Thomas Pynchon: The Art of Allusion (Crosscurrents / Modern Critiques / New Series)

December 3, 2020
Thomas Pynchon: The Art of Allusion (Crosscurrents / Modern Critiques / New Series)

This fresh examination of Pynchon’s use of painting, film,music, and literature shows that his true art lies in humanisticallusions that stress the possibility of spiritually separatingoneself from the modern wasteland.Cowart disagrees with critics who see Pynchon as a scientistwriting about entropy, although Pynchon does illus­trate thenihilistic world for which he is famous in allusions to paintingand film, both of which mask a Void. But more important, theseallusions call into question what is real and what is not. Throughmusical and literary allusions Pynchon suggests the speculativeworld, the world of unrealized possibility. Music hints at thedimensions of experience people miss because of the narrow range ofexperiences to which they are attuned. Literary allusions supportand extend the almost mystical sense created by musical allusions,thus suggesting that in Pynchon’s view, human consciousness neednot be trapped by entropic drift.