Friday, September 29, 2006


[...] Kratom's main active ingredient, mitragynine, binds to the same opiate receptor (mu) as opium, heroin and cocaine. [...]

[...]Question,-- whether a Dog hath the nature of the divine Buddha. A reply given by a certain very wise Master is, "Mu!"[...]

M&D, 22

Thursday, September 28, 2006


September 28, 2006 -- THOMAS Pynchon, the legendarily reclusive author of such celebrated novels as "V," "Gravity's Rainbow" and "The Crying of Lot 49," has a XXX-rated skeleton in the family closet - his brainy niece stars in and directs hard-core porn flicks.

Village Voice sex columnist Tristan Taormino, who had a privileged upbringing on Long Island and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Wesleyan University, went on to star in "The Ultimate Guide to Anal" Vols. 1 and 2, and then directed "House of A - - ." This week, the dark-haired beauty is set to release her first Vivid Video effort, "Chemistry," in which seven porn stars are "left to their own devices for two days and told nothing is off limits" and use "perv cams" to film each other performing sex acts.

Few know that Pynchon is the brother of Taormino's mom. For years, Taormino has tried to get him involved in - or even just acknowledge - her carnally charged career. But the interview-averse author, who lives in seclusion on Long Island and refuses to be photographed, has refused.

But Taormino is giving it one more shot. She wants Pynchon to show up for the party for her new film at 49 Grove next Thursday, and is inviting him to take part in her next movie - although not as a performer.

"I think it would be fascinating for him do commentary on the next one," Taormino told Page Six. She said Pynchon would get a bang out of what she does if he only took a closer look at her films and books, which include an anthology, "Best Lesbian Erotica."

"We're more alike than different. We're both writers and I think he's intrigued in general by pop culture," she said, adding she doesn't know if Pynchon has watched her movies. "He hasn't asked me for any and I haven't sent him any. I haven't given any of them to my mother, either." He's probably not aware of her online store, which features sex toys, lubricants and all the latest latex and rubber gear.

Not surprisingly, Pynchon's literary agent didn't return our call. And Taormino, who wistfully remembers when her uncle attended her college graduation, admitted: "I'm not holding my breath."

Sunday, September 24, 2006

pynchonoid blog makes the college grade, yo

This blog is linked as a resource for

ENGL636, S II '04, M-F 1330-1445, ARM 119 :: Studies in an Author / Thomas Pynchon :: WVU Department of English

And "pynchonoid" moves out of the realm of this blog and my screen name in Pynchon-l. One requirement for the course:
"Join Pynchon-L, the list for pynchonoids"

Ambitious reading list, too, although not quite as much as the absurd suggestion I once heard, that you have to read Finnegan's Wake in order to fully appreciate Gravity's Rainbow; it puts in nice company, that's for sure, warranted or not:

Partial List of Recommended Texts

(all at WVU Library; *=also at WVU Bookstore)
Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams, especially Chapters XXI, XXXI, XXXII, XXXIII, XXXIV, XXXV.
Aleida Assmann, "Texts, Traces, Trash: The Changing Media of Cultural Memory," Representations #56, link (JSTOR)
Hanjo Berressem, Pynchon's Poetics: Interfacing Theory and Text
Leo Bersani, "Pynchon, Paranoia, and Literature," Representation #25, link (JSTOR)
Norman O. Brown, Life Against Death: The Psychoanalytic Meaning of History
Charles Clerc, Mason & Dixon & Pynchon
Peter Cooper, Signs and Symptoms: Thomas Pynchon and the Contemporary World
David Cowart, "The Luddite Vision,"American Literature Vol. 71 #2, link (JSTOR)
Walter Dornberger, V2
Robert Graves, The White Goddess: A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth
Jacob Grimm, Teutonic Mythology
*Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Empire
Molly Hite, Ideas of Order in the Novels of Thomas Pynchon
*Chalmers Johnson, Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic
C. G. Jung, Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, Vol 9 of the Collected Works
C. G. Jung, Psychology and Alchemy, Vol 12 of the Collected Works
J. Kerry Grant, Companion to the Crying of Lot 49
Kathryn Hume, Pynchon's Mythography: an approach to Gravity's Rainbow
Friedrich Kittler, "Media and Drugs in Pynchon's Second World War," in Reading Matters: Narratives in the New Media Ecology, ed. Tabbi and Wutz
Siegfried Kracauer, From Caligari to Hitler: A Psychological History of the German Film
Stefan Mattessich, Lines of Flight: discursive time and countercultural desire in the work of Thomas Pynchon
Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man
Mindful Pleasures: Essays on Thomas Pynchon, ed. Levine & Leverenz
Frank Palmieri, "Neither Literally nor as Metaphor: Pynchon's the Crying of Lot 49 and the Structure of Scientific Revolutions," ELH Vol 54 #4, link (JSTOR)
I. P. Pavlov, Conditioned Reflexes: An Investigation of the Physiological Activity of the Cerebral Cortex
William H. Plater, Grim Phoenix: Reconstructing Thomas Pynchon
*Thomas Pynchon, V.
*Thomas Pynchon, Vineland
Pynchon: A Collection of Critical Essays, ed. Edward Mendelson
Rainer Maria Rilke, The Duino Elegies and Sonnets to Orpheus
Rchard Sasuly, IG Farben
Lance Schachterle, "Information Entropy in Pynchon's Fiction," Configurations Vol 4 #2, link (Muse)
Gershom Sholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism
Max Weber, The Theory of Social and Economic Organization, especially part III
*Stephen Weisenburger, A Gravity's Rainbow Companion: Sources and Contexts for Pynchon's Novel, (not in the library)
*Norbert Wiener, The Human Use of Human Beings: Cybernetics and Society, especially chapters I, II, V, XI
Edmund Wilson, To the Finland Station: A Study in the Writing and Acting of History
George Zipf, Human Behavior and the Principle of Least Effort: An Introduction to Human Ecology
...thanks to Dave Monroe for bringing this to the attention of Pynchon-l.