Against the Grain

Reading Pynchon’s Counternarratives


Against the Grain: Reading Pynchon’s Counternarratives is the first book that critically addresses Thomas Pynchon’s novel Against the Day, published in 2006. The nineteen essays collected in this volume employ a large variety of approaches to this massive novel and also take it as an opportunity to reevaluate Pynchon’s earlier works, analyzing Against the Day in relation to V., The Crying of Lot 49, Gravity’s Rainbow, Vineland, Mason & Dixon, and Pynchon’s short stories and essays. The authors—younger as well as established scholars from eleven countries—address these works with regard to issues of modernism and postmodernism, politics, popular culture, concepts of space and time, visuality, sexuality, identity, media and communication, philosophy, religion, American and global (literary) history, physics, mathematics, economics, and many more. Their insights are as profound as they are diverse, and all provide fresh views on Pynchon’s fiction that will be useful, fascinating and entertaining for researchers and fans alike.
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Table of contents

Sascha Pöhlmann: Introduction: The Complex Text
Heinz Ickstadt: Setting Sail Against the Day: The Narrative World of Thomas Pynchon
Keith O’Neill: Against the Master: Pynchon’s Wellsian Art
Simon de Bourcier: Travels in the Fourth Dimension in Against the Day
Inger H. Dalsgaard: “Perchance to Dream”: Clock Time and Creative Resistance Against the Day
Toon Staes: “When You Come to a Fork in the Road”—Marcuse, Intellectual Subversion and Negative Thought in Gravity’s Rainbow and Against the Day
Ali Chetwynd: Imperfect Circles: Asymmetrical Orbital Motion from the Rim to the Centre in Gravity’s Rainbow
Rodney Taveira: Still Moving Against the Day: Pynchon’s Graphic Impulse
Clément Lévy: As Far as Pynchon “Loves Cameras”
Georgios Maragos: A Medium No Longer: How Communication and Information Become Objectives in Thomas Pynchon’s Works
William D. Clarke: “It’s My Job, I Can’t Back Out”: The “House” and Coercive Property Relations in Thomas Pynchon’s Vineland
Michael Harris: The Tao of Thomas Pynchon
Jessica Lawson: “The Real and Only Fucking is Done on Paper”: Penetrative Readings and Pynchon’s Sexual Text
Manlio Della Marca: Fluid Destiny: Memory and Signs in Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49
Lovorka Gruić Grmuša: The Underworld and Its Forces: Croatia, the Uskoks and Their Fight for Autonomy in Against the Day
Celia Wallhead: Kit and Kim: Espionage in Against the Day
Leyla Haferkamp: “Particle or Wave?”: The “Function” of the Prairie in Against the Day
Francisco Collado-Rodríguez: From Science to Terrorism: The Transgressing Function of Energy in Pynchon’s Against the Day
Hanjo Berressem: “Vectors and [Eigen]Values”: The Mathematics of Movement in Against the Day

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