September 6th, 2013 / 9:23 am

Pynchon, Pynchon, Pynchon this fall. (btw this is a solid NYMag read by Boris Kachka: waddup doc)

Pynchon expressed vivid criticism of The Crying of Lot 49, which brings to mind the following larger question:



  1. Garret Travis

      objectively, I’d say writers have little hope for judging their own work–there’s just too many inevitable connotations, memories, contexts, creation-narratives(?) etc which would be implicit in their judgement.

      that said, it is their work. they prob deserve a certain amount of credit from readers re what they’d like them to read of their work. Crying of Lot 49 will def move down my list of pynchon novels now. feels like a respect thing; I want to read what the guy wants read.

      tho I guess, being critical of the book doesn’t necessarily mean he doesn’t want it read? idk, this is falling into a ramble

  2. Jeremy Hopkins

      Him being critical of his own work because it doesn’t meet *his* ideal/standard/whatelse isn’t a statement that other people won’t like it. Indeed a writer could fail at what they hoped to achieve yet achieve something readers find nevertheless interesting.
      So, I guess “trustworthy judge” isn’t the way I think of it.

  3. herocious

      Really liked that NYMag piece. Thanks for the link.

  4. A D Jameson

      I think it depends on the author, how good they are at objective criticism. As well as what they were trying to accomplish in the first place.

      FWIW, The Crying of Lot 49 is easily my favorite of Pynchon’s books.

  5. deadgod

      Writers are like non-writers in that they fall–and vacillate–between ruthlessness with themselves and coddling themselves. Self-confidence, or vanity? Fair, or delusional? Delusionally infatuated with or delusionally cruel towards themselves?

      I don’t see a category-wide pattern.

  6. deadgod

      I don’t think the writing “habits” reported of Pynchon are “odd”.

      I mean, odd for writers.