Reading: Notes


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Edward Mendelson ,

Edward Mendelson, Columbia University
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Barbara Mooney


It's an honor to be contradicted by so careful a Joycean as Brook Thomas ["What's the Point? On Comparing Joyce and Pynchon," Pynchon Notes, 11 (1983)]. If I may reply briefly to his final point: I'm sorry if my sentence about the failure of characters from Lot 49 to reappear in Gravity's Rainbow gave Mr. Thomas any trouble. Everyone knows that Bloody Chiclitz appears in all three books--and the sentence of mine that immediately follows the one quoted by Mr. Thomas says very plainly that "Elements of V. are carefully fitted into both the later books; '"but nothing that first appears in Pynchon's second book reappears in his third." This is certainly a significant point. Pynchon could easily have found a place for Dr. Hilarius (he of Buchenwald) in Gravity's Rainbow, had' he wanted to; he had no difficulty finding places for Mondaugen, Pig Bodine, et al. But he chose not to include Hilarius, nor any of the other characters introduced in Lot 49 who might have gone into the later book with almost equal appropriateness. And this choice makes a clear differentiation between V. and Lot 49. (By the way, what all this has to do with the started subject of Mr. Thomas's paper, a comparison of Joyce and Pynchon, strikes me as a bit unclear.)
How to Cite: Mendelson, E. & Mooney, B., (1983). Notes. Pynchon Notes. (12), pp.56–57. DOI:
Published on 01 Jun 1983.
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