There have been few cogent attempts to interpret Oedipa's night-walk in San Francisco in The Crying of Lot 49. This ramble, during which Oedipa seeks knowledge of the occult Tristero that might endow her world with meaning, has been plausibly construed by critics like Edward Mendelson and James Nohrnberg as a journey of religious discovery. Such readings, for all their sensitivity to the allegorical resonances of the text, do not yield an adequate understanding of the walk, one of the most revelatory passages for understanding the novel. They need to be supplemented by a more literal reading of the scenes most often repeated during the night, encounters with children who are intimately associated with the Tristero's secrets.
How to Cite:
Rohland, M. W., (1997) “A Child Roaming the Night: Oedipa's Dead Issue in The Crying of Lot 49”, Pynchon Notes , 110-124. doi: https://doi.org/10.16995/pn.166