Monthly Archives: July 2009

Wired post on Inherent Vice

This is old, but I wanted to put it down anyway due to its claim of the end of the Postmodern tome.  Sure Inherent Vice is under 400 pages and that is a change from Pynchon’s usual MO, but I’m not sure it signals that Pynchon is surrendering to the all mighty power of Twitter to lower our attention spans.  Against the Day came out in 2006.  We’re getting Inherent Vice less than three years later.  The last time Pynchon rolled out two novels in the same decade was the 1960s (V. and Crying of Lot 49).  To say that the Internet and Twitter have “driven a stake through the heart of dense fiction” is disingenious at best.

What makes a detective…

Louis Menand gives us a glimpse into Inherent Vice over at the New Yorker by using Chandler as the base comparitor.  Given the history of detectives, and not just the literary one, it’s worth asking if hardboiled and honorable is really the status quo.

Big Brother Indeed

Dear Amazon,

Not cool.


Apollo 11

The Big Picture gives us a front seat look at the Apollo 11 mission.

Textual Detritus – McCarthy’s Blood Meridian

Textual Detritus is a running series of notes focused on my reading list for exams related to my PhD studies.  These are not reviews so I will refrain from explaining plot lines.  These posts also contain any number of spoilers for the books in question though I’ll try to keep them hidden behind a cut.  Simply, the idea here is to get some of my immediate thoughts down in a coherent manner for later use or discussion.  As such, I make no claim about the level of thought, coherence, or grammar to any of these posts.

Blood Meridian – Cormac McCarthy

I completed this novel over a number of months with large breaks in between my opportunities to pick it up.  As such my thoughts here are more scattered than what I hope to get down as I move forward with this project.

Trying to capture my thoughts about Blood Meridian resembles trying to capture the exact portent in a dream that informs the sleeper that he or she is in fact in a nightmare.  Once the fear settles in those first moments always turn a bit fuzzy.  That isn’t to say that the novel is bad.  Rather, it is beautifully written, particularly McCarthy’s descriptions of the landscapes.  His focus is intense on detail to such an extent that when the nightmare begins, that is when the violence literally erupts from the landscape in one of any number of ambushes that populate the novel, you’re left staggered.  The intensity of the detail is perhaps best captured in a passage describing the Judge that occurs late in the novel: Read more of this post

Not dead yet…

Thanks to the Monty Python and the Holy Grail musical I feel as though I should break into song just about now.  Despite the long silence here, I’ve managed complete some looming deadlines and return to blogging on something resembling a semi regular basis.  Part of this will involve posting my notes on the literary works that I have to read for the exams that I will be taking next year as part of my PhD work.  Or maybe I should say the parts of my notes that could concievably be worth reading.  The idea is that posting something will provide me with a written record to go back and study as well as force me to put my thoughts down in a coherent and cohesive fashion.  Given that I have more time now I’ll still be posting whatever I find interesting, but the notes will likely take.  Also anything literary is likely to get shunted over to the Post 45 blog that I’m also administrating.

I suppose I could have just done all of that without rambling about it here.  Oh well, what the hell.  At least I got another post out of it.