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Pynchon (pîn´chen), Thomas
American writer whose dark, pessimistic novels of life in a technologically advanced society include _Gravity’s Rainbow_ (1973).
Pynchon, Thomas (1937- ), American novelist, known for his experimental writing techniques that involve extremely complicated plots and themes. His most famous novel, _Gravity’s Rainbow_ (1973), won the National Book Award.
Pynchon was born on Long Island, New York. He studied engineering at Cornell University, left to serve in the United States Navy, and returned to complete a degree in English in 1958. He worked for Boeing Aircraft for two years before publishing his first novel, _V_., in 1963. His other novels include _The Crying of Lot 49_ (1966) and _Vineland_ (1990).
Pynchon’s books portray a vast social network made up of the industrial, military, mass-communication, and entertainment systems that developed during World War II (1939-1945). He traces the development of this network from the European roots of free enterprise, throughout the founding of the United States, to modern times. Pynchon’s novels are broad in scope and use scientific theories, historical facts, and details of popular culture with great accuracy. He directs large casts of characters through interwoven plots that are often incomplete. He uses a variety of narrative techniques, including satire, humor, and suspense, to paint a dark, but not hopeless, picture of society.
Much of Pynchon’s personal life remains a mystery. He has lived in seclusion for many years, and his academic and military records have been lost.
fabulate (fàb´ye-lât´) verb, intransitive
fabulated, fabulating, fabulates
To engage in the composition of fables or stories, especially those in which the element of fantasy comes into heavy play: “a land which . . . had given itself up to dreaming, to fabulating, to tale-telling” (Lawrence Durrell). “The [writer’s] voice . . . has matured, [has] been brought to a level where it can at once be . . . able to praise and curse, laugh and cry, fabulate and sing and when called upon, take off and soar” (Thomas Pynchon).
[Latin fâbulârì, fâbulât-, to talk, from fâbula, tale, talk. See fable.]
– fab´ula´tion noun
– fab´ula´tor noun
- born Thomas Ruggles Pynchon, Jr. 1937
- one of the first authors to experiment with the post modern disregard for narrative sequence.
- Cornell University
- _V_ – 1963
- _The Crying Of Lot 49_ 1966
- _Gravity’s Rainbow_ – 1973
- _Vineland_ – 1990
- _Mason & Dixon_ – 1997
- interviewed the band Lotion for _Esquire_, as well as writing liner notes for one of their albums.
- Anomalog: Thomas Pynchon Will Be On The Simpsons