Anarchists’ Golf (Maybe a Synecdoche of Thomas Pynchon’s Novel Against the Day)

THE NEXT DAY Reef, Cyprian, and Ratty were out on the Anarchists’ golf course, during a round of Anarchists’ Golf, a craze currently sweeping the civilized world, in which there was no fixed sequence—in fact, no fixed number—of holes, with distances flexible as well, some holes being only putter-distance apart, others uncounted hundreds of yards and requiring a map and compass to locate. Many players had been known to come there at night and dig new ones. Parties were likely to ask, “Do you mind if we don’t play through?” then just go and whack balls at any time and in any direction they liked. Folks were constantly being beaned by approach shots barreling in from unexpected quarters. “This is kind of fun,” Reef said, as an ancient brambled guttie went whizzing by, centimeters from his ear.

From Thomas Pynchon’s ginormous novel Against the Day, which I am almost finished with.

I won’t riff on this (very short) Anarchists’ Golf scene, other than to suggest that it perhaps functions as a condensation or synecdoche of the novel proper: the joy, the optimism, the phallic aggression, the disruption of order, the social angle, the nose-thumbing, the creativity, the synthesis—the anarchy.


2 thoughts on “Anarchists’ Golf (Maybe a Synecdoche of Thomas Pynchon’s Novel Against the Day)”

  1. When I went for my Saturday visit to the Backwater Branch of Sinkhole County Library, I asked the librarian if there were any works by Pynchon, hoping that I could borrow a book from some University Library a hundred miles away. She said that there weren’t any books, but there was an audiobook in the library. Glory be, and lo and behold, there on the shelves was a 42 cd audiobook of Against The Day. Now I have something other than Ulysses to wear out the holes in my pod’s SSD, playing throughout the night. I wonder what kinds of dream state this will induce. Pynchon is hallucinatory reading in broad daylight. ‘Knotty, paunchy, nutty, raunchy’, according to Publishers Weekly. Sounds like life in Florida.


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