Against the Day Weblog

November 23, 2006

So who’s narrating this?

Filed under: Questions — basileios @ 10:53 am

Its difficult to tell most of the time in Pynchon’s work about the narrator (Mason and Dixon being an exception). But there is something quite interesting happeninging in Against the Day. Page 3 has the phrase: ‘Darby, as my faithful readers will remember….’ and throws a curve ball to the reader.



  1. I set up a section on my blog trying to compare ATD with war in Iraq and post 9-11.
    Not many braniacs contributed: I still am looking for some raw meat about this topic-but as for the moment, i have jotted down these comments:

    1) So far in my reading the magical narratives are beautifully integrated and developed.
    2) The humanism and naturalism of the imagery is
    very melancholic and reminds me of the writing of Thomas Wolfe.
    3) The satirical edge and effect, that we love in Pynchon, is strongly apparent.
    4) The writing is some of the most poetic and transparent Pynchon has ever produced.

    As for who is the voice that is narrating this novel, I would have to say-it is the reader. He or she is the only voice Pynchon wants to hear.

    I hope to illicit comments on these points and others by those readers who are wise enough
    to go beyond the Evil witch spells of the
    Adorably synchophant Kakutani and her Bums without a Chance.

    Comment by sevenpointman — November 23, 2006 @ 6:25 pm | Reply

  2. Most of the book seems narrated by the times itself. Although the C of C passage you note suggests another narrator at play as well. Perhaps a closer reading (p800+ here) will link the futurist elements with the fictional Jules Verne author/narrator.

    I read the C of C as the changing zeitgeist of the Belle Epoche. What began with wonder and awe, the impulse of joy from sheer creation slowly becomes corrupted by the expediences of the Age and the pernicious influence huge pools of capital has upon society.

    A brilliant balls to the wall Edwardian contraption jetting steam through polished brass fittings.

    Comment by ShakespearesChimp — January 17, 2007 @ 1:54 am | Reply

  3. And upon reflection I’m wondering if the various multiverses each have distinguishable narrators?

    Comment by ShakespearesChimp — January 17, 2007 @ 2:12 am | Reply

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