Thursday, May 26, 2005

As far as I can tell there are no nice round-numbered anniversaries at play here, and the man's still living, so evidently the editors of Bookforum decided to pay tribute to America's best living reclusive author just for the hell of it. (The print issue feature of cover photograph of Professor Irwin Corey, of course. )
The whole thing is well worth your time, but the real highlight, and the centerpiece of the whole issue, is Gerald Howard's account of the publishing history of "Gravity's Rainbow", written from the perspective of a professional editor. There's much to enjoy here, though not in the way of gossip or candid photos.
But is Pynchon really all that reclusive? I sometimes suspect that the Salingeresque reputation is exaggerated: Just because you don't show up on "Entertainment Tonight" doesn't make you a hermit. Given recent reports - there were even rumors of a book tour to promote "Mason & Dixon' - I'd like to think that Pynchon has developed a sense of humor about his so-called reclusiveness after all these years. If he ever decides to drop his vow of no-publicity, I hope he bypasses the usual talk shows and makes his first public appearance on "The Simpsons".

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