Thomas Pynchon citations

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Thomas Pynchon

Date de naissance: 8. mai 1937

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Thomas Ruggles Pynchon Junior, né le 8 mai 1937 à Glen Cove dans l'État de New York, est un écrivain américain connu pour ses œuvres mêlant absurde et érudition.

Originaire de Long Island, il commença des études d'ingénieur à l'université Cornell mais arrêta à la fin de sa deuxième année pour rejoindre l'US Navy dans laquelle il passa deux ans. Il retourna à Cornell en 1957 pour suivre des études de lettres.

Après la publication de quelques nouvelles à la fin des années 1950 et au début des années 1960, il a publié huit romans durant les cinq décennies suivantes qui l'ont rapidement classé parmi les écrivains contemporains les plus commentés : V. , Vente à la criée du lot 49 , L'Arc-en-ciel de la gravité , Vineland , Mason & Dixon , Contre-jour , Vice caché et Fonds perdus . Pynchon est aussi connu pour son refus de toute apparition publique : depuis les années 1950, très peu de photographies de son visage ont été publiées, ce qui a alimenté de nombreuses rumeurs, allant jusqu'à remettre en cause la réalité de son identité. Pynchon est ainsi surnommé « l'écrivain anonyme ».

En 1997, peu après la publication de Mason & Dixon, il fut traqué et filmé par CNN. Irrité par cette invasion de sa vie privée, il accepta de donner une interview en échange de la non-diffusion de ces photographies. Lorsqu'on l'interrogea sur sa nature recluse, il répondit : « Je crois que reclus est un mot de code utilisé par les journalistes et qui signifie qui n'aime pas parler aux reporters ».

Le critique littéraire Harold Bloom a cité Thomas Pynchon comme un des plus grands romanciers américains de son temps, de pair avec Don DeLillo, Philip Roth et Cormac McCarthy.

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Citations Thomas Pynchon

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„What have the watchmen of the world's edge come tonight to look for? Deepening on now, monumental beings stoical, on toward slag, toward ash the colour the night will stabilize at, tonight... what is there grandiose enough to witness?“

— Thomas Pynchon
Context: Out at the horizon, out near the burnished edge of the world, who are these visitors standing... these robed figures — perhaps, at this distance, hundreds of miles tall — their faces, serene, unattached, like the Buddha's, bending over the sea, impassive, indeed, as the Angel that stood over Lübeck during the Palm Sunday raid, come that day neither to destroy nor to protect, but to bear witness to a game of seduction... What have the watchmen of the world's edge come tonight to look for? Deepening on now, monumental beings stoical, on toward slag, toward ash the colour the night will stabilize at, tonight... what is there grandiose enough to witness?

„Out at the horizon, out near the burnished edge of the world, who are these visitors standing... these robed figures —“

— Thomas Pynchon
Context: Out at the horizon, out near the burnished edge of the world, who are these visitors standing... these robed figures — perhaps, at this distance, hundreds of miles tall — their faces, serene, unattached, like the Buddha's, bending over the sea, impassive, indeed, as the Angel that stood over Lübeck during the Palm Sunday raid, come that day neither to destroy nor to protect, but to bear witness to a game of seduction... What have the watchmen of the world's edge come tonight to look for? Deepening on now, monumental beings stoical, on toward slag, toward ash the colour the night will stabilize at, tonight... what is there grandiose enough to witness?

„This ascent will be betrayed to Gravity. But the Rocket engine, the deep cry of combustion that jars the soul, promises escape. The victim, in bondage to falling, rises on a promise, a prophecy, of Escape....“

— Thomas Pynchon
Context: This ascent will be betrayed to Gravity. But the Rocket engine, the deep cry of combustion that jars the soul, promises escape. The victim, in bondage to falling, rises on a promise, a prophecy, of Escape.... Moving now toward the kind of light where at last the apple is apple-colored. The knife cuts through the apple like a knife cutting an apple. Everything is where it is, no clearer than usual, but certainly more present. So much has to be left behind now, so quickly.

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„Who claims Truth, Truth abandons.“

— Thomas Pynchon
Context: Who claims Truth, Truth abandons. History is hir'd, or coerc'd, only in Interests that must ever prove base. She is too innocent, to be left within the reach of anyone in Power, — who need but touch her, and all her Credit is in the instant vanish'd, as if it had never been. She needs rather to be tended lovingly and honorably by fabulists and counterfeiters, Ballad-Mongers and Cranks of ev'ry Radius, Masters of Disguise to provide her the Costume, Toilette, and Bearing, and Speech nimble enough to keep her beyond the Desires, or even the Curiosity, of Government. Ch. 35

„Don't jump at an infinite number of possible shapes. There's only one. It is most likely an interface between one order of things and another.“

— Thomas Pynchon
Context: No, as none of these, but instead a point in space, a point hung precise as the point where burning must end, never launched, never to fall. And what is the specific shape whose center of gravity is the Brennschluss Point? Don't jump at an infinite number of possible shapes. There's only one. It is most likely an interface between one order of things and another. There's a Brennschluss point for every firing site. They still hang up there, all of them, a constellation waiting to have a 13th sign of the Zodiac named for it...

„But the reality is in this head. Mine. I’m the projector at the planetarium, all the closed little universe visible in the circle of that stage is coming out of my mouth, eyes, sometimes other orifices also.“

— Thomas Pynchon
Context: You don’t understand,” getting mad. “You guys, you’re like Puritans are about the Bible. So hung up with words, words. You know where that play exists, not in that file cabinet, not in any paperback you’re looking for, but—” a hand emerged from the veil of shower-steam to indicate his suspended head—“in here. That’s what I’m for. To give the spirit flesh. The words, who cares? They’re rote noises to hold line bashes with, to get past the bone barrier around an actor’s memory, right? But the reality is in this head. Mine. I’m the projector at the planetarium, all the closed little universe visible in the circle of that stage is coming out of my mouth, eyes, sometimes other orifices also. Chapter 3

„She needs rather to be tended lovingly and honorably by fabulists and counterfeiters, Ballad-Mongers and Cranks of ev'ry Radius, Masters of Disguise to provide her the Costume, Toilette, and Bearing, and Speech nimble enough to keep her beyond the Desires, or even the Curiosity, of Government.“

— Thomas Pynchon
Context: Who claims Truth, Truth abandons. History is hir'd, or coerc'd, only in Interests that must ever prove base. She is too innocent, to be left within the reach of anyone in Power, — who need but touch her, and all her Credit is in the instant vanish'd, as if it had never been. She needs rather to be tended lovingly and honorably by fabulists and counterfeiters, Ballad-Mongers and Cranks of ev'ry Radius, Masters of Disguise to provide her the Costume, Toilette, and Bearing, and Speech nimble enough to keep her beyond the Desires, or even the Curiosity, of Government. Ch. 35

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„As spread thighs are to the libertine, flights of migratory birds to the ornithologist, the working part of his tool bit to the production machinist, so was the letter V to young Stencil.“

— Thomas Pynchon
Context: As spread thighs are to the libertine, flights of migratory birds to the ornithologist, the working part of his tool bit to the production machinist, so was the letter V to young Stencil. He would dream perhaps once a week that it had all been a dream, and that now he’d awakened to discover the pursuit of V. was merely a scholarly quest after all, an adventure of the mind, in the tradition of ‘’The Golden Bough’’ or ‘’The White Goddess’’ But Soon enough he’d wale up the second, real time, to make again the tiresome discovery that it hadn’t really stopped being the same simple-minded literal pursuit; V. ambiguously a beast of venery, chased like the hart, hind or hare, chased like an obsolete or bizarre, or forbidden form of sexual delight. And clownish Stencil capering along behind her, bells a jingle, waving a wood, toy oxgoad. For no one’s amusement but his own. Chapter Three

„He had decided long ago that no Situation had any objective reality: it only existed in the minds of those who happened to be in on it at any specific moment.“

— Thomas Pynchon
Context: He had decided long ago that no Situation had any objective reality: it only existed in the minds of those who happened to be in on it at any specific moment. Since these several minds tended to form a sum total or complex more mongrel than homogeneous, The Situation must necessarily appear to a single observer much like a diagram in four dimensions to an eye conditioned to seeing the world in only three. Hence the success or failure of any diplomatic issue must vary directly with the degree of rapport achieved by the team confronting it. This had led to the near obsession with teamwork which had inspired his colleagues to dub him Soft-show Sydney, on the assumption that he was at his best working in front of a chorus line. But it was a neat theory, and he was in love with it. The only consolation he drew from the present chaos was that his theory managed to explain it. Chapter Seven, Part VII

„She might have found the Tristero anywhere in her Republic, through any of a hundred lightly-concealed entranceways, a hundred alienations, if only she'd looked.“

— Thomas Pynchon
Context: She might have found the Tristero anywhere in her Republic, through any of a hundred lightly-concealed entranceways, a hundred alienations, if only she'd looked. She stopped for a minute between the steel rails, raising her head as if to sniff the air. Becoming conscious of the hard, strung presence she stood on — knowing as if maps had been flashed for her on the sky how these tracks ran on into others, others, knowing they laced, deepened, authenticated the great night around her. If only she'd looked. … She remembered drifters she had listened to, Americans speaking their language carefully, scholarly, as if they were in exile from somewhere else invisible yet congruent with the land she lived in; and walkers along the roads at night, zooming in and out of your headlights without looking up, too far from any town to have a real destination. And the voices before and after the dead man's that had phoned at random during the darkest slowest hours, searching ceaseless among the dial's ten million possibilities for that magical Other who would reveal herself out of the roar of relays monotone litanies of insult, filth, fantasy love, whose brute repetition must someday call into being the trigger of the unnamable act, the recognition, the Word. <!-- p. 148 Chapter 6

„We are accordingly lost to any sense of continuous tradition. Perhaps if we lived on a crest, things would be different. We could at least see.“

— Thomas Pynchon
Context: Perhaps history this century, thought Eigenvalue, is rippled with gathers in its fabric such that if we are situated, as Stencil seemed to be, at the bottom of a fold, it's impossible to determine warp, woof, or pattern anywhere else. By virtue, however, of existing in one gather it is assumed there are others, compartmented off into sinuous cycles each of which had come to assume greater importance than the weave itself and destroy any continuity. Thus it is that we are charmed by the funny-looking automobiles of the '30's, the curious fashions of the '20's, the particular moral habits of our grandparents. We produce and attend musical comedies about them and are conned into a false memory, a phony nostalgia about what they were. We are accordingly lost to any sense of continuous tradition. Perhaps if we lived on a crest, things would be different. We could at least see. Chapter Seven, Part I

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