Lines of Flight: Discursive Time and Countercultural Desire in the Work of Thomas Pynchon (Post-Contemporary Interventions / Latin America in Translat

Lines of Flight: Discursive Time and Countercultural Desire in the Work of Thomas Pynchon (Post-Contemporary Interventions / Latin America in Translat

By: Stefan Mattessich (author)Paperback

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For Thomas Pynchon, the characteristic features of late capitalism - the rise of the military-industrial complex, consumerism, bureaucratization and specialization in the workplace, standardization at all levels of social life, the growing influence of the mass media - all point to a transformation in the way human beings experience time and duration. Focusing on Pynchon's novels as representative artifacts of the postwar period, Stefan Mattessich analyzes this temporal transformation in relation not only to Pynchon's work but also to its literary, cultural, and theoretical context. Mattessich theorizes a new kind of time - subjective displacement - dramatized in the parody, satire, and farce deployed through Pynchon's oeuvre. In particular, he is interested in showing how this sense of time relates to the counterculture of the 1960s and 70s. Examining this movement as an instance of flight or escape, and exposing the beliefs behind it, Mattessich argues that the counterculture's rejection of the dominant culture ultimately became an act of self-cancellation, a rebellion in which the counterculture found itself defined by the very order it sought to escape. He points to parallels in Pynchon's attempts to dramatize and enact a similar experience of time in the doubling-back, criss-crossing, and erasures of his writing. Linking this to the problem of what Henri LeFebvre called "grammatological terrorism" - the problem of being trapped within discourses that dictate conditions of possibility and deep structures of belief - Mattessich lays out a theory of cultural production centered on the ethical necessity of grasping one's own susceptibility to discursive forms of determination. Lines of Flight will be of interest to scholars engaged by contemporary American literature, literary theory, and the writing of Pynchon in particular.

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About Author

Stefan Mattessich is Professor of English at Santa Monica College.


Introduction; Imperium, Misogyny, and Postmodern Parody in V; Ekphrasis, Escape, and Countrecultural Desire in The Crying of Lot; Turning Around the Origin in Gravity's Rainbow: Parody Preterition, Pynchon, the Postmodern, and Other Polymera; A Close Reading of Episode19, PartI, of Gravity's Rainbow; Docile Bodies and the Body Without Organs: Gravity's Gravity's Rainbow; Totality and the Repetition of Difference: Rereading the '60s in Vineland; A Vigilant Folly: Lines of Flight in Mason and Dixon; Conclusion: Towards a Theory of the Counterculture; Works Cited

Product Details

  • publication date: 22/11/2002
  • ISBN13: 9780822329947
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 304
  • ID: 9780822329947
  • weight: 494
  • ISBN10: 0822329948

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