Thomas Pynchon


Well-known member
Yeah, loved it. The section on Sputnik is amazing.

We are still trapped in this moment. It has only become more complex, more hardwired, more ambiguous. Nothing has been resolved. The energy generated by the conjunction of these opposites -- reducible from one perspective to Ear and Eye -- fuels all activity in the world today. And this same energy drives The Crying of Lot 49 and all of Pynchon's subsequent novels. Everything cries out for resolution, but there is no guarantee that this unstable instant won't loop on forever. There may be no final sorting.


Well-known member
“Not quite how it sorts out. Differences among the world religions are in fact rather trivial when compared to the common enemy, the ancient and abiding darkness which all hate, fear, and struggle against without cease”— he made a broad gesture to indicate the limitless taiga all around them— “Shamanism. There isn’t a primitive people anywhere on Earth that can’t be found practicing some form of it. Every state religion, including your own, considers it irrational and pernicious, and has taken steps to eradicate it.”

“What? there’s no ‘state religion’ in the U.S.A., pardner, we’ve got freedom of worship, it’s guaranteed in the Constitution—keeps church and state separate, just so’s we don’t turn into something like England and keep marching off into the brush with bagpipes and Gatling guns, looking for more infidels to wipe out. Nothing personal o’ course.”

“The Cherokee,” replied Prance, “the Apache, the massacre of the Sioux Ghost Dancers at Wounded Knee, every native Red Indian you’ve found, you people have either tried to convert to Christianity or you’ve simply killed.”

“I suggest it was about the fear of medicine men and strange practices, dancing and drug-taking, that allow humans to be in touch with the powerful gods hiding in the landscape, with no need of any official church to mediate it for them. The only drug you’ve ever been comfortable with is alcohol, so you went in and poisoned the tribes with that. Your whole history in America has been one long religious war, secret crusades, disguised under false names. You tried to exterminate African shamanism by kidnapping half the continent into slavery, giving them Christian names, and shoving your peculiar versions of the Bible down their throats, and look what happened.”

“The Civil War? That was economics. Politics.”

“That was the gods you tried to destroy, waiting their hour, taking their revenge. You people really just believe everything you’re taught, don’t you?”


That person was arguing about Pynchon with Reza Negarestani a while back.
Speaking of Reza, did anyone read about this graphic novel thing he was supposed to be doing? I'd totally forgotten about it until the other day when I received this email from Amazon.

Delivery estimate update for your order #112-1560217-9458655 Amazon.comShipment Delay


We're encountering a delay in shipping your order. The new delivery date is indicated below. We'll send a confirmation when your items ship. We apologize for the inconvenience.


Order #112-1560217-9458655

Placed on Thursday, April 11, 2019
New estimated delivery date:
Friday, April 16, 2021 - Thursday, May 6, 2021
Chronosis 1 (Urbanom... Chronosis 1 (Urbanomic / K-Pulp)
Sold by Services LLC
If your shipment arrives too late, you may refuse delivery or return it for a refund.
We hope to see you again soon.
Now, is it just me or does that feel like a bit of a piss-take? I know there was supposed to be some kind of delay cos it was like a kickstarter or something, but as I understood it the situation was simply that a few quid in advance were necessary to nudge it over the line so the publisher could bosh them all out and wing them on their way to us the happy readers. In my mind, even with that complication I thought that I could reasonably expect to be happily reading it in six months or so... I really don't think that the wait was supposed to be for more than two years. How can it possibly take that long? For argument's sake, let's play a little game and say that at the time of my order, he had had nothing more than a title, there would still have been plenty of time for him to come up with an actual book to go along with it, then to write it out long-hand, get it printed in his local newsagent and deliver it to me personally, travelling only under his own steam and using only methods of transport that have been available for at least a thousand years.
But seeing as how the book was supposed to have already been written, and as far as I know there is nothing to stop him using modern methods of printing, posting and such-like, I really don't understand why I am still waiting.
The only thing that he did gain from the huge delay was the fact that I had completely forgotten it existed and so when I got this message the other day it felt as though I had gained something totally free and completely out of the blue. I guess that's a trick to make me forgive him and I suppose it's sort of worked.... it's just a little bit galling to know that if he has invested the money I paid him for that book in an account that accrues compound interest, then by now he will actually be richer than Elon Musk.