making sense of what Inverarity had left behind, never suspecting that the legacy was America Ultimately, it is Pierce s and Pynchon s will that the novel and her journey end this way.

  3. says:

    My first excursion into the Pynchonesque and it left me disorientated, introspective and utterly confused about how exactly I feel about it I m taking the cowards way out and giving it three stars even though that makes me feel like I m punting the responsibility football and doing my best imitation of an ostrich when trouble walks by I am going to have to re read this My assumption is that I began this book taking Pynchon a little too lightly I decided to start my exploration of Pynchon here because it s widely considered his most accessible work I figured even as addled as my brain is with wine sediment and Milk Duds, my big boy education would serve as an adequate navigator on this little journey Well, around page 21, I started getting that I m lost, have you seen my momma feeling and there s not a single character in this story trustworthy enough to ask directions on how to get back to the plot This much I think I know Oedipa Mass get used to monikers like that as every character s name is a play on words is a clever, self motivated middle aged housewife from California who isn t above shagging the occasional stranger not her husband hell it s the 60 s Oedipa s ex shag partner, Pierce Inverarity, dies uber rich and leaves her as co executor of his estate Inverarity is a practical joker extraordinaire and so the idea that everything may not be as it seems is teed up immediately However, Oedipa is the kind of woman who loves a mystery and she feels compelled to play the part that Inverarity has created for her If it was really Pierce s attempt to leave an organized something behind after his own annihilation, then it was part of her duty, wasn t it, to bestow life on what had persisted, to try to be what Driblette was, the dark machine in the centre of the planetarium, to bring the estate into pulsing stelliferous Meaning, all in a soaring dome around her. Those first 20 pages were cake and I was feeling very much in control.Then page 21..through the rest of the novel about 180 pages send Oedipa and the reader on a fragmented, surreal, allusion soaked, reality bent warped twisted sojourn that felt a bit like a David Lynch David Mamet collaboration where nothing and no one is anywhere close to what they seem Dense, compact, multi layered prose and some memorable oddball characters make the confusion plenty entertaining, but grasping the central core of the piece was rather elusive at least for me The framing, edgework of the story is as historical mystery centered on an alleged vast conspiracy involving a secret, underground postal carrier network known as Trystero The calling card icon of this shadowy organization is Which is a mockery of the horn symbolizing the real life postal carrier known as Thurn and Taxis Eventually, I gathered that the major theme being explored by Pynchon is the untrustworthiness of communication and that it s impossible to verify information because the source is always distorted from the standpoint of the observer Thus communication, when filtered through the lens of the recipient, often brings confusion than enlightenment and questions than answers Though she knew even less about radios than about Southern Californians, there were to both outward patterns a hieroglyphic sense of concealed meaning, of an intent to communicate At least I think that is what Pynchon was getting at in this book My problem was that I didn t clue into that until late into the story and by that time I was simply riding the crest of the enjoyable language and mini scenes into the finish line Having now read the book, I feel like if I were to go back and read it again knowing what I now know, I will be able to get far out of it I guess I might also realize that I am reading too much into it and the emperor really has no clothes For now, I will give Pynchon the benefit of the doubt Based on his reputation, he has certainly earned it Even given my less than perfect understanding of the nuances moving through the narrative, there is much to enjoy There are some wonderful scenes and character interactions that I loved For example, the The Courier s Tragedy is a play that Oedipa sees that actually touches on the themes of the wider novel I thought it was fascinating There is also some magnificent passages that I could read simply to enjoy the language Everybody who says the same words is the same person if the spectra are the same only they happen differently in time, you dig But the time is arbitrary You pick your zero point anywhere you want, that way you can shuffle each person s time line sideways till they all coincide Then you d have this big, God, maybe a couple hundred million chorus saying rich, chocolaty goodness together, and it would all be the same voice. Language like that is always a pleasure to read However, without the glue of understanding all that Pynchon was attempting to say, my enjoyment was somewhat muted That s just me I enjoyed the experience of reading this and, as I mentioned to a GR friend the other day, I have thought better of this book during the days since I finished this than I did while I was actually reading it That tells me that the book affected me and seeped into my brain than I was able to consciously detect Maybe that s how Pynchon works, I m not sure However, it is a question I plan to investigate by visiting his other works as well as returning to this one 3.0 Recommended though a bit confused.

  4. says:

    The kind of book that makes people hate books Literally one of, if not, the worst story I ve ever read A classic English majors only book, aka people like talking about this book and that they get it make you feel like their intellectual inferior This book is the literary equivalent of some hipster noise band that everyone knows sucks but people will say they are good just to be in the know I must say this before I get a bunch of messages from people looking down their nose at me I do get it I got an A on the paper I wrote on this book but what I get is that there is nothing to get It s the act of getting it and being part of that special little crew that does that makes people enjoy this book They enjoy looking down upon those simpletons who don t get it than they enjoy the story Get what I m saying If you enjoy art that makes a statement, try this book If you enjoy books for the story they tell and the messages you can extract from that story, avoid this book It s up to you.

