Thomas Pynchon likes to talk about Godzilla in his novels. In Inherent Vice, there is a funny scene where the main character Doc told his girlfriend Penny that the 1964 Japanese movie Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster was a remake of the 1953 romantic comedy Roman Holiday. Later that night, Doc caught Penny sobbing at the TV, because she watched the Japanese monster movie as a romance. Pynchon is good at writing this type of plot that is ridiculous but oddly touching.Read more
I have been reading Italo Calvino’s If on a winters night a traveller. One chapter is particularly interesting because it draws heavily on the imagery of optics (one of Calvino’s obsessions). It makes a reference to the 19th century British scientist David Brewster for his invention of the kaleidoscope. I hadn’t read about Brewster before so I had to look him up. He was so much more than the inventor of kaleidoscope.Read more
I finished reading Thomas Pynchon’s novel V. about a month ago. I was thinking about writing a review, but what’s the point? Given its classic status, it has been analyzed to death. So just a couple of thoughts. This was Pynchon’s first novel, so we have to ask if it compares well to his later masterpieces. I think a novel worthy of Pynchon’s name must do two things: 1. It must induce a mindfuck.Read more
In V., Chapter 14, Pynchon made passing references to the Dreyfus Affair - a social controversy that divided France near the end of the 19th century. Just by coincidence, I read something about it earlier this year. The Father Brown story “The Duel of Dr Hirsch” by G.K. Chesterton is a very odd detective story, because it’s really a commentary on the Dreyfus Affairs. The other historical figure that plays a more significant role in V.Read more
Idea: a Python dialect called Pynchon (after Thomas Pynchon). A pynchonic code is probably not very pythonic. Brevity is highly discouraged. Variable names should be all puns. In fact, Pynchon should be a concatenative language like Forth. This way, statements can be chained together into a longer and longer statement… until the entire program is one single statement.