Recognize this land from literature?
Regular readers of this blog will know that I have a fascination with maps. Having picked up a degree in literature along the way, those two mix very nicely in literary maps.
I don’t know what the first book was that I encountered that had a settings map inside of it. It might have been a Pooh book. I liked having a sense of the places in the book. It reminded…
— F. Scott Fitzgerald
Kurt Vonnegut draws for you the Shapes of Stories.
Still need help? Okay, then here is how to write a short story.
— Ernest Hemingway - Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech
Does diagramming it make it clearer for you?
Yeah, that’s what I thought you’d say.
It was the Pequod that pursued Moby-Dick,
but in the end Melville wanted us
to remember that it was the Rachel,
searching again for her own missing children,
who came upon Ishmael - yet another orphan.
Author versus English teacher
With occasional excursions into the DeepWeb and out to Long Island, Thomas Pynchon, channeling his inner Jewish mother, brings us a historical romance of New York in the early days of the Internet, not that distant in calendar time but galactically remote from where we’ve journeyed to since.
Will perpetrators be revealed, forget about brought to justice? Will Maxine have to take the handgun out of her purse? Will she and Horst get back together? Will Jerry Seinfeld make an unscheduled guest appearance? Will accounts secular and karmic be brought into balance?
On Sept. 17, six days and 12 years after the [9/11] atrocity, we get from Thomas Pynchon a precious freak of a novel, glinting rich and strange, like a black pearl from an oyster unfathomable by any other diver into our eternal souls. If not here at the end of history, when? If not Pynchon, who?
Reading Bleeding Edge, tearing up at the beauty of its sadness or the punches of its hilarity, you may realize it as the 9/11 novel you never knew you needed. Who else but Pynchon can indict the sins of power while giving the sinner noogies of love? Who else could invent, as the name for a Queens strip club, Joie de Beavre? Who you gonna call when a screaming comes across the sky?”
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, or you wouldn’t have come here.”"
— Lewis Carroll
— Hermann Hesse (Demian)
from The Secret History by Donna Tartt
— Ernest Hemingway (A Farewell To Arms)
Starts out nice and then gets creepy. Good old Franz Kafka (The Castle)