  5. says:

    Muted I am in an alien way, Post reading this weird novel about a Horn that despite many mouths, remains Muted across the Post offices of circuitous US lands although the blare of this Horn is audible to a secretive group that moves in Muted shadows and sews in its hem, high Post bearers and zany professors who insist to Horn out any intruders who, in public or Muted way, attempt to Post any letters sent with this Horn bearing stamp to any Muted or alive estate holder, even if Post delivery, the estate holder might Horn away in their favour but Muted and inquisitive, our heroine, Oedipa Maas, Post receipt of the news of her ex boyfriends death without any Horn and trumpet, finds that a seemingly Muted journey of co executor of his estate, shall Post her in the midst of a raging war of Horn ,one representing an established postal network and another, a Muted yet bizarrely active clandestine network that Post marks its parcels with watermarks of Horn with a bold acronym, W.A.S.T.E which may be Muted on an ordinary street but read its Post and you know your deliveries are Horn washed to conspirators in hiding whose Muted voice can be heard before, during and Post a play and in the motel s loo, the Horn can be spotted with an eerie hue which isn t lost in Muted acquaintances who slowly desert Oedipa Post her unrestrained quest to reveal the Horn secret which she finally witnesses as a Muted picture which appears to have been Post scripted into lots of stamps that bear the Horn and the auctioneer grins cries at Oedipa s gut, torn view spoiler I am not apologetic for churning out this insanely dust worthy review, Mr Pynchon You go on blowing that muted post horn and throw at me concepts like entropy, teasing verses with Humbert Humbert, dandelion wine, Russian tanks, outdated cartoons and what was that perhaps to arouse fractions of brain current your most gossamer microelectrode is yet too gross for funding and expect me to be sane I mean just to tell a little story about a woman who goes to execute an estate and gets confused after stumbling onto a few secret letters flying through a postal network, you had to bring LSD drug into picture Heck, yes Actually, this a story about this hide spoiler

  6. says:

    Thomas Pynchon s The Crying of Lot 49 is not for everyone mostly I know this because I ve recommended this book before and been dismayed when it was not loved I ve been reading a lot of books lately which are not easily classifiable, and The Crying of Lot 49 definitely fits that mold For me, it is a wild ride through layers of conspiracy, alternative history mostly in the form of an underground postal system , some heavy duty neurosis and 60s LA suburbia When you have all that, it s just a waste of time to talk about whether or not there s a real plot And it s so funny V is another one of Pynchon s masterpieces, but The Crying of Lot 49 written decades before its time in 1966 is both much shorter and accessible I don t usually include quotes in my reviews, but I ll end with a favorite passage from this book which speaks to whether you should believe in other version s of reality I came, she said, hoping you could talk me out of a fantasy Cherish it cried Hilarious, fiercely What else do any of you have Hold it tightly by its little tentacle, don t let the Freudians coax it away or the pharmacists poison it out of you Whatever it is, hold it dear, for when you lose it you go over by that much to the others You begin to cease to be.

  7. says:

    Once upon a time I won this book from Stephen M Apparently, Mr M had purchased this book used The previous owner being a young scholar filled the inside cover pages with erudite observations gleaned from the text I present them for you here in their entirety along with my parenthetical comments 1 Immoral in beginning mostly about how we think deep 2 Mucho takes drugs to escape problems ya don t say 3 She s searching for answers because she thinks there s a conspiracy in the male sic.4 Dr Halarius sic a doctor sic running away from Israelites but there s no Israelites running after him because he was a jew nazi umm scratches head 5 Looking for truth but always falls apart All the people she knows have non realistic things going on I told you this chick was deep 6 She s searching for truth alone.7 All characters are in there to show loss of truth hmmmm 8 She see s sic WASTE, loss horny fianc throughout the group what the hell this is underlined btw, apparently very important 9 People always try to silence of truth perhaps English is a second language 10 Mute horn the muting of everything no one is supposed to know 11 Unlike the character Oedpa, we are pushed into quietism oh are we 12 People that complain never gets anywhere sic what that has to do with this book is anyone s guess 13 Tries to prove gov t wrong but she finds out that the gov t was right she finds herself lonely she doesn t know if she really knows the truth uh huh 14 The band is called Paranoids because they smoke pot no, she really wrote that, I m not kidding Makes total sense, right My goodness, I can t imagine reading whatever brainchild was spawned from this nonsense, but I m going to bet it got a C at best.So, wanna know what I think about this book I think it could be the love child of David Lynch Carol Burnett it needs a whole new genre slapstick surrealism I think it s Gravity s Rainbow minus the sexy time I think it s the embodiment of what it might be like to be a mouse forever trapped in a maze I think it s a conspiracy, man, and I think you re all in on it

  8. says:

    I really want to like Thomas Pynchon I love the whole brilliant but reclusive author act, and all the cool kids at the library seem to think he s the cat s ass But I m starting to think that he and I are never going to be friends I tried to read Gravity s Rainbow twice and wound up curled up in the fetal position , crying while sucking my thumb Supposedly, this is his most accessible book It was easier to read than GR, but easier to understand Well.Oedipa Maas unexpectedly finds herself as the executor to a wealthy former lover s estate While trying to deal with that, she begins meeting odd people and seeing symbols that lead her to a bizarre conspiracy theory about a centuries old society called the Trystero that is mostly known for running an underground postal system But the evidence she finds about the Trystero existing makes Oedipa increasingly paranoid about whether she s the victim of an elaborate hoax or if she s losing her own sanity.This is one of those books that I enjoyed while reading, but knew that I was missing a whole layer of meaning I loved the idea of a rogue postal service and how Pynchon played with it as the idea of an urban myth or conspiracy theory It s probably the kind of book that I ll really only get on a second reading so I ll try it again someday.

