Reading: That Other Sentimental Surrealist: Walter Benjamin

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That Other Sentimental Surrealist: Walter Benjamin

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William Dawers

Winchendon, Massachusetts
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Abstract

Taking Thomas Pynchon's critique of the cause-effect mentality as a point of departure, the social or literary critic is reluctant to accept arguments of influence. It may be both correct and interesting to argue that Pynchon has read this or that author, but such an argument also suggests that there is a traceable, even causal connection between the works read and the works produced. By distancing himself as much as possible from this approach, the critic widens his field of research to the point where anything may provide insights into Pynchon's work. The critical act then becomes not so much a proof of influence as a process of juxtaposition. The result is, at best, a series of illuminating observations that are in keeping with the thought processes Pynchon portrays.
How to Cite: Dawers, W., (1987). That Other Sentimental Surrealist: Walter Benjamin. Pynchon Notes. (20-21), pp.39–60. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/pn.333
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Published on 22 Sep 1987.
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