There's always a risk in putting together a textbook for students. The risk is that it's going to be read by scholars and specialists who may judge it more in the light of their own research interests than in terms of its avowed audience design. The general editor of the series The American Novel in which New Essays on The Crying of Lot 49 appears, Emory Elliott, says clearly that the series, including this book, is meant "to provide students of American literature and culture with introductory critical guides to American novels now widely read and studied" (vii-viii). If we allow for the fact that most English departments still want their students to offer up more or less explanatory/appreciationist essays and term-papers on these novels, then the O'Donnell volume offers five exemplary cases for the intended audience.
How to Cite:
McHoul, A., (1991) “How to Write an Essay on Thomas Pynchon”, Pynchon Notes , p.157-167. doi: https://doi.org/10.16995/pn.266