Monday, November 23, 2009

Inherent Vice: Laced with Acid?

Laced with Acid?
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There's a rumor going around that Pynchon's Inherent Vice has a punctuation mark laced with acid.

Since I consider this rumor questionable, might the punctuation in question be a question mark? Certainly out of the question is a dash -- an acid trip lasts a long time -- so perhaps we should consider a period. The Brits call this a full stop. That sounds too final. Like a bad trip with an even-worse-than-penultimate end. Let's stick with American terminology on this point. Yet even a period looks objectionable . . . so final. More to the point is a comma, the pause that refreshes. But this all sounds like a load of BS: colon therefore. Or it might be only half BS; semicolon is then the sign.

Still, I'm merely guessing, and your wild stab (quotation mark? hyphen? ellipse?) is as good as mine, but we won't be left wondering for long, I'd wager, since some individual from among the great hordes of Pynchonatical fans will surely test the truth of this rumor, though not by licking every single mark of punctuation in the book's entire 384 pages, oh no, for licking is too superficial -- the only sure method is to completely chew up that first period at sixteen words into the novel and then each succeeding punctuation mark until the very one sought for is found (or proven by empirical taste test not to exist) . . . and some Pynchonite will surely attempt this feat.

Pynchon's Inherent Vice -- it's a trip!

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At 7:30 AM, Blogger John B said...

Isn't Pynchon's writing enough of a crazy trip? Why would anyone need acid?

At 7:47 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Good questions! Who knows how such rumors get started?

Jeffery Hodges

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