Friday, November 01, 2002

The email discussion group, Pynchon-L, today began a group reading and discussion of Slow Learner plus the story that Pynchon excluded from that collection, "Mortality and Mercy in Vienna."

You can subscribe to Pynchon-L and follow the reading, along with the rest of the always-interesting posts to this high-traffic, high-attitude email list. Or, follow along with a slight time delay in the list archives. Posts marked SLSL ("Slowly Learning Slow Learner", the title conceived by Dave Monroe, who's hosting the first session, focusing on the book's Introduction, through November 25, when discussion of "The Small Rain" begins), beginning November 1, have a high probability of relating to this discussion, although those ornery P-listers may not always mark their Slow Learner-related posts with SLSL.

Quote of the day:

"With the obvious reference to Goethe's 'Lehrjahre' and 'Wanderjahre' of Wilhelm Meister, 'years of learning' and 'years of journeying', I wonder if Pynchon here points to Goethe as a model novelist. I have not been reading Goethe for many years now, but I recall thinking of his narrative style as a true choral one. In other words: a style that allows every voice and every character to speak of its own, giving out as much truth about (human) nature as it has to share. Just a thought."

The discussion has begun on an elevated plane, and most of the participants hope to keep it there. But, tender-hearted souls may wish to carry a fire extinguisher and appropriate protective gear into a discussion arena that, in the past at least, has been the site of many a flame war.