Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49, Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1966

  1. Christopher MacGowan

Published Online: 24 FEB 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781444393675.ch58

The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook

The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook

How to Cite

MacGowan, C. (2011) Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49, Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1966, in The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444393675.ch58

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 24 FEB 2012
  2. Published Print: 21 JAN 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405160230

Online ISBN: 9781444393675

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Keywords:

  • Thomas Pynchon's second novel, The Crying of Lot 49 - preceded and followed by encyclopedic V (1963) and Gravity's Rainbow (1973);
  • The Crying of Lot 49, on the short list for critics;
  • search that Oedipa Maas - undertakes as executrix of Pierce Inverarity's estate, the role and value of fiction;
  • Oedipa, facing a failing marriage - a consumer culture demanding uniformity;
  • relationship with Inverarity, linked to a painting she saw on a trip with him before her marriage - “the confinement” which, “Rapunzel-like,” she felt in her own “tower”;
  • “Shall I project a world,” Oedipa - writing in hermemobook, early in her search, echoing the painting;
  • Oedipa's names, suggesting her need for love - surname indicating the representative nature of her need in America, individuals subsumed into a “mass”;
  • Trystero, offering Oedipa - a possible rescue from her isolation and anonymity;
  • wild narratives, blending fiction and historical narrative - following a course;
  • parallels in Oedipa's quest - histories, fictions, absurd and symbolic names, and connection with the world outside of the novel

Summary

This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Bibliography