Thomas Pynchon

The War Novel in the Age of Total Information Awareness

The twin publication of the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Torture and Mohamedou Slahi’s Guantánamo Diary has unleashed a disorienting irony: in the Age of Total Information Awareness, in the era of the NSA dragnet, meaning itself is redacted. The more information our government collects, the less we seem to know. Even worse: the gap between what those in power know and what we know now overwhelms the dragnets of our imaginations. This explains why our philosophers, like Slavoj Žižek, revert to the platitudes of Donald Rumsfeld to explain the issues of the day: under the tyranny of unknown knowns, even our public intellectuals bow down to the knowledge, the intelligence, of the governing elite. … Read More

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50 of the Greatest Literary Moments on TV

It’s probably safe to say that media tends to refer to itself, in one way or another — and referring to literature, as opposed to other forms of pop culture, is one way to make just about anything a little more highbrow. Television, notoriously full of references and allusions, might be the worst/best culprit, and the most fun to hunt through for literary moments — after all, nothing’s more fun than seeing books on the boob tube. Here, you’ll find 50 of the greatest and most memorable literary allusions, shout-outs, cameos, and references on television, as well as real-life author appearances and whole episodes, or even whole seasons, based on… Read More

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50 of the Greatest Debut Novels Since 1950

For a reader, there’s something magical about picking up a first novel — that promise of discovery, the possibility of finding a new writer whose work you can love for years to come, the likelihood of semi-autobiography for you to mull over. The debut is even more important for the writer — after all, you only get one first impression. Luckily, there are a lot of fantastic first impressions to be had. Click through for some of the greatest first novels written since 1950 — some that sparked great careers, some that are still the writers’ best work, and some that remain free-standing.… Read More

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28 Feminist Writers Recommend Books Every Man Should Read

The leaves turn, the air gets colder, and a publication devoted to men makes a list of “80 Books Every Man Should Read” that has just one female writer on it. It’s just one slight in a list that’s slanted towards the great white male literary perspective that’s so common these days. Instead of getting mad, we here at Flavorwire wanted to counter that vibe by asking our favorite feminist writers what they think “every man should read.” The results were funny, smart, and a true reflection of the complex lives that we all… Read More

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Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Inherent Vice’ Is a Breezy, Bizarre Blast

Paul Thomas Anderson took five years to make his 2007 oil epic There Will Be Blood. He took another five years to make 2012’s Scientology-inspired The Master. He banged out his adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice in two, and you can feel the difference—in the best possible way. The two films that preceded it marked the filmmaker’s transition from wunderkind to Serious Artist; by turns wrenching, challenging, and borderline impenetrable, they plunged the depths of American history and the American soul. Vice, by contrast, is a slang-y, breezy lark, a picture whose two-and-a-half-hour running time, Oscar-friendly release date, and premiere as the Centerpiece selection at the New York Film Festival make it sound like a more important movie than it is—or, more importantly, than Anderson seems to think it is. After a decade spent making two films that are like pressure cookers, he was clearly ready to blow off some steam. … Read More

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At Last, Here’s Your First Trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Inherent Vice’

With its December release creeping up rapidly, movie geeks were starting to get downright impatient, what with Warner Brothers… Read More

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25 Must-See Movies For the Fall

Hey there reader, been to the movies lately? If the box office reports are any indication, I’m guessing not — and who can blame you? We’re currently in the weird dead zone between the tentpole blockbusters of the summer and the prestige, Oscar-friendly pictures (and, increasingly, tentpole blockbusters) of the fall. But relief will be here soon enough, so in the interest of helping you mark up your movie-going calendar, we’re looking ahead to the fall films we’re anticipating most. … Read More

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50 Essential Cult Novels

Just what is a cult novel? Well, like so many literary terms, the edges blur whenever you try to look right at them, but in the end, you sort of know one when you read one. Sometimes a cult novel is one that the critics panned but the fans love, or sometimes it’s one that both readers and critics love, but a certain contingent of readers really love. Any book with a squadron of rabid fans swearing that it changed their lives quickly seems cultish. Cult novels often come from the fringes, they often represent countercultural perspectives, they often experiment with form. Here are 50 of the… Read More

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