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Thomas Pynchon

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ENTERTAINMENT
September 11, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Thomas Pynchon has avoided the limelight his entire career -- he sent a stand-in to accept his National Book Award in 1974, and, as far as we know, hasn't been photographed since his stint in the Navy in the 1950s. But tucked within the quiet stacks of the Huntington Library is the Stephen Tomaske Collection of Pynchonalia, which provides rare glimpses into the author's life. Tomaske was a UCLA librarian who dedicated himself to gathering the most comprehensive collection of Pynchon material he could.Here are some tidbits.
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 27, 2014 | By Carolyn Kellogg
In an effort to correct the missteps of literary history, Bookslut has launched the Daphne, a prize for the best book published 50 years ago. Sure, there was a National Book Award in 1963 -- but Bookslut thinks it went to the wrong title. "Book awards, for the most part, celebrate mediocrity. It takes decades for the reader to catch up to a genius book, it takes years away from hype, publicity teams, and favoritism to see that some books just aren't that good," editor Jessa Crispin wrote on the site's blog Monday.
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 26, 2013
The literary world's most-beloved "Simpsons" character is set to release a new novel on Sept. 17. The news of Thomas Pynchon's book, said to be called "Bleeding Edge," originally came to light last month. New details about the book seeped out Monday in a tweet by Sarah Weinman of Publisher's Marketplace, setting off a buzz of excitement online.   But the source proved the announcement to be even more Pynchonian in character: Penguin Books, Thomas Pynchon's publisher, had included the news as a line item in its 2012 year-end financial report.  The report, which details a $156-million profit for the publishing house, gives a tantalizingly brief sneak peek at Pynchon's eagerly awaited novel, mentioning only that it is set in “2001 in Silicon Alley, New York City, in the lull between the collapse of the dot-com boom and the terrible events of September 11.”   It seems like a perfect milieu for the 75-year-old, potential Nobel Prize candidate, incorporating technology, the spectacle and tragedy of 9/11, scheming radicals, and the financial sector.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 21, 2013 | By Emily Keeler
Around 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Torrance Barnes & Noble, a screaming came across the bookstore. Though other bookstore patrons may have wondered if the screaming woman was reacting to spoilers of the new Thomas Pynchon novel, she knew she was headed rapidly into hard labor. The bookstore customer gave birth to a baby boy, and the patrons in the store burst into a round applause. “I don't know if it happened near the classics or the nonfiction section -- but it was definitely smack dab in the store lobby ,” Capt.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 1, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Paul Thomas Anderson is getting back to work, according to /film . The director of "The Master," "There Will Be Blood," "Punch Drunk Love" "Magnolia" and "Boogie Nights" is beginning to film his adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's novel "Inherent Vice. " It's the first book by Pynchon to be made into a film, and as with all things Pynchon, people have been fairly closed-mouthed about the project. In January, Anderson would not speak on the record about it -- or even the author -- with a New York Times reporter.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 26, 2013 | By Elisabeth Donnelly
Thomas Pynchon, the world's most famous reclusive novelist - after that chatterbox J.D. Salinger - " hides in plain sight, on the Upper West Side, with a family and a history of contradictions ," writes New York magazine in a new feature. The story follows Pynchon in greater detail than we've seen before but never finds him. The occasion for the pursuit is the upcoming Pynchon novel "Bleeding Edge," due Sept. 17. The Pynchon uncovered by Boris Kachka is a man of contradictions, including "a workaholic stoner" and "a literary outsider who's married to a literary agent.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 27, 2011 | By Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
In the early 1960s, Phyllis Gebauer and her husband, Fred, were living in Seattle. She was a Spanish teacher, and he was a mechanical engineer doing defense contract work at Boeing that he couldn't really discuss. At a party celebrating a mutual friend's new piano, the two met a technical writer employed at another part of Boeing doing work that he also couldn't discuss. His name was Thomas Pynchon. Fred and Tom began clowning around at the party. At one point they reached into the piano and plucked out the "Yogi Bear" theme song on its strings — "which did not delight the host," Phyllis Gebauer said recently.
NEWS
December 10, 1989 | DAVID STREITFELD, THE WASHINGTON POST
" I just needed a vacation from my life. You never heard of that? "--From Thomas Pynchon's "Vineland" One of the longer literary silences of modern times will come to an end this week with the release of 100,000 copies of "Vineland," Thomas Pynchon's eagerly awaited and closely guarded new novel.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 15, 2013 | Carolyn Kellogg
Bleeding Edge A Novel Thomas Pynchon Penguin Press: 496 pp., $28.95 -- It has been 50 years since Thomas Pynchon's first book, "V.," was published. That he is still turning out works of dizzying complexity is, frankly, astounding. Few authors remain as ambitious and accomplished for so long. Enter "Bleeding Edge," a detective novel set in 2001 in Manhattan after the first dot-com boom-and-bust. Protagonist Maxine Tarnow is a defrocked fraud investigator, a rule-breaking accountant who is drawn into Internet business dealings and worse by a former lover-slash-documentarian, aided by mysterious deliveries from a bike messenger who still rides under the orange jersey of kozmo.com, the online store than went belly-up.
