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Pynchon's Against the Day

A Corrupted Pilgrim's Guide

Jeffrey Severs and Christopher Leise - Contributions by Graham Benton; Christopher K. Coffman; Inger H. Dalsgaard; Amy J. Elias; Kathryn Hume; Martin Kevorkian; Brian McHale; Elisabeth McKetta; J Paul Narkunas; Krzysztof Piekarski; Terry Reilly and Justin St. Clair

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. The book’s eleven essays by established luminaries and emerging voices in the field of Pynchon criticism, address 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. « less more »
University Press Copublishing Division / University of Delaware Press
Pages: 320Size: 6 1/2 x 9 3/8
978-1-61149-064-0 • Hardback • February 2011 • $95.00 • (£65.00)
978-1-61149-065-7 • eBook • February 2011 • $94.99 • (£65.00)
Jeffrey Severs is assistant professor in the English Department at the University of British Columbia. Christopher Leise is assistant professor of English at Whitman College. He is co-editor of, and contributor to, William Gaddis, 'The Last of Something': Critical Essays (McFarland, 2010).
Chapter 1 Introduction: "Exceeding the Usual Three Dimensions": Collective Visions of the Unsuspected
Part 2 Part I: Narrative Strategies
Chapter 3 Chapter 1: Genre as History: Pynchon's Genre-Poaching
Chapter 4 Chapter 2: Plots, Pilgrimage, and the Politcs of Genre in Against the Day.
Chapter 5 Chapter 3: Mapping, the Unmappable, and Pynchon's Anti-Tragic Vision
Chapter 6 Chapter 4: Binocular Disparity and Pynchon's Panoramic Paradigm
Part 7 Part II: Science, Belief, and Faith
Chapter 8 Chapter 5: Bogomilism, Orphism, Shamanism: The Spiritual and Spatial Grounds of Pynchon's Ecological Ethic
Chapter 9 Chapter 6: Readers and Trespassers: Time Travel, Orthogonal time, and Alternative Figurations of time in Against the Day
Chapter 10 Chapter 7: Narrating Tesla in Against the Day
Part 11 Part III: Politics and Economics
Chapter 12 Chapter 8: The Religious and Political Vision of Against the Day
13 Chapter 9: Daydreams and Dynamite: Anarchist Strategies of Resistance and Paths for Transformation in Against the Day
14 Chapter 10: "The abstractions she was instructed to embody": Women, Capitalism, and Artistic Representation in Against the Day
15 Chapter 11: Europe's "Eastern Question" and the United States' "Western Question": Representing Ethnic Wars in Against the Day