Some theatre each day keeps the doctor away…

Pynchon, Wallace, Bloom

with one comment

Having dutifully read more of Gravity’s Rainbow today, I put a quick shovel or two into the ground of the internet to confirm whether Harold Bloom was a fan of Pynchon’s or not.  It would seem that he is.  Which, while not to be unexpected, leaves me utterly baffled as to why he, Bloom, abhors Infinite Jest.  Wallace says he was a huge admirer of Pynchon’s, and that certainly shows itself in Infinite Jest.  Indeed, the inheritance is rather strong in my eyes.  And yet Bloom hates Wallace.  Presumably this is what happens when critics get old – their critical faculties grow cataracts until they can’t recognise anything that they haven’t seen before…?  (The analogy seemed better before I started writing it.)

People’s tastes always intrigue me, though.  A person’s taste will reveal their true subconscious a lot more than many other methods.

Pynchon’s written two or three other books that are longer than Gravity’s Rainbow, from what I can gather.  This boggles my mind, accustomed as I am to treat books such as his (postmodern epics with extensive vocabularies and cracked plots) as one-offs, something the author can only do once.  Dickens had quite a few long novels, but serialisation will do that to you, methinks.  I can’t really talk about Dostoevsky, though if the others are like Karamazov, then he leans far more towards Dickens than the postmodernists, and so doesn’t challenge the general observation.

Because the epic is a very dangerous monument to strive towards – as a writer, that is.  I discovered it on a much smaller level with my reviews on this blog, as they had to keep getting bigger and bigger, more ambitious and more ambitious, until I finally stopped myself for fear of completely wasting my time.  It’s the capitalistic urge, methinks.  The danger is that you will keep increasing the word count of your novels/etc until you either (a) stop self-editing, (b) go crazy, or (c) overextend yourself.  (I should mention that I doubt that that’s an exclusive list of the outcomes.)  At least with plays you’re limited – at the very, very extreme – by 24 hours.  No one would see a play longer than that, or at least the type of play that I would want to write.  I reckon six hours is the limit – maybe five, I suppose – for a single play.  Trilogies and whatever-the-word-for-two-plays-is let you extend, but never beyond 24 hours…

181/whatever in Gravity’s Rainbow.  Also known as the start of Part 2

I was thinking about this blog today, and how my style of writing on it has probably changed over the years, and I was wondering whether I should change my style just for the fun of it – to try and overhaul my sentence structures and word choices and so on.  Not that I can actually be bothered doing that, methinks, but the thought intrigues me.  Plus, you never know – would I think differently if I wrote differently?  Possibly.


Written by epistemysics

November 27, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. I cringe somewhat at your use of the adverb dutifully. 😀 You are getting into a good groove with the theatre going and the reading and the writing, it looks like you’ve got good momentum. Keep it up!


    November 28, 2012 at 12:45 am

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