NEWS
October 31, 1994 | MICHAEL HARRIS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Sin is in again. William J. Bennett has written a bestseller about the virtues--the opposites and complements of sins--and politicians have found no hotter button to push than the assertion that "lack of personal responsibility"--i.e., sin--is the cause of all our problems. This is a strange argument, because it implies that politics--and therefore politicians--don't matter. But it comes in handy. There's no need to search for the social origins of crime if criminals alone are to blame.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 7, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Congratulations to the San Francisco Chronicle for launching a literary map of its city. The interactive map includes quotes from famed San Francisco area authors, including Dashiell Hammett, John Steinbeck and Armistead Maupin. Not unlike our own literary map of Los Angeles . Of course, the Golden Gate Bridge has appeared many times in the literature of San Francisco, but the map stretches farther afield. There's Hammett on the Stockton Tunnell, Hunter S. Thompson on the Daley City Drive-in, Ishmael Reed on Oakland and Alegra Goodman on the Berkeley Hills.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 16, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
If publicity-averse Thomas Pynchon decided to come out of seclusion, would he do it on Twitter? With an account named @PynchonOfficial? No, says his publisher. "It's a fake," Penguin Press Vice President Tracy Locke confirmed via email. The fake Pynchon Twitter account launched Sept. 3. Although it has posted only a handful of tweets, it  included the sensational "'Bleeding Edge' is my last book. I'm done with fiction. T.P. " Remember: Fake. Pynchon is the 76-year-old author of "Gravity's Rainbow," which won the National Book Award in 1974.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 15, 2013 | Carolyn Kellogg
Bleeding Edge A Novel Thomas Pynchon Penguin Press: 496 pp., $28.95 -- It has been 50 years since Thomas Pynchon's first book, "V.," was published. That he is still turning out works of dizzying complexity is, frankly, astounding. Few authors remain as ambitious and accomplished for so long. Enter "Bleeding Edge," a detective novel set in 2001 in Manhattan after the first dot-com boom-and-bust. Protagonist Maxine Tarnow is a defrocked fraud investigator, a rule-breaking accountant who is drawn into Internet business dealings and worse by a former lover-slash-documentarian, aided by mysterious deliveries from a bike messenger who still rides under the orange jersey of kozmo.com, the online store than went belly-up.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 11, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Thomas Pynchon has avoided the limelight his entire career -- he sent a stand-in to accept his National Book Award in 1974, and, as far as we know, hasn't been photographed since his stint in the Navy in the 1950s. But tucked within the quiet stacks of the Huntington Library is the Stephen Tomaske Collection of Pynchonalia, which provides rare glimpses into the author's life. Tomaske was a UCLA librarian who dedicated himself to gathering the most comprehensive collection of Pynchon material he could.Here are some tidbits.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 26, 2013 | By Elisabeth Donnelly
Thomas Pynchon, the world's most famous reclusive novelist - after that chatterbox J.D. Salinger - " hides in plain sight, on the Upper West Side, with a family and a history of contradictions ," writes New York magazine in a new feature. The story follows Pynchon in greater detail than we've seen before but never finds him. The occasion for the pursuit is the upcoming Pynchon novel "Bleeding Edge," due Sept. 17. The Pynchon uncovered by Boris Kachka is a man of contradictions, including "a workaholic stoner" and "a literary outsider who's married to a literary agent.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 2, 2013
The Glass Ocean Lori Baker Penguin Press, $25.95 A willful red-haired Victorian woman pieces together the elliptical stories of her parents' sea-focused lives; for her debut novel, Lori Baker scored a blurb from Thomas Pynchon. (August) All the Land to Hold Us Rick Bass Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25 A sweeping tale weaves through the landscape of West Texas with a cast of characters that includes oil well drillers, high school football players, a spinster Mormon school teacher and a beauty queen.
BOOKS
December 31, 1989 | Frank McConnell, McConnell, whose third novel, "The Frog King," will be published next July, is also the author of "Four Post War American Novelists: Bellow, Mailer, Barth and Pynchon" (University of Chicago Press)
Let's begin by dealing with the Inevitable Dumb Question. This is, as everybody is supposed to have heard, the first novel in 17 years by the Howard Hughes of American letters, the elusive Thomas Pynchon, whose last novel, "Gravity's Rainbow," is thought by many (including your reviewer) to be the most stunning American fiction of at least this century.
NEWS
November 19, 1992 | RICHARD EDER, TIMES BOOK CRITIC
The flood of contemporary information, trivial and choked, has risen in Donald Barthelme's world and is sweeping away almost every landmark of discrimination and value. We get an aerial view. Individual sensibilities bob here and there in the swollen river. On a housetop, a man in a dinner jacket and a woman wrapped in a futon wave from beside two chairs and a clock. A cow protrudes, hoofs bunched together upon a submerged tree stump. Barthelme, who died in 1989, was a distinctive master of fragments.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 8, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Happy birthday to Thomas Pynchon! The reclusive author  of "Gravity's Rainbow," "The Crying of Lot 49," "Mason & Dixon" and more turns 76 today. Unlike the attention-seekers that clog our cultural aqueduct, Pynchon isn't likely to show up on CNN or NPR. He's so averse to the spotlight that when "Gravity's Rainbow" won the National Book Award in 1973, he had a stand-in show up to give his acceptance speech. So to bring Pynchon out of the shadows, a British fan who calls himself John Dee launched Pynchon in Public Day in 2011.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 1, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Paul Thomas Anderson is getting back to work, according to /film . The director of "The Master," "There Will Be Blood," "Punch Drunk Love" "Magnolia" and "Boogie Nights" is beginning to film his adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's novel "Inherent Vice. " It's the first book by Pynchon to be made into a film, and as with all things Pynchon, people have been fairly closed-mouthed about the project. In January, Anderson would not speak on the record about it -- or even the author -- with a New York Times reporter.
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