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Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Pynchon’

Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice Could Be Adapted by Paul Thomas Anderson

Director Paul Thomas Anderson may adapt Thomas Pynchon‘s stoner private detective novel, Inherent Vice. According to an anonymous source, there is already one high profile contender for the lead role.

Here’s more about the project from Vulture: “One source familiar with the project said that Anderson’s agency, Creative Artists, has been pondering the idea of trying to attach Robert Downey Jr. as Doc Sportello, but another source cautions there’s no official Downey involvement yet and, in any event, Downey’s schedule is so full he wouldn’t available to shoot anything until November 2011 at the earliest.”

Here’s a collection of more Inherent Vice links. Last year, an intrepid Wall Street Journal reporter ran a check with a voice identification expert, confirming that the reclusive novelist had supplied the narration for the Inherent Vice book trailer. (Via Edward Champion)

Thomas Pynchon Defends Ian McEwan Against Plagiarism

pynchonletter.jpgIn 2006, the reclusive novelist Thomas Pynchon rose to the defense of Ian McEwan during a controversy over alleged plagiarism in McEwan’s novel, Atonement.

Pynchon mailed a typewritten letter to the novelist’s British publisher, declaring: “Writers are naturally drawn, chimpanzee-like, to the color and the music of this English idiom.” The excellent Letters of Note site has a copy of the letter, where Pynchon dismissed the scandal and urged readers to be grateful for the book.

Check it out: “Memoirs of the Blitz have borne indispensable witness, and helped later generations know something of the tragedy and heroism of those days. For Mr. McEwan to have put details from one of them to further creative use, acknowledging this openly and often, and then explaining it clearly and honorably, surely merits not our scolding, but our gratitude.” (Via The Millions)

Thomas Pynchon Comic Strip

pynchoncomic.jpgWith all the news about famous newspaper comics (Little Orphan Annie and Cathy) ending last week, we decided to highlight a comic strip we wish would be syndicated–a 2003 comic about the mysterious life of reclusive novelist Thomas Pynchon.

Entitled Thomas Pynchon, Man of Mystery, the strip (pictured) was created by Kelly Shane and Woody Compton. The strip creators also produced a funny strip mashing up the work of beat legend William Burroughs and Tarzan creator Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Here’s more about the strip: “[It is] based on the life of reclusive postmodern novelist Thomas Pynchon. Conceived as part of a series entitled Is This Tomorrow?, the piece portrays the writer in several guises, and recounts brief anecdotes from his life.” (Via Maud Newton)

Second Annual Postmodern Private Detective Feature: Robert Coover’s “Noir”

Coover.gifWhile reading Flavorwire’s list of books to watch in 2010 list, we spotted “Noir,” an experimental private detective novel by Robert Coover (pictured, via).

The book will come out in March from Overlook, recounting the adventures of Philip M. Noir in second-person narration rather than the traditional first person private detective narration (“you” versus “I”). Blinded by our love of the genre, we have unwittingly created an annual feature spotlighting private detective novels written by critically acclaimed postmodern novelists. Just like Thomas Pynchon‘s “Inherent Vice” last year, we are looking forward to this experimental re-write of the pulpy genre.

Last year Vice magazine released an excerpt from the novel and the Kelly Writers House recorded an MP3 of the author reading from the novel. Here’s an excerpt from Vice: “The city as bellyache. The urban nightmare as an expression of the vile bleak life of the inner organs. The sinister rumblings of the gut. Why we build cities the way we do. Why we love them the way they are even when they’re dirty. Because they’re dirty … It’s all about digestion. Or indigestion. What in the city we call corruption. Eaters eating the eaten.”

Illustrating Moby-Dick One Page at a Time

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Since August, artist Matt Kish has worked his way page-by-page through Herman Melville‘s Moby Dick–illustrating each page along the way.

Page 109 is pictured above, a painting entitled: “I will have no man in my boat,” said Starbuck, “who is not afraid of a whale.” Inspired by artist Zak Smith‘s project to create one illustration for every page of Thomas Pynchon‘s epic Gravity’s Rainbow, he tackled the mother of all modern novels. Fiction Circus passed a long the link to this obsessive project.

Here’s more from the site: “I would do one piece a day, every day, until I was done. And I have a full time job too. And a wife. And a life. For me, that kind of pace was almost inconceivable. I decided to just do whatever I wanted with the art, even if it looked crude or raw. After all, I had no one to please or disappoint but myself. Impulsively, I grabbed the first paperback edition of Moby-Dick I could find, which turned out to be the Signet Classic edition from 1992 with 552 pages. Looking back, maybe I should have thought things through a bit more since I’ve seen quite a few editions with around 400 pages, which would have saved me an awful lot of time.”

