"She had heard all about excluded middles; they were bad shit; to be avoided, and how had it ever happened here, with the chances so good for diversity? For it was now like walking among matrices of a great digital computer, the zeroes and ones twinned above, hanging like balanced mobiles right and left, ahead, thick, maybe endless. Behind the hieroglyphic streets there would either be a transcendent meaning, or only the earth."
Pynchon Criticism Bibliography
The critical heritage may be just as important as an author's works -- in that the two are essentially interchangeable. Those eager to "decipher" meaning in a text will most often turn to the textuality of another for assistance. But it is now plain to all who have studied semiotics and the endless chains of signifiers we spin out to console ourselves within the dialogic mayhem that is the postmodern novel -- an arena in which discourses and dialogues compete with one another for transcendence on the basis of ideology, currency, accepted belief, and long-established yet disjunctive systems of substitution -- that the work of the "critic" is as much a fabulation as the work of the author and that, in fact, the former may often become more elaborate than the latter. The critic uses linguistic systems to represent his ideas and the textual nature of his creations are therefore of the same order as those of the author he is seeking to elucidate. No more need be said on this matter.
Realize, then, that the list of criticism given here reflects the texts which flow forth from my own imagination and delineates a "shape" for the Pynchon ouevre which is uniquely my own. I have attempted to provide a list which touches on all the major areas of Pynchon scholarship, but if the reader feels that certain omissions have been made and that other proclivities and biases are apparent, let it be known here that they will be correct! This list is my "reading" of Pynchon, or, if you put it more precisely, my "re-creation" of him. For a complete listing of all published Pynchon criticism, both in and out of print, feel free to refer to the Spermatikos Logos Bookstore.
Carter, Dale. The Rise and Fall of the American Rocket State.
London: Verso, 1988.
Clerc, Charles, ed. Approaches to Gravity's Rainbow.
Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State University Press 1983.
Fowler, Douglas. A Reader's Guide to Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow.
Ann Arbor, Michigan: Ardis Publications, 1980.
Fowler, Douglas. A Reader's Guide to Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49.
Santa Barbara, California: Kinko's, 1986.
Cowart, David. Thomas Pynchon: The Art of Allusion.
Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1980.
Grant, J. Kerry. A Companion to the Crying of Lot 49
University of Georgia Press, 1994.
Grant, J. Kerry. A Companion to V.
University of Georgia Press, 2000.
Helterman, Jeffrey. Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow: A Crtitical Commentary.
New York: Monarch Press, 1976.
Hite, Molly. Ideas of Order in the Novels of Thomas Pynchon.
Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State University Press, 1983.
Hohmann, Charles. Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow: A Study of its Conceptual Structure and of Rilke's Influence.
New York: Peter Lang, 1986..
Hume, Kathryn. Pynchon's Mythography: An Approach to Gravity's Rainbow.
Southern Illinois University Press, 1987.
LeClair, Tom. The Art of Excess: Mastery in Contemporary American Fiction
University of Illinois Press, 1989.
Mackey, Douglas. The Rainbow Quest of Thomas Pynchon.
San Bernardino, California: Borgo Press, 1980.
O'Donnell, Patrick, New Essays on the Crying of Lot 49
Cambridge University Press, 1988.
Plater, William M. The Grim Phoenix: Reconstructing Thomas Pynchon.
Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1978.
Schaub, Thomas. Pynchon: The Voice of Ambiguity.
Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1981.
Seed, David. The Fictional Labyrinths of Thomas Pynchon.
London: Macmillan, 1988.
Stonehill, Brian. The Self-Conscious Novel: Artifice in Fiction from Joyce to Pynchon.
University of Pennsylvania Press, 1988.
Bloom, Harold, ed. Thomas Pynchon: Modern Critical Views.
New York: Chelsea House, 1986.
Horvath, Brooke, ed. Pynchon and Mason & Dixon.
University of Delaware Press, 2000.
Green, Geoffrey, Donald J. Greiner and Larry McCaffery, eds. The Vineland Papers.
Illinois: Dalkey Archive Press, 1994.
Levine, George, and David Leverenz, eds. Mindful Pleasures: Essays on Thomas Pynchon.
Boston: Little, Brown, 1976.
Mendelson, Edward, ed. Pynchon: A Collection of Critical Essays.
Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1978.
Note: There is an entire academic journal devoted to Pynchon scholarship called Pynchon Notes. This section will not attempt to provide a complete bibliography of the many articles therein -- that is quite successfully done by the journal itself on the Pynchon Notes Bibliography Web page.
Abernethy, Peter. "Entropy in Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49."
Critique 14, no. 2 (1972): 18-33.
Ackroyd, Peter. "Somewhere Over the Novel." Review of Gravity's Rainbow.
Spectator, 17 November 1973, 641-42.
Appel, Alfred, Jr. "An Interview with Vladimir Nabokov."
Wisconsin Studies in Contemporary Literature 8, no. 2 (Spring 1967): 127-52.
Batchelor, John Calvin. "Thomas Pynchon Is Not Thomas Pynchon: or, This Is the End of the Plot Which Has No Name."
Soho Weekly News, 22-28 April 1976, 15-17, 21-35.
Batchelor, John Calvin. "The Ghost of Richard Fariña."
Soho Weekly News, 28 April-4 May 1977, 19-22, 26-27.
