Along with J.D. Salinger, Thomas Pynchon is famous for being a great American writer who is also a recluse – despite one infamous “appearance” on The Simpsons. In this interview, Samuel Thomas speculates about why Pynchon might have refused to engage with the cult of personality as other popular authors might have done. Thomas also points out that unlike Salinger, Pynchon has managed to remain productive throughout his career, most recently with his new novel Bleeding Edge.
In novels like Bleeding Edge, as in his life, Pynchon is typically interested in characters who try to operate “off the grid.” However, despite his own position beyond the public eye, Pynchon’s fiction is deeply immersed in popular culture. Though challenging,Bleeding Edge thus comes with immense rewards with its puns, allusions, and education about everything from the technical details of German rocket engineering to ukulele music.
This podcast is reproduced by kind permission of CBC Radio and Michael Enright.