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The Poetics of Chronotype in the Novels of Thomas Pynchon

Poetyka chronotopu w powieściach Tomasa Pynchona 

Autor: Zofia Kolbuszewska
ISBN: 83-7306-000-6
Seria wydawnicza: Źródła i monografie
Rok wydania: 2000
Format: B5
Ilość stron: 245

The book is an enquiry into the complexities of time and space relationships (chronotopes) in the novels of Thomas Pynchon (born 1937). The chronotopes of V., The Crying of Lot 49, Gravity's Rainbow, Vineland, and Mason & Dixon are presented as forming a multidimensional rhizome as well as embodying a growing apocalyptic tension manifest in the spatialization of their temporal aspect - in which case their linear ordering is possible. The book investigates the chronotopes of Pynchon's novels in the chronological order of their publication.

In the first novel, V., time is reflected in the mirror of a character's consciousness and thus reversed, which creates a kind of tension between the past and the present. This tension grows in The Crying of Lot 49, where time seems to approach the moment of revelation or apocalypse. Although time is nearing zero point, it never reaches it. The apocalyptic moment an arrested Brennschluss, is reached in Gravity's Rainbow. In this novel Pynchon investigates the moment of time's freezing that coincides with the rocket reaching the peak of its parabolic trajectory, while the post-apocalyptic simultaneity of all historical events in frozen, or spatialized time is an inherent feature of the chronotope of Vineland.

The vector of time in The Crying of Lot 49 and Gravity's Rainbow is directed toward zero. The chronotopes of these novels draw closer and closer towards apocalypse, which is simultaneously a moment of revelation, only to defer it infinitely in Mason & Dixon.

Dr Zofia Kolbuszewska is Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the Catholic University of Lublin, Poland. She teaches American Literature as well as literary theory. Her article on the representation of children in Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow appeared in Pynchon's Notes (1998). The author of several other articles on Pynchon, American postmodernism, and the English literature of nonsense, she is currently doing research on the image of childhood in American literature.

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