Reading: Jissom on the Reports: A Thoroughly Post-Modern Pynchon

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Jissom on the Reports: A Thoroughly Post-Modern Pynchon

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Louis Mackey

University of Texas at Austin
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Abstract

Writing Pynchon (hereafter WP) proclaims itself the first and so far only critical work to approach Pynchon's texts from the standpoint of "CLT." CLT is the authors' abbreviation for "contemporary literary theory," by which they mean deconstruction. The identification is tendentious to say the least, since the authors of WP (hereafter MW) must know that contemporary literary theory is a near-chaotic hodgepodge of reader-response views, new historicism, new pragmatism, French and other Freudianisms, several varieties of Marxism and feminism, structuralism, hermeneutics, and a welter of other non-deconstructive models and methodologies. But never mind. Convinced that a deconstructive reading of Pynchon was long overdue, I entered WP with sanguine expectations. A first reading dashed my hopes, so I read it again. The second reading confirmed the first. MW seem breathlessly eager to display their own deconstructive ingenuity (look what we can do with texts!) and rather lackadaisical about understanding Pynchon. No doubt they would insist that "understanding Pynchon" is a misunderstanding from the p. o. v. of CLT. But I am not so easily intimidated.
How to Cite: Mackey, L., (1989). Jissom on the Reports: A Thoroughly Post-Modern Pynchon. Pynchon Notes. (24-25), pp.143–153. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/pn.306
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Published on 22 Sep 1989.
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