"Lec 12 - Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49" The American Novel Since 1945 (ENGL 291) Professor Hungerford introduces this lecture by reviewing the ways that authors on the syllabus up to this point have dealt with the relationship between language and life, that collection of elusive or obvious things that for literary critics fall under the category of "the Real." The Real can shout out from a work of art, as it sometimes does in Black Boy, or haunt it, as in Lolita. It can elude authors like Kerouac and Barth for widely different reasons. Placing Pynchon firmly in the context of the political upheaval of the 1960s that he is often seen to avoid, Hungerford argues that Pynchon--no less than a writer of faith like Flannery O'Connor--is deeply invested in questions of meaning and emotional response, so that The Crying of Lot 49 is a sincere call for connection, and a lament for loss, as much as it is an ironic, playful puzzle. 00:00 - Chapter 1. Language and Reality: Course Review 09:18 - Chapter 2. Pynchon and Politics: Activism and Passivism in the 1960s 15:42 - Chapter 3. The Variable Roles of Oedipa Maas 36:02 - Chapter 4. Finding Reality in the Social Details Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses This course was recorded in Spring 2008.
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