25 February 2012
24. The Crying of Lot 49
"The letter itself had nothing much to say, had come in response to one of her dutiful, more or less rambling, twice-a-week notes to him, in which she was not confessing to her scene with Metzger because Mucho, she felt, somehow, would know. Would then proceed at a KCUF record hop to look out again across the gleaming gym floor and there in one of the giant keyholes inscribed for basketball see, groping her vertical backstroke a little awkward opposite any boy heels might make her an inch taller than, a Sharon, Linda or Michele, seventeen and what is known as a hip one, whose velveted eyes ultimately, statistically would meet Mucho's and respond, and the thing would develop then groovy as it could when you found you couldn't get statutory rape really out of the back of your law-abiding head."
I understand it...but the author is being difficult just to be difficult?
"Either you have stumbled indeed, without the aid of LSD or other indole alkaloids, onto a secret richness and concealed density of dream; onto a network by which X number of Americans are truly communicating whilst reserving their lies, recitations of routine, arid betrayals of spiritual poverty, for the official government delivery system; maybe even onto a real alternative to the exitlessness, to the absence of surprise to life, that harrows the head to everybody American you know, and you too, sweetie."
That kind of writing occurs over and over throughout the book and it makes the flow so choppy and deliberately complex that it is agony to try and figure out what the heck is happening.
I had high hopes for this book. The further I got into it the more I hated it. I realized something. It was written in the 60s. It was about California. I was a time of social and political upheaval. The drug culture was in full swing. This was a time of major change in American society. Some change was stupid. That whole acid dropping culture was so self-destructive, yet, the participants thought they were so enlightened. That is what this book was about to me. It was Pynchon trying to fit in with the culture of the day.
It reminds me of the poop on canvas and call it art crowd. It reminds me of the people who do controversial things just to be controversial and swear they are doing it for the art. It is all a load of stupid to me. (Yes, I used stupid as a noun.)
This book was funny. The satire and imagery used was what kept me going. It has it good points. The flow and the weirdness is what makes me say this was a dookie of a book. All those literary analysts that think it is a masterpiece can eat it. There are tons of masterpieces that don't suck. Read those.