Thursday, November 23, 2006


And from another great American writer:
Thanksgiving Day, a function which originated in New England two or three centuries ago when those people recognized that they really had something to be thankful for - annually, not oftener - if they had succeeded in exterminating their neighbors, the Indians, during the previous twelve months instead of getting exterminated by their neighbors, the Indians. Thanksgiving Day became a habit, for the reason that in the course of time, as the years drifted on, it was perceived that the exterminating had ceased to be mutual and was all on the white man's side, consequently on the Lord's side; hence it was proper to thank the Lord for it and extend the usual annual compliments.

-Mark Twain

(thanks to Julbug for the Twain quote)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


I'm only 80 pages in at this point, and I'll hopefully have more coherent impressions at a later date, but so far Against the Day marries the historical detail and poetic reveries of Gravity's Rainbow with the slightly more accessible politically engaged prose style of Vineland. I know what I'll be reading for the next month or two, and it's perfect timing, just in time for the long rainy season here in Humboldt.

In the meantime here's a nicely done appreciation of Thomas Pynchon from an unlikely fan, British crime fiction writer Ian Rankin.

And, in a related matter, The Rake offers up a whopping 49 dollars if the elusