History, Refusal and the Strategic-Essentialist Politics of Pynchon's Vineland



How are we to reconcile these two seemingly incongruous political programs? As Pynchon describes Sasha Gates's recognition of the allure of refusal, with a trademark flourish, he capitalizes History, creating for it a counterbalancing air of ominous inescapability, transcendence and heavy predestination. Still, he will not have Sasha be totally discouraged: even in the face of this stark opposition, she sees that "refusing to take shit" might not be futile. Though strife and oppression seem preordained in a world subject to the laws of some abstract and theoretical "History," a practical mode of refusal–one recognizing that problems begin with other real and accessible "humans" necessarily "living here on the planet, often well within reach"–just might constitute an effective response.


How to Cite: N. doCarmo, S. (1999) “History, Refusal and the Strategic-Essentialist Politics of Pynchon's Vineland”, Pynchon Notes.(0). doi: