Pynchon is one of those writers. One of those writers that I’ve been meaning to read but just haven’t gotten around to. Because I suck, basically, and because I read alot of books I pick up in charity shops and you never know what your going to score before you go in. There is a second hand bookshop in my town but for some reason, probably cuz I have a backlog of stuff to read already, i seldom go in there. Never the less I shall pick up Gravity’s rainbow at some point and have a good crack at it. I do like my difficult books and the hypertextual sprawl of the post modern appeals to my fractured sensibilities. Plus, anybody who does guest-spots on the simpsons wearing a paper-bag over his head with a question mark enblazened on it has to be cool, right?
Looking back on it, I think Pynchon saw his life as mainly being concerned with writing, and experimenting with ideas in writing that nobody had tried before. I remember one day he showed me a drawerful of gun manuals. He liked to think of weapons as ambivalent sexual components of the underworld he was trying to make sense of. There was a lack of sentimentality in his approach to literature: he wanted it to be great and he wanted it to make him money. Candida Donadio was his agent in those days and I think it was made possible for Tom to do nothing but write for most of his life. And his life was guarded. As I recall, he could phone out but nobody could call him. Nobody knew his number. He also had copies of only one outfit, which he wore over and over – green cords and a purple shirt. Old friends of mine who lived near him said they had seen him on the street, but had never bothered to find out who he was. Fine with him. He had his teenage groupies and when he wasn’t writing, he partied hard with the kids. But never drank. Weed was his diversion.