Thomas Pynchon's novel, The Crying of Lot 49, is widely recognized as a significant contemporary work that frames the desire for meaning and the quest for knowledge within the social and political contexts of the fifties and sixties in America. In the introduction to this collection of original essays, Patrick O'Donnell discusses the background and critical reception of the novel. Further essays by five experts on contemporary literature examine: the novel's 'semiotic regime' or the way in which it organizes signs; the comparison of postmodernist Pynchon and the influential South American writer, Jorge Luis Borges; metaphor in the novel; the novel's narrative strategies; and the novel within the cultural contexts of American Puritanism and the Beat movement. Together, these essays provide an examination of the novel within its literary, historical, and scientific contexts.
Table of Contents
Series editor's preface
1. Introduction Patrick O'Donnell
2. Borges and Pynchon: the tenuous symmetries
of art Debra A. Castillo
3. Toward the schizo-text: paranoia as semiotic
regime in The Crying of Lot John Johnston
4. 'Hushing sick transmissions': disrupting
story in The Crying of Lot Bernard Duyfhuizen
5. 'A metaphor of od knew how many parts': the
engine that drives The Crying of Lot N.
6. A re-cognition of her errand into the
wilderness Pierre-Yves Petillon