2021 Reading Log

1. The Crying of Lot 49 (1965, Thomas Pynchon): 5/1/21-6/7/21
The structure threw me off, and while I’m not attributing my repeated failed attempts to begin reading this book to anything except my current living situation, it only became more inexplicable the further I read. The central enigma of the muted post horn and the Tristero only truly emerges around the halfway mark, and a great deal of this is spent in the weeds, the minutiae — not only Pynchon’s numerous historical and literary inventions, but the actual interactions. Indeed, that totally remarkable aspect will stick with me as much as the frightful paranoia that Oedipa eventually undergoes, and the two are inextricably intertwined after a certain point, especially in that nocturnal series of encounters in San Francisco, so utterly dreamlike, yet initially launched into with such a sudden lurch. The irresolution was maybe expected after a certain point, but the way it’s carried out, especially after maybe an overabundance of syntactical curlicues, is unbelievably impactful.

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