The Identity Of Thomas Pynchon



is as elusive as the sticky, complex webs of
meaning woven into his prose. As America's most "famous" hidden author,
Pynchon produces works which simultaneously deal with issues of
disappearance and meaning, of identity and nothingness in a fashion that
befuddles some and delights others. He speaks to the world from his
invisible pulpit, hiding behind a curtain of anonymity that safely
disguises his personality from the prying eyes of critics and fans alike.
Without a public author presence, readers are forced to derive the identity
of the author instead from the author's actual works. When searching for
the identity of Pynchon, and indeed the notion of identity itself, the
novels of ...

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leading his main character Oedipa Maas on a quest for
meaning while blindly groping for clues about a conspiratorial mail system
known only as the Trystero. Oedipa's quest echos the quest of everyone; she
wishes for an identity that makes some sense within the framework of her
world. Thomas Pynchon, by erasing himself from the public sphere, is
questing for identity in his own right through his writings, letting Mrs.
Maas do the searching for him.

Little is known about Pynchon's life, and no one who knows him seems to be
willing to add to the miniscule pile of information currently available
about him. His most recent published photograph dates back to 1953.
Beginning at the beginning, he was born on May 8, 1937 in Glen Cove, New
York. He attended Cornell University and received a degree in English in
1959. He worked at Boeing Company in Seattle as a technical writer until
his first novel V. appeared in 1963 (Gray 70). From that point onward,
Pynchon vanished from the public eye. ...

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desire
to be famous. By not showing up to play the game, Thomas Pynchon has made
himself infinitely more mysterious than his actual self could ever be.

When the identity of the author is absent, the gap between the author and
the written word flares to life. Why does the need exist for constant
speculation over Pynchon's personality and his real-life identity? When
someone looks at a book, they naturally assume that it came from somewhere.
This leads to the question of its origin. Currently, the easy answer to
this question lies in the idea of the author, the originator, the creator,
the name on the cover. This "individual" is the source of the work and the
person who deserves "credit" ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 4/13/2004 10:26:39 AM
Category: Biographies
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1788
Pages: 7

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