Crying Essay, Research Paper

Thomas Pynchon The Crying of Lot 49 The Crying of Lot 49 was the second novel written by Thomas Pynchon, published in 1966. This postmodern work of literature is filled with black humor and satire, yet the author manages to incorporate intellectually challenging material. The story begins when Oedipa Maas, a practical but restless woman married to a disk jockey, finds out that she has been made executor of the estate of Pierce Inverarity, a wealthy developer and ex-boyfriend. She goes to San Narcisco, a fictional city where Inverarity owned much property, to carry out her duties, but it is not long until she stumbles upon a muted post horn (the symbol on the cover of the book), her first clue of the deep-rooted, intricate conspiracy that looms over the rest of the book. Oedipa discovers an ancient way of life–an alternative, underground postal system known as Tristero. The more she finds out about it, however, the deeper in the puzzle she gets stuck and the farther away from an explanation she gets. Toward the end of the novel, the reader feels Oedipa’s paranoia as the conspiracy has caused a revolution in her own life and she loses her grip on reality. I thoroughly enjoyed The Crying of Lot 49 and enthusiastically recommend it. I loved the humor–Pynchon names his characters Mike Fallopian, Stanley Koteks, Manny Di Presso, and Mucho Maas, to name a few. Even more enjoyable, Pynchon draws on an eclectic assortment of subject matter, including European history, quantum physics, and 60’s rock & roll. I must warn you, however, that some ideas and references are esoteric and some research will help to fully understand and appreciate them. After reading Lot 49 it is apparent that Thomas Pynchon is an innovator in American literature and perhaps, as one critic has asserted, “the greatest writer in English today.”

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