Friday, December 08, 2006

Spank Me Silly

Years ago, I braved Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49.  Hated it.  Not fictional dream.  Offering instead, an allusion to a dream.  I wasn't able to earn that Boy Scout badge so many wore like Shaft.  With the release of his new work, I decided to give the Goodwill copy another go.  Through page twenty, I thought I was wrong.  I wondered if I'd been sober for the amount of times I ranted and launched it across the room.  Suddenly, it appeared that Pynchonite in Portland with the William Gass Tunnel artwork tattooed to his forearm was justified in his exuberance.  The description of the used car dealer.  "Even if enough exposure to the unvarying gray sickness had somehow managed to immunize him, he could still never accept the way each owner, each shadow, filed in only to exchange a dented, malfunctioning version of himself for another, just as featurelesss, automotive projection of somebody else's life."  Holy God.  Beautiful stuff.  But as the narrative continues, I get lost.  It's The Simpsons.  It's a Mensa puzzle.  I've no doubt it is brilliant, for those people who love to chase down reflections of the world they already know.  Certainly more erudite, certainly more artful, but reading it I had that feeling I get when I'm sitting in a bar and somebody begins to defend Buffy the Vampire Slayer for its subversiveness.  Far from our Pound, whatever that might mean.  Silly.  Naughty.  Simply.  An emasculated Easter egg hunt.