Thomas Pynchon sells his archive

At The New York Times, Jennifer Schuessler reports that Thomas Pynchon has sold his archive to Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California.

The article notes that the “archive includes 48 boxes — 70 linear feet, in archivist-speak — of material dating from the late 1950s to the 2020s” and includes :typescripts and drafts of all his published books”  to date as well as “copious research notes on the many, many subjects (World War II rocketry, postal history, 18th-century surveying) touched on in his encyclopedic novels.” And while the documents include letters related to publishing, it includes “no private letters or other personal material” — and no photographs of Pynchon.

The article also claims that Pynchon’s son Jackson “is described as having ‘compiled and represented the archive.'” (The passive voice there is a bit cryptic, but I guess cryptic is Pynchonian, so.)

The article offers a number of quotes from Sandra Brooke, the director of Huntington Library, including the notion that “‘a really substantial portion of the archive’ would be available in Pynchon’s lifetime.”

I’d love to see that lifetime go on and on, and even offer up a new novel.

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