Betting Site Ranks Amos Oz as 2009 Nobel Prize Favorite

award.jpgAs literary types speculate about this year’s nominee for the Nobel Prize in Literature before the October announcement date, UK gamblers are hard at work trying to predict a winner of the prestigious prize.

According to the betting site Ladbrokes, Israeli author Amos Oz has the best odds of winning–the 4 to 1 favorite. The long shots are William H. Gass and Paul Auster, both with 100 to 1 odds. Bob Dylan clocks in with 25 to 1 odds. Americans Joyce Carol Oates and Philip Roth both have strong 7 to 1 odds. Haruki Murakami and Thomas Pynchon both weigh in with respectable 9 to 1 odds.

Here’s more from Monsters & Critics: “The Swedish Academy’s choice is due to be announced in October at a date yet to be announced. In recent years, the academy that awards the coveted prize, has made some surprise choices, including the 1997 selection of Italian playwright Dario Fo.”

Thomas Pynchon Confirmed as Book Trailer Narrator

pynchonvice.jpgInspired by a GalleyCat investigation, the Wall Street Journal used science to discover if reclusive novelist Thomas Pynchon narrated his own book trailer–finally forcing a confession from an associate publisher at Penguin Press.

Last week GalleyCat inquired about the identity of the narrator for the “Inherent Vice” trailer, receiving a sly “no comment” from the producers. Afterward, an intrepid WSJ reporter ran a check with a voice identification expert, earning confirmation for his troubles. As you enjoy Pynchon’s reading, here’s a collection of more “Inherent Vice” links.

Here’s the confession: “Inquiries by GalleyCat and others as to whether Pynchon is the guy channeling the novel’s main character, beach bum private eye Doc Sportello, have been met with ‘no comment’ from [Penguin Press] … Confronted with [WSJ] findings, Tracy Locke, [associate publisher at Penguin Press], came clean and admitted, ‘It is, in fact, Thomas Pynchon doing the narration.’”

NOTE: An earlier version of this post contained two misidentified titles.

Thomas Pynchon, Your Humble Narrator?

pynchonvice.jpgLike couch potato conspiracy theorists stoked by GalleyCat, fans of novelist Thomas Pynchon spent the night analyzing a book trailer that may or may not have been narrated by the reclusive author.

New York magazine ruled: “this totally sounds like it might possibly be him, maybe.” Even the video producers themselves kept mum, offering this cryptic explanation: “The online trailer for the book was produced as a collaboration between your very own Meerkat Media, Penguin Books, and Thomas Pynchon, and may or may not feature a cameo voiceover by the reclusive author himself.”

Despite a bad year for book reviews, everybody came out to review this novel. Bookforum calls it: “a web spun by a spider on marijuana.” LA Times decides: “Raymond Chandler through a Jim Rockford looking glass, starring Cheech Marin.” Sam Anderson was blunt: “I hate Thomas Pynchon.” And finally, GalleyCat had plenty of exclusive coverage.

Thomas Pynchon Speaks?

pynchonvice.jpgPenguin Press released a book trailer for Thomas Pynchon‘s “Inherent Vice” today, a Los Angeles joyride narrated by a gruff private detective character. Fans around the Internet have one question about this mysterious reader: Did Pynchon narrate the video?

GalleyCat asked Penguin Press about the narrator, receiving a sly “no comment” in response. We dug a little deeper, uncovering a repeatedly-looped YouTube copy of the author’s cameo on The Simpsons. Click away and decide for yourself…

The novel has been burning up the Internets today–ranked #1 in the “Mystery” category on the Amazon bestseller charts. Wired magazine built an excellent map of Pynchon’s Los Angeles and GalleyCat unveiled a video essay about the novel, full of vintage video from 1970s California.

Thomas Pynchon TV

Debuting tonight at bookstores around the country, Thomas Pynchon‘s new novel explores 1970s California, documenting the collapse of the hippie revolution and the early roots of Internet culture in a surreal cultural snapshot.

After reading an advance copy of the novel, this GalleyCat editor stitched together vintage footage of 1970s California, private detectives, old-time computers, and some choice passages from Pynchon’s new novel, “Inherent Vice.”

While Pynchon maintains a famously low profile, we uncovered some vintage footage exploring key themes from his book. This essay borrowed from three public domain films: a National Institute for Mental Health newsreel about hippies and drugs, an IBM film about early computers, and a classic commercial that used a private detective to sell deodorant.

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