  9. says:

    Y know I feel sorry for Pynchon He s gained a reputation as a difficult writer This problem plagues Faulkner as well People go into Pynchon s and Faulkner s novels and quickly realise that things happen very differently in here and thus, unnerved by the shock of the new, hastily retreat It s a pity My best advice for reading Pynchon Stop trying to understand everything If a passage, or a page, or hell, even a whole chapter doesn t make any sense, don t bother yourself over it Just move on The only person who s ever fully understood a Pynchon novel is Pynchon.There s a couple of ways to read The Crying of Lot 49 You can read it as a mystery novel, you can read it as a meditation on 1960s post war America la Breakfast of Champions and you can also read it as a great satire on the postmodernist novel I read it as the latter If you stand back from this novel and try to see it as Pynchon essentially taking the piss out of all the tropes and plots and characters often found in postmodernist literature, then I think it starts making the most sense.The novel follows Oedipa Maas who, after discovering a strange trumpet like symbol on the wall of a bathroom, goes on an incredibly convoluted and complex journey to unmask the symbol s true meaning Despite the novel s brevity only 142 pages , Pynchon s trademark dense but intricate prose turns what is essentially a long short story into a fully fledged novel, packed with a vast cast of characters and an equal amount of plots.Pynchon has a lot of fun with The Crying of Lot 49 You can almost hear him sniggering as he types out names such as Genghis Cohen and Dr Hilarius and Mike Fallopian He isn t exactly being subtle about the inherent ridiculousness of this novel His comical names are mirrored in the novel s many comic moments A stand out scene from early on in the novel describes Oedipa s attempt to glean answers from the lawyer, Metzger He suggests that for every question she asks she must take off an item of clothing Oedipa excuses herself to use the bathroom, where she proceeds in donning every item of clothing she can find She then traipses back into Metzger s office looking like, as Pynchon brilliantly puts it, a beach ball with feet.There are innumerable scenes like that in Lot 49 However, whilst this is a fantastic comical satire, I found myself somewhat longing for The narrative is incredibly episodic Oedipa trundles along from scene to scene, meeting a new character at every stop and unlocking a small part of the novel s greater mystery, like a sort of postmodernist Canterbury Tales Pynchon also just adores digression, which I know is something of his trademark, but when the novel is 142 pages long, you d think that he would have reigned it in slightly Overall I found The Crying of Lot 49 to be a fun satirical romp This novel is often suggested as a good starting place for Pynchon virgins, mainly due to its brevity And I think that s fairly solid advice Read it whichever way you want to, or even try to find a new angle to approach it from But most importantly, have fun, that s what Pynchon would want.

  10. says:

    Quite fittingly, I m sitting down to write this review after having just checked the mail Nothing today but junk and bills Save for my paltry royalty checks and the occasional bit of fan mail here and there fans, you know who you are , that s about all I get most days, but this still doesn t stop me from checking the box two, three, or even four times until something shows up On the odd day there s no mail before suppertime, I m usually left somewhat disconcerted What, no catalogs No supermarket flyers Not even anything for that chick who lived here three tenants ago I start to worry that the postman fell ill, or had an accident somewhere along the way.That s how reliable the mail is.Sure, we ve all had mail arrive late, if ever at all Things get lost from time to time, but whatever our complaints against the various couriers, what we forget in those moments of frustration is that 99.99% of the mail addressed to us in our lifetime does eventually make its way into our hands, and usually right on time It s simply astounding Sometimes I wonder whether UPS, FedEx, and the United States Postal Service have all colluded to pioneer some new teleportation technology, warping pallets of packages and correspondence from coast to coast, leisurely loading their bags and trucks for their local rounds while the rest of us dupes check their phony tracking numbers.That s probably even further fetched than the conspiracy postulated by this book, but not by much Either way, the mail remains quite astonishing nonetheless.Think about it If people couldn t send things by mail, they d have to make every delivery in person Only the very well connected could ever succeed in harnessing a vast network of others in such a grand endeavor, and I guess that explains why our national international delivery systems can trace their roots back to the messengers employed by empires of old Royal European delivery services eventually came to be rivaled by private outfits, subsequently squashed by postal reform in this country, only to return sub rosa in a campaign of guerilla mailings in 1966 Here in 2013, the government service is presently taking its turn on the ropes, but that s a whole nother can of worms.This isn t a morality play between big business and big government couriers, people This is the very heart and soul of communication ugly, futile, and absolutely necessary.

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