Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
America Is ElsewhereThe Noir Tradition in the Age of Consumer Culture$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Erik Dussere

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199969913

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199969913.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 20 November 2018

Flirters, Deserters, Wimps and Pimps

Flirters, Deserters, Wimps and Pimps

Pynchon’s Two Americas

Chapter:
(p.131) 4 Flirters, Deserters, Wimps and Pimps
Source:
America Is Elsewhere
Author(s):

Erik Dussere

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199969913.003.0004

This chapter examines Thomas Pynchon’s trilogy of California novels, The Crying of Lot 49, Inherent Vice, and Vineland. Pynchon’s novels create a model in which there are “two Americas,” the mainstream one represented by the American way of life, with its interlinking of political and commercial interests; and the true, alternative republic whose promise is perpetually betrayed. Pynchon, I suggest, uses the logic of American exceptionalism in order to argue that America perpetually fails to achieve the ideal state it imagines itself to be, producing a left-leaning narrative of national self-betrayal. In these novels, the promise of authenticity resides with the outcasts, the left-out and leftover, who have no place in a mainstream America that is wholly inhabited by consumer culture and so retreat to hidden enclaves where the promise of the republic may be revived or reinvented.

Keywords:   American exceptionalism, Real estate, Left politics, Thomas Pynchon, Conspiracy, 1960s counterculture

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .