Reading: Nature and The Supernatural: Pynchon's Ecological Ghost Stories

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Nature and The Supernatural: Pynchon's Ecological Ghost Stories

Author:

Douglas Keesey

Princeton University
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Abstract

It has long been recognized that the novels of Thomas Pynchon are filled with ghosts and revenants of all kinds, but few critics have ventured to offer an explanation of this fact. To fill the lack, Douglas Fowler has recently devoted an entire book to an investigation of this supernatural phenomenon; he argues that Pynchon s ghosts "adumbrate the malignant incursion into our world by a mysterious 'They,'" and he links Pynchon with writers like Ann Radcliffe and Bram Stoker whose main goal is to create an "effect" of "supernatural terror." Throughout his book, Fowler argues against those critics who would naturalize Pynchon's ghosts into "metaphors" for "merely psychological" fears; he insists that the ghosts be seen as real embodiments of an evil supernatural force, as emissaries from an "Other Kingdom" whose mission is to destroy the human world.
How to Cite: Keesey, D., (1986). Nature and The Supernatural: Pynchon's Ecological Ghost Stories. Pynchon Notes. (18-19), pp.84–95. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/pn.352
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Published on 22 Sep 1986.
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