Pynchon’s America

Pynchon’s America

Vineland is a requiem for Pynchon’s sixties generation and the politics and culture it produced. It offers an America of those who have searched for self-transcendence along opposing ideological paths: the yearners for power and position who in the eighties find themselves Reaganites and the pacifist politicoes of ecstasy who, searching for deathlessness, found middle age. Each group feels betrayed in an America in which no ideology, no conviction, and no politics really matter anymore. It is 1984 and the national mission is Rex 84—the reelection of the president who believes that trees cause pollution. Rollickingly surreal, filled with wackily named characters, and boasting a plot more complicated than an Italian opera, Vineland only seems like a vacation from high seriousness.

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Lima