I just put on my glasses to maybe feel smarter as I wrote this analysis, or look back on the novella I just completed, The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon. I liked it. I wasn’t crazy about the plot twists and turns, and how detailed the plot became, although I was able to keep up (luckily).
It was great for its sarcasm and satiric comedy. I definitely wouldn’t say it possessed any sort of black humor, but a rather sarcastic and humorous look into American life, specifically, Southern California life. There was a great deal of paranoia in the book and I suppose it served as a tool to over-sensitize the atmosphere and setting of the book. Everyone is worried about who’s watching or who is following them as they reveal bits of information about Tristero.
The book’s protagonist, Oedipa Maas, is in search of an interesting man, since she has multiple extramarital affairs throughout the book, and we get the notion that husband Mucho is far from interesting to her, and even less interesting to her after discovering his LSD abuse. Oedipa has an affair with her co-executor, Metzer. She claims that all of her men “leave” her, basically saying that they all “leave” her for some extraordinary interest in something else. For Mucho, it was LSD. For Metzer, it was a young girl of 15 years old. Oedipa’s struggle for something extraordinary (and escape from American monotony) was her quest to find out what possible truths lie with the longstanding battle between Tristero and rival Thurn and Taxis.
Now I need to ask myself some questions. Why would Pynchon choose mail and postal services as the vehicle for the story and the ideas wrapped in it? I think one of the themes here is that the reater the government activity, inthis case a particular service such as mail, the greater the paranoia one or many may encounter. Pynchon is certainly saying something about the government influence, and appropriately so in Post WWII America.
I think another important theme is the notion that American (and life in general) can grow to be increasingly boring, and the idea is presented towards the end of the book, considering the possibility that out of boredom the entire story was a farce to create excitement in Pierce Iverarity’s life, even as a real-estate mogul.
And that’s all I have to say about that.