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A Pynchon Of Salt

January 28, 1990

I was surprised to see four complaints about Prof. (Frank) McConnell's review of Thomas Pynchon's new novel "Vineland" (Letters, Jan. 14).

After reading the review, I picked up the novel and couldn't put it down. I thank your reviewer for prompting me to read the book.

One reader complained that McConnell is a partisan Pynchonist. McConnell's review is unreservedly enthusiastic and thus reflects the liveliness of the text. I mean rilly , you want a thanatoid reviewer? A discreet, academic, over-revised response is inappropriate to such a book.

One reader complained that McConnell is an elitist academic for saying that "Vineland," like other Pynchon novels, is readable. I'd have to say that "Gravity's Rainbow," with entropic approach to theme, is truly intimidating, and that "Vineland" is a new departure in its accessibility and also in its overt political theme. But a reading of "Vineland" leaves us readers charged enough to read through Pynchon from the beginning.

JOHN WHALEN-BRIDGE

LOS FELIZ

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