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'Vineland' And Vinegar

January 14, 1990

I've got a problem with "Vineland."

(McConnell's) was a fine review--succinct, balanced, obviously informed and well considered. It sounds like a great book, an important new work from an important author. As a long-time Pynchon fan and student of serious literature, I can hardly wait to read it.

The problem is that I do have to wait to read it. I am told, upon inquiring, that the book won't be available to the ordinary working stiff like myself until sometime in February.

In other words, despite some high-flown blather I recall about this one being kept back from the usual sneak preview/advance copy game so that "everyone could make up their minds at the same time," I have to wait until after all those "professors of English" have first read it and pronounced their opinions from on high.

Well, isn't that special . . . And rather splendidly ironic, considering what Prof. McConnell takes to be Pynchon's essential message. I mean, talk about your preterite and your elect . . .

MICHAEL COMPTON, MORRO BAY

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