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Marge meets Pynchon

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Ok, this may not be as weird as finding out that Elvis Costello and Diana Krall were gonna tie the knot…but it’s close.

A short article in the Ideas section of the Boston Globe is saying that Thomas Pynchon is going to make a guest appearance on an upcoming episode of The Simpsons.

    Simpsons writer and executive producer Al Jean confirmed in a recent interview with the entertainment website IGN.com that Pynchon will indeed play himself on a show in the new 15th season, whic begins next month. In the episode in question, a novel by blue-coiffed homemaker Marge Simpson wins endoresements from Pynchon and airport-novel writer Tom Clancy, among others.

    According to Al Jean, the cartoon version of Pynchon will be wearing a paper bag over his head.

My oh my, what will Harold Bloom think?

Read the full Globe story here.

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About Mark Saleski

  • Eric Olsen

    Excellent point JR, music has a time limit just like football, whereas “difficult” books are open-ended like baseball, but even more so. I imagine I am still reading at least five books I never finished but haven’t precluded the possibility of someday finishing, but the odds of that are similar to me giving birth (sorry, on my mind a lot lately).

    It isn’t the length that’s the problem, it’s the density of slogging through something I am not enjoying or much understanding with no definite end in sight due to the elasticity of reading time and the highly variable will to put myself through it.

    I can easily WRITE long dense books, but I dont want to have to read them.

  • i suppose that’s true. thought i do think i have a pretty long attention span.

    but when you’re talking weeks…maybe that’s pushing the limit.

  • JR

    “i do like ‘difficult’ music….but the same thing in reading bugs me.”

    Well, the music has a time limit. If the liner notes say a song is eight minutes long, you know you’re going to be done in eight minutes. A book can take months, and you have to DO something to get to the end. The music will finish whether you actively listen or not. LIKING it might take effort, but getting THROUGH it doesn’t.

  • JR

    “I would easily recommend ‘The Crying of Lot 49’ to everybody (and is it a coincidence that the Yoyodyne Corporation also appears in the movie ‘The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai’?)”

    I wondered about that too. I doubt that it’s coincidence, but one possibility is that the name Yoyodyne was one of these terms like “unobtainium” that had been floating around the engineering community, and both Pynchon and who ever wrote “Buckaroo Banzai” just picked it up and used it.

    BTW, the name shows up in all of Pynchon’s early novels doesn’t it? I notice that some characters also pop up in both “V” and “Gravity’s Rainbow”.

  • ah, see…now that’s something that i don’t often consider…

    i do like ‘difficult’ music….but the same thing in reading bugs me.

    part of it is that even when i do make it through a difficult piece of writing i never get enough ‘bang’ out of it to make it seem worth it to me.

    …and i have to admit that there’s a part of me that avoids ‘high-end’ literature (even that word seems loaded to me) because of some of the literary criticism i’ve read and seen on ‘nerd-tv’ (that’s cspan-2). you know stuff that sounds like this:

    “When one is forced to consider the text on these terms, one is reminded that…blah..blah…blah”

    man, i hate that crap!

  • Actually, the “MTV generation” reference is from The Simpsons

    Bart: Nothing you say can upset us. We’re the MTV generation. Lisa: We feel neither highs or lows. Homer: Really? What’s it like? Lisa: Ehh. [ shrugs ]
    — “Homer’s Triple Bypass”

  • (I know you were kidding, but it got me thinking . . . ) I don’t know if it’s truly due to the influence of MTV that we don’t appreciate “difficult” works of fiction. I think it’s more that reading is purely by choice now, except for in school. When reading was about all the packaged entertainment people could get, I think people cherished deep, difficult works like this. Now, I want something I can read when I get home, that doesn’t tire me out, or make me run for the dictionary. Maybe it’s more rewarding in the long run, but it takes a great amount of effort to make your way through something truly difficult (I suppose this could be applied to why people don’t like “difficult” music and films, too.)

  • I think it is very fitting that Pynchon do the Simpsons (though you’ll never really know that it is really him).

    I’ve read “Gravity’s Rainbow” four times (but then, my impulse on finishing “Infinite Jest” was that I needed to re-read it right away — and I owned two copies).

    I would easily recommend “The Crying of Lot 49” to everybody (and is it a coincidence that the Yoyodyne Corporation also appears in the movie “The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai”?)

  • Huh. . .I’ve read Gravity’s Rainbow twice (found it funnier the second time), which I say not by way of boasting but to answer Jan Herman’s contention that the only one ever to make their through the book was Harold Bloom. . .

    But Vineland is much more accessible, closer to Crying of Lot 49 (another newcomer-friendly Pynchon) in tone.

  • you got that right! i’m 41…and was around for the start of MTV…which i loved.

    i guess videos are too ‘long’ for the average kid.

    or something.

  • Eric Olsen

    See Mark, you and I are pitiable victims of the MTV generation, our attention spans attenuated, our focus darting willy-nilly from this to that, unable to truly engage anything or anyone – oh wait that’s another generation. I’m 45. Never mind.

  • Okay, Ishmael.

  • that’s exactly how i feel now about ‘difficult’ reading.

    after spending a month of my life forcing myself to finish that book….i just plain won’t do it again.

    pynchon can certainly do amazing things with a sentence. i just don’t think it’s particularly interesting.

    and not ‘fun’, at least to me.

  • Eric Olsen

    me too, didn’t even finish that. i’m only willing to put out so much effort. Call me lazy. Call me Ishmael.

  • interesting.

    i never made it to Vineland.

    …kinda blew myself out finishing Gravity’s Rainbow

  • Makes sense to me. After all, Pynchon made references to The Brady Bunch a part of his novel Vineland.