Thomas Pynchon’s recipe for what is arguably the first British Pizza | A passage from Mason & Dixon

“Lud wishes to know,” Whike relays at last, “Mr. Emerson’s Cousin’s Views, upon the Structure of the World.” “A Spheroid, the last I heard of it, Sir.” “Ahr Ahr ahr, ’ahr ahhrr!” “ ’And I say, ’tis Flat,’” the Jesuit smoothly translates. “Why of course, Sir, flat as you like, flat as a Funnel-Cake, flat… Continue reading Thomas Pynchon’s recipe for what is arguably the first British Pizza | A passage from Mason & Dixon

A Mason & Dixon Christmastide (Thomas Pynchon)

They discharge the Hands and leave off for the Winter. At Christmastide, the Tavern down the Road from Harlands’ opens its doors, and soon ev’ryone has come inside. Candles beam ev’rywhere. The Surveyors, knowing this year they’ll soon again be heading off in different Directions into America, stand nodding at each other across a Punch-bowl… Continue reading A Mason & Dixon Christmastide (Thomas Pynchon)

A Mason & Dixon Christmastide (Thomas Pynchon)

They discharge the Hands and leave off for the Winter. At Christmastide, the Tavern down the Road from Harlands’ opens its doors, and soon ev’ryone has come inside. Candles beam ev’rywhere. The Surveyors, knowing this year they’ll soon again be heading off in different Directions into America, stand nodding at each other across a Punch-bowl… Continue reading A Mason & Dixon Christmastide (Thomas Pynchon)

Live long and prosper (Pynchon’s Mason & Dixon)

One day, the Meridian having been closely enough establish’d, and with an hour or two of free time available to them, one heads north, one south, and ’tis Dixon’s luck to discover The Rabbi of Prague, headquarters of a Kabbalistick Faith, in Correspondence with the Elect Cohens of Paris, whose private Salute they now greet… Continue reading Live long and prosper (Pynchon’s Mason & Dixon)

Selections from One-Star Amazon Reviews of Thomas Pynchon’s Mason & Dixon

[Ed. note: The following citations come from one-star Amazon reviews of Thomas Pynchon’s novel Mason & Dixon—which I loved. (See also: Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow, George Orwell’s 1984, Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, James Joyce’s Ulysses and David Markson’s Wittgenstein’s Mistress). I’ve preserved the reviewers’ own styles of punctuation and spelling]. What crap. A talking dog? I made a mistake. Dialogue that is meaningless? But… Continue reading Selections from One-Star Amazon Reviews of Thomas Pynchon’s Mason & Dixon

Thomas Pynchon’s Mason & Dixon (Third Riff: The Rabbi of Prague)

A. I’m a few chapters–three, precisely—from finishing Mason & Dixon. “Finishing” is not the right verb here, though—Pynchon’s novel is so rich, funny, strange, and energetic that I want to return to it immediately. B. But I need to backtrack a bit, riff on one of my favorite episodes—Chapter 50. C. (First riff and second riff… Continue reading Thomas Pynchon’s Mason & Dixon (Third Riff: The Rabbi of Prague)

Doubt is of the essence of Christ (Pynchon’s Mason & Dixon)

The Ascent to Christ is a struggle thro’ one heresy after another, River-wise up-country into a proliferation of Sects and Sects branching from Sects, unto Deism, faithless pretending to be holy, and beyond,— ever away from the Sea, from the Harbor, from all that was serene and certain, into an Interior unmapp’d, a Realm of… Continue reading Doubt is of the essence of Christ (Pynchon’s Mason & Dixon)

A Mason & Dixon Christmastide (Thomas Pynchon)

They discharge the Hands and leave off for the Winter. At Christmastide, the Tavern down the Road from Harlands’ opens its doors, and soon ev’ryone has come inside. Candles beam ev’rywhere. The Surveyors, knowing this year they’ll soon again be heading off in different Directions into America, stand nodding at each other across a Punch-bowl… Continue reading A Mason & Dixon Christmastide (Thomas Pynchon)

Duck Tales (Thomas Pynchon’s Mason & Dixon)

Back Inhabitants all up and down the Line soon begin taking the Frenchman’s Duck to their Bosoms, for being exactly what they wish to visit their lives at this Moment,— something possess’d of extra-natural Powers,— Invisibility, inexhaustible Strength, an upper Velocity Range that makes her the match, in Momentum, of much larger opponents,— Americans desiring… Continue reading Duck Tales (Thomas Pynchon’s Mason & Dixon)

What Machine Is It? (Thomas Pynchon’s Mason & Dixon)

“What Machine is it,” young Cherrycoke later bade himself goodnight, “that bears us along so relentlessly? We go rattling thro’ another Day,— another Year,— as thro’ an empty Town without a Name, in the Midnight . . . we have but Memories of some Pause at the Pleasure-Spas of our younger Day, the Maidens, the Cards, the Claret,—… Continue reading What Machine Is It? (Thomas Pynchon’s Mason & Dixon)

A great disorderly Tangle of Lines vanishing into the Mnemonick Deep (Pynchon’s Mason & Dixon)

Facts are but the Play-things of lawyers,— Tops and Hoops, forever a-spin. . . . Alas, the Historian may indulge no such idle Rotating. History is not Chronology, for that is left to lawyers,— nor is it Remembrance, for Remembrance belongs to the People. History can as little pretend to the Veracity of the one, as claim the… Continue reading A great disorderly Tangle of Lines vanishing into the Mnemonick Deep (Pynchon’s Mason & Dixon)

Thomas Pynchon’s Mason & Dixon (Second Riff: The Pygmies’ Discovery of Great Britain)

A. Okay. So I finished the first section of Mason & Dixon a few days ago. I’m now at the part where our titular heroes are smoking weed and eating snacks with George Washington. I can’t possibly handle all the material I’ve read so far—even in a riff (here’s the first riff for anyone inclined)—so instead I’ll… Continue reading Thomas Pynchon’s Mason & Dixon (Second Riff: The Pygmies’ Discovery of Great Britain)

Thomas Pynchon’s recipe for what is arguably the first British Pizza (Mason & Dixon)

“Lud wishes to know,” Whike relays at last, “Mr. Emerson’s Cousin’s Views, upon the Structure of the World.” “A Spheroid, the last I heard of it, Sir.” “Ahr Ahr ahr, ’ahr ahhrr!” “ ’And I say, ’tis Flat,’” the Jesuit smoothly translates. “Why of course, Sir, flat as you like, flat as a Funnel-Cake, flat… Continue reading Thomas Pynchon’s recipe for what is arguably the first British Pizza (Mason & Dixon)