Thursday, July 30, 2009


Overheard in the supermarket, "That's way too much information for me."

Once, having drinks with my friend D. who said, ruefully, "I'm too old to publish new fiction. Fiction is generational -- the new voices belong to the young. And the dispossessed. We old dogs don't get it. We're still living with the writers of our youth. Let the young publish fiction."

Here comes everybody, except for King Ludd. Two cheers for the old guy, as we approach another Pynchon. Thomas, who is now seventy-two, believe it or not. Unpublic, but not sickly reclusive like Salinger the litigious crank who has been stymied by his former self all these years, writing letters to young girls, big curlicues on scented paper. Whereas Pynchon productive, always jamming more notes into a measure than Time Will Bear. Entertaining as hell especially read aloud, ever since Esther's rhinoplasty in
V. Hey, it's a long long island, baby.

But tell me, poot, how does his fiction fit in? In these days of crowd-sourcing, when Mr. P is demonstrably not One of the Crowd. And all this anticipation, even from those who have left behind the notion of the individual artist as hero. So effin funny, isn't it? Kill the book, extol the author, and gather some more information. From henceforward, the development of texts will be a community thing. It has to be 'cause we'll always need someone to provide the missing information. All the pieces, bits and pieces. And so collaborative authorship will really be a quest for ever more information, the result of -- what? -- laboratory work? Research? Or just rearranging clauses written long ago?

Take today, for instance. I am trying to
read the news, but I'm coming up short. Maybe today there is no news. It happens. No information. Or maybe something's wrong with my inner ear. When I walk it causes me to list to the left. Sometimes so badly I have to throw my weight around to the right and catch myself from stumbling. It happens a lot when I'm crossing a busy intersection. The intersection of noise and signal, for instance.

Drum-roll. Now playing in your local theater:
Freedom of Information. Open the archives, take out the magnifying glasses. Corporations -- give your workers access.

So what do you think, poot, is my buddy right? Fiction only for the young? Or is that just arrested development? As for us effin geezers, hey, just allow us our meds, our daily constitutionals, and keep feeding us more information. Even if we have
way too much already.


  1. For what it's worth, I'm young but terribly excited about the newest offering from Pynchon.

  2. Laura: I think that's great - Mr. P is very very entertaining, and it tickles me to know that your generation is reading him. Thx for the comment.