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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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„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?

„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...

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„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.

„If he’d been the type who evolves theories of history for his own amusement, he might have said all political events: wars, governments and uprisings, have the desire to get laid as their roots; because history unfolds according to economic forces and the only reason anybody wants to get rich is so he can get laid steadily, with whoever he chooses.“

— Thomas Pynchon
Context: The eyes of New York women do not see the wandering bums or the boys with no place to go. Material wealth and getting laid strolled arm-in-arm the midway of Profane’s mind. If he’d been the type who evolves theories of history for his own amusement, he might have said all political events: wars, governments and uprisings, have the desire to get laid as their roots; because history unfolds according to economic forces and the only reason anybody wants to get rich is so he can get laid steadily, with whoever he chooses. All he believed at this point, on the bench behind the library was, that any body who worked for inanimate money so he could by more inanimate objects was out of his head. Inanimate money was to get animate warmth, dead fingernails in the living shoulderblades, quick cries against the pillow, tangled hair, lidded eyes, listing loins. Chapter Eight

„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?

„Don't try to undermine my confidence in you“

— Thomas Pynchon
Context: "You." A finger the size of a corncob, an inch from Slothrop's nose. ... "Look," Slothrop's friend producing a kraft-paper envelope that even in the gloom Slothrop can tell is fat with American Army yellow-seal scrip, "I want you to hold this for me, till I ask for it back. It looks like Italo is going to get here before Tamara, and I'm not sure which one" "At this rate, Tamara's gonna get here before tonight," Slothrop interjects in a Groucho Marx voice. "Don't try to undermine my confidence in you," advises the Large One. "You're the man."

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„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

„I want you to hold this for me, till I ask for it back. It looks like Italo is going to get here before Tamara, and I'm not sure which one“

— Thomas Pynchon
Context: "You." A finger the size of a corncob, an inch from Slothrop's nose. ... "Look," Slothrop's friend producing a kraft-paper envelope that even in the gloom Slothrop can tell is fat with American Army yellow-seal scrip, "I want you to hold this for me, till I ask for it back. It looks like Italo is going to get here before Tamara, and I'm not sure which one" "At this rate, Tamara's gonna get here before tonight," Slothrop interjects in a Groucho Marx voice. "Don't try to undermine my confidence in you," advises the Large One. "You're the man."

„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

„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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