Re-Stenciling Lesbian Fetishism in Pynchon's V.

Author: Christopher Kocela (Georgia State University)

  • Re-Stenciling Lesbian Fetishism in Pynchon's V.


    Re-Stenciling Lesbian Fetishism in Pynchon's V.



V. is an important text for anyone interested in recent attempts to theorize female fetishism. "V. in Love," the last overtly "Stencilized" of the novel's historical chapters, tells the story of the abortive love affair between a fifteen-year-old dancer, Mélanie I'Heuremaudit, and a mysterious patroness identified only as the lady V. Viewed from the perspectives of the members of Melanie's theater circle, this relationship is the object of numerous pseudo-Freudian speculations connecting fetishism, narcissism and lesbian desire. Eventually these speculations are mirrored both in the musings of the story's ambiguous teller, Herbert Stencil, and in the commentary of the unnamed narrator who appears to supersede Stencil's narratorial role in the final third of "V. in Love." By the end of the chapter, which depicts Melanie's death by impalement the night of her premiere, the relationship between the young dancer and V. has been implicated in a grand conspiracy between lesbianism, fetishism and death.

How to Cite:

Kocela, C., (2001) “Re-Stenciling Lesbian Fetishism in Pynchon's V.”, Pynchon Notes , 105-130. doi:

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Published on
22 Sep 2001