Monday, April 16, 2007

Chapter 62: Pynchon, The Cockeyed Optimist

As I have said more than once in this blog, sometimes we try too hard in working out the complexities of Pynchon when we just need to enjoy. And sometimes when we face very complex threads we miss the obvious.

The Burgher King is another great sendup of a European theatrical genre like The Courier’s Tragedy in The Crying of Lot 49. The fact that it appears to star a young Bela Lugosi (age 27 in 1909) makes it even more interesting.

So to continue with my misreading.

As fast as this plot was becoming knotted again, it is freed as Kit rescues Dally and Love with the big L seems to win out.

Pynchon will never be convicted of optimism. However, this is really interesting to me!

After all, Gravity’s Rainbow begins with the famous scene of the train, going down into the depths, becoming more and more tangled in a web—there is no escape for the preeterite many. And that novel ends without much hope with a scene which announces that, after all, trapped in the web of language, we are all strangers in a theatre of spectacular capitalism. Think Baudrillard.

It looks as if AGD many end with the Traverse boys all happily coupled, while the evil Capitalist is undone by his own greed.

I’m only speculating here. And there are loose ends—Lake for one.


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