Bennett, David. "Parody, Postmodernism, and the Politics of Reading."
Critical Quarterly 27, no. 4 (Winter 1985): 27-43.
Black, Joel. "Probing a Post-Romantic Paleontology: Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow."
Boundary 28 (Winter 1980): 229-54.
Blackford, Russell. "Physics and Fantasy: Scientific Mysticism, Kurt Vonnegut and Gravity's Rainbow."
Journal of Popular Culture 19, no. 3 (1985): 35-44.
Bradbury, Malcolm. "The Invisible Man."
(Review of Slow Learner.) Observer, 13 January 1985, 51.
Brunner, John. "Coming Events: An Assessment of Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow."
Foundation 10 (1976):20-27.
Caesar, Terry. "'Beasts Vaulting Among the Earthworks': Monstrosity in Gravity's Rainbow."
Novel 17 (Winter 1984): 158-70.
Calendrillo, Linda. "Cloaks and More Cloaks: Pynchon's V. and the Classic Spy Novel."
Clues 5, no. 2 (Fall-Winter 1984): 58-65.
Chaffee, Patricia. "The Whale and the Rocket: Technology as Sacred Symbol."
Renascence 32 (Spring 1980): 146-51.
Cowart, David. "Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 and the Paintings of Remedios Varo."
Critique 18, no. 3 (1977): 19-26.
Cowart, David. "The Luddite Vision: Mason & Dixon."
American Literature June 1999.
Davidson, Cathy N. "Oedipa as Androgyne in Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49."
Contemporary Literature 18 (Winter 1977): 38-50.
Daw, Laurence. "The Ellipsis as Architectonic in Gravity's Rainbow."
Pynchon Notes 9 (June 1982): 66-68.
Edwards, Brian. "Mixing Media: Film as Metaphor in Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow."
Australian Journal of American Studies 1, no. 3 (July 1982): 1-15.
Freidman, Melvin. "The Schlemiel: Jew and Non-Jew."
Studies in Literary Imagination 9, no. 1 (Spring 1976): 139-53.
Guzlowski, John Z. "Masks and Maskings in Hawkes, Barth, Gaddis, and Pynchon."
Journal of Evolutionary Psychology 4, no. 3 (August 1983): 215- 27.
Hamill, John. "Looking Back on Sodom: Sixties Sadomasochism in Gravity's Rainbow."
Critique, Fall 1999, Vol.41, No1.
Hite, Molly. "Holy-Center-Approaching in the Novels of Thomas Pynchon."
Journal of Narrative Technique 12, no. 2 (Spring 1982): 121-29.
Homes, John R. "'A Hand to Turn the Time': History as Film in Gravity's Rainbow."
Cithara 23, no. 1 (November 1983): 5-16.
Kopcewicz, Andrzej. "The Rocket and the Whale: Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow and Moby Dick."
In Proceedings of a Symposium on American Literature, ed. Marta Sienicka. Poznan: Adam Mickiewicz University Press, 1979. 145-50.
Krafft, John M. "And How Far-Fallen: Puritan Themes in Gravity's Rainbow."
Critique 18, no. 3 (1977): 55-73.
Larner, Jeremy. "The New Schlemiel."
(Review of V.) Partisan Review 30 (Summer 1963): 273-76.
Leland, John P. "Pynchon's Linguistic Demon: The Crying of Lot 49."
Critique 16, no. 2 (1974): 45-53.
Mathieson, Kenneth. "The Influence of Science Fiction in the Contemporary American Novel."
Science Fiction Studies 12, no. 1 (1985): 22-32.
McHale, Brian. "'You Used to Know What These Words Mean': Misreading Gravity's Rainbow."
Language and Style 18, no. 1 (1985): 93-118.
Meikle, Jeffrey L. "'Other Frequencies': The Parallel Worlds of Thomas Pynchon and H.P. Lovecraft."
Modern Fiction Studies 27 (Summer 1981): 287-94.
Nadeau, Robert L. "Readings from the New Book of Nature: Physics and Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow."
Studies in the Novel 11 (Winter 1979): 454- 71.
Newman, Robert D. "The White Goddess Restored: Affirmation in Pynchon's V."
University of Mississippi Studies in English n.s. 4 (1983): 178-86.
Olsen, Lance. "Pynchon's New Nature: The Uncertainty Principle and Indeterminacy in The Crying of Lot 49."
Canadian Review of American Studies 14, no. 2 (Summer 1983): 153-63.
Ozier, Lance W. "Antipointsman/Antimexico: Some Mathematical Imagery in Gravity's Rainbow."
Critique 16. No. 2 (1974): 73-90.
Powers, John. "Peeping at Tom: The Search for the Elusive Pynchon."
City Paper [Baltimore, Maryland], 11 May 1984, 18-19.
Siegel, Jules. "Who Is Thomas Pynchon . . . And Why Did he Take Off With My Wife?"
Playboy, March 1977, 97, 122, 168-70, 172, 174.
Criticism Main Page -- Returns you to the Main Criticism page and the Quick Reference Card of titles.
General Criticism -- Criticism, essays, and analyses about Pynchon's writing in general.
Shorter Works -- Guides and criticism for V., The Crying of Lot 49, and Vineland.
Gravity's Rainbow -- Guides and criticism pertaining to Gravity's Rainbow.
Mason & Dixon -- Guides and criticism pertaining to Mason & Dixon.