Pynchon's Against the Day: A Corrupted Pilgrim's Guide

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Lexington Books, Feb 24, 2011 - Literary Criticism - 320 pages
Thomas Pynchon's longest novel to date, Against the Day (2006), excited diverse and energetic opinions when it appeared on bookstore shelves nine years after the critically acclaimed Mason & Dixon. Its wide-ranging plot covers nearly three decades-from the 1893 World's Fair to the years just after World War I-and follows hundreds of characters within its 1085 pages. Pynchon's Against the Day: A Corrupted Pilgrim's Guide offers eleven essays by established luminaries and emerging voices in the field of Pynchon criticism, each addressing a significant aspect of the novel's manifold interests. By focusing on three major thematic trajectories (the novel's narrative strategies; its commentary on science, belief, and faith; and its views on politics and economics), the contributors contend that Against the Day is not only a major addition to Pynchon's already impressive body of work but also a defining moment in the emergence of twenty-first century American literature.
 

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Contents

Exceeding the Usual Three Dimensions Collective Visions of the Unsuspected
1
NARRATIVE STRATEGIES
13
Genre as History Pynchons GenrePoaching
15
Plots Pilgrimage and the Politics of Genre in Against the Day
29
Mapping the Unmappable and Pynchons Antitragic Vision
47
Binocular Disparity and Pynchons Panoramic Paradigm
67
SCIENCE BELIEF AND FAITH
89
Bogomilism Orphism Shamanism The Spiritual and Spatial Grounds of Pynchons Ecological Ethic
91
POLITICS AND ECONOMICS
165
The Religious and Political Vision of Against the Day
167
Daydreams and Dynamite Anarchist Strategies of Resistance and Paths for Transformation in Against the Day
191
The abstractions she was instructed to embody Women Capitalism and Artistic Representation in Against the Day
215
Europes Eastern Question and the United States Western Question Representing Ethnic Wars in Against the Day
239
Works Cited
265
Index
279
About the Editors
289

Readers and Trespassers Time Travel Orthogonal Time and Alternative Figurations of Time in Against the Day
115
Narrating Tesla in Against the Day
139
About the Contributors
291
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Jeffrey Severs is assistant professor of English at the University of British Columbia.

Christopher Leise is assistant professor of English at Whitman College.

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