"'[T]o extract the grain of determinacy.' ... Where does this desire come from?" Alec McHoul poses this question at the end of his quite superior review of New Essays on The Crying of Lot 49, "How to Write an Essay on Thomas Pynchon" (Pynchon Notes 28–29). It is a good question, and not an easy one to answer. Derrida tackles it. In fact, almost all of recent theory does. Certainly Lacan would have had something to say about it, but unfortunately, in McHoul's review Lacan is what a good Lacanian would immediately identify as the repressed signifier.