Against the Day Weblog

January 3, 2007

Pynchon’s View on History

Filed under: General — basileios @ 10:24 am
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“Who’s to say,” Kit carefully, “we couldn’t get it done quicker by just standing back, letting the forces of History roll on over him”

page 739

I think there is a lot to be said about the Pynchonian view of History as seen through Against the Day (already some discussion about this is in a previous post). In a sense it feels that Pynchon follows a neo-Marxian approach of ultimate paranoia under which History is not changeable by the small individual acts of people (otherwise known as ‘heroes do not exist’ – I would even place the ‘don’t go for the head shot’ paragraphs mentioned earlier in the book under this umbrella). I hereby call this in my humble opinion the core point of Against the Day and the whole underlining of the book an essay on how this applies in the difficult and changing times of the beginning of the 20th century. The book can be analyzed in so many ways based on this idea which came to me rather late (after page 500) that has already made me think that I have missed many points in the early stages of the book. Mental note: second reading (at least), mandatory.

As for the book reviews that keep on popping up about Against the Day, I ‘ve read so many calling it a ‘revenge story’. Calling Against the Day a revenge story is like calling Moby Dick a revenge story.

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