I’ve spent the past few years working on an academic study of Thomas Pynchon’s novels, the systems of power in those novels, and his depictions of resistance to that power. I started the project as my dissertation, which I finished in late July, 2011. As I was wrapping up the writing of it, global events like the Arab Spring, the revolution in Tunisia, and austerity protests in Greece and Spain started to occur. In September of 2011, a handful of activists set up camp in Zuccotti Park in NYC, and the Occupy Movement was born. Occupy’s ideas of participatory democracy, their strategy to forego protests and instead develop alternative societies (even if they were just a demonstration of a genuinely democratic society) matched a lot of what I’d read in Pynchon. At this point, one would think that I may have participated in the demonstrations. I didn’t. I’m the worst about attending rallies, even if I’m sympathetic to the cause.
What I did instead was look deeper into the political and economic theorists who provided the foundations for both Pynchon and Occupy, and I wrote a book about it. The book is called, appropriately enough, Occupy Pynchon.
I index and proofed the typeset version of the book just as our nation descended into the madness which resulted in the one percent taking over every seat of power in the US and unapologetically working to make this a nation by, for, and of the 1% (to borrow Joseph Stiglitz characterization). I took a little comfort in knowing that I’d at least written a handbook for resistance to this takeover. It may be an academic text geared largely for literature scholars, marketed to university libraries, and costing $60, but at least it’s out there. Or it will be this coming May.
So that’s been my rabbit hole. If you want to see more about the book, here’s the page from my publisher’s web site.
I buy everything you do sir. I look forward to adding this to your section in my home library. Maybe one day you will do a reading in Richmond Va where my wife(Chris Boarts Larson- Razorcake contributor!) and I live. There are several great indy shops that host readings. I’m not a facebooker, i prefer less intrusive modes of communication, but i’d be glad to point you towards folks more capable of facilitating such an event for you. It’s a little big town, so we can get it done to your liking w/minimal difficulty. In any case, i’m VERY happy to hear of some new work from you.
Erik Larson http://www.eriklarson.bandcamp.com Erik Larson
Thanks, Erik. I’ll hit you up about Richmond next time I’m doing readings on that side of the country. Give my best to Chris. Long live Slug and Lettuce!