In an 1847 essay on “Secret Societies,” Thomas De Quincey speaks of the curious effect produced by any story about a secret society or conspiracy of individuals. By referring to the “wonder that gathered about the general economy of Secret Societies,” he expresses both the fascination and confusion often produced by conspiracy narratives. In effect, De Quincey’s essay presents the following problem: What would it mean to tell a story about the invisible relationships that constitute a secret society? That is, what would it mean to relate the unrelatable, to tell the untellable, to create a narrative that could link together the accomplices of a secret society? Furthermore, to what extent can we say that a conspiracy narrative produces a specific effect, such as the effect of wonder that De Quincey describes?
How to Cite:
Kelman, D., (2011) “The Form of the Conspiracy: Ricardo Piglia’s Reading of Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49”, Pynchon Notes , 57-73. doi: https://doi.org/10.16995/pn.5