1974 national book award by pynchon
Gravitys Rainbow by Thomas PynchonAdvice for a first time reader of Gravitys Rainbow:
Gravitys Rainbow is a book you either love or hate, and if you hate it its probably because you couldnt finish the damn thing. Though by no means impenetrable, the novel is daunting enough to merit a list of tips for those wishing to tackle it for the first time. Below is my advice on how new readers can get over the hump. Trust me, its a small hump, and the masterpiece that lies on the other side is worth the effort.
1. Read V first ... Pynchons V is shorter and more accessible than Gravitys Rainbow, but addresses the same themes in a similar style. If you enjoyed V, you will have built up a reserve of goodwill for Pynchon that will carry you through the initial rough patches of Gravitys Rainbow. This advice was given to me years ago, and Im glad I took it.
2. Accept that you wont understand everything...Dont be concerned if you cant follow the many digressions or keep track of every minor character that pops up. As with other famously difficult novels, Gravitys Rainbows real payoff comes in the rereading, so you shouldnt feel obliged to linger over each passage until it makes sense. Pynchon isnt trying to lord it over you by writing a book this dense; its just his way of giving you your moneys worth. Just follow what you can the first time through, which fortunately is a lot.
3. Accentuate the accessible...Gravitys Rainbows unreadability is over-hyped. Yes, there are many jarring digressions, but threading through them is a fairly conventional detective story. Sure there are lyrical passages that take off for the stratosphere, but they are grace notes in a melody of otherwise breezy narrative prose. So on your first time through, its enough to follow the main plot (will Slothrop find the mysterious Rocket 00000?) and enjoy Pynchons jokes, which are laugh-out-loud funny.
4. Dont give up too early...I dont want to say that Gravitys Rainbow gets off to a slow start, but it has a lot of scene-setting to do, and the engine that really drives the book along only gets revved up in part 2. Part 1 is a well-executed minor key portrait of wartime London, but part 2 is where the drugs kick in, so stick with the novel at least that far.
In which Roger Mexico looks for Thomas Pynchon!
Formal announcement of the 25th anniversary awards of the National Book Committee is not scheduled until tomorrow, but publishing indiistry sources confirmed the fiction selections yesterday and also indicated the winners in other categories. Shared awards in the book World's equivalent of the Motion pictures Academy Awards are not unprecedented, and this year, in addition to the award for fiction, awards, reportedly will also be shared in the poetry and translation categories.
Professor Irwin Corey’s Acceptance of Pynchon’s National Book Award
Since the awards have been administered and presented by the National Book Foundation , but they are awards "by writers to writers". General fiction was one of four categories when the awards were re-established in For several years beginning , prior to the Foundation, there were multiple fiction categories: hardcover, paperback, first novel or first work of fiction; from to hardcover and paperback children's fiction ; and only in five awards to mystery fiction , science fiction , and western fiction. The award recognizes one book written by a U. The National Book Foundation accepts nominations from publishers until June 15, requires mailing nominated books to the panelists by August 1, and announces five finalists in October. The winner is announced on the day of the final ceremony in November. Authors who have won the award more than once include such noted figures as William Faulkner , John Updike , William Gaddis , Jesmyn Ward , and Philip Roth , each having won the award on two occasions along with numerous other nominations.
Thomas Ruggles Pynchon Jr. A MacArthur Fellow , he is noted for his dense and complex novels. His fiction and non-fiction writings encompass a vast array of subject matter, genres and themes , including history , music , science , and mathematics.
Current Publisher: Penguin Classics. Casey Hicks writes:. The hundreds of characters are difficult to follow, the plot is nonsensical, sex is graphically depicted, drugs are smoked out of a kazoo and a poor light bulb goes through many humiliating experiences. By taking liberties with reality, Pynchon is able to create a world of symbolism and confusion, one where the perversions of violence, drugs and sex are inextricably linked. To try to find meaning behind every detail is a mistake that may trip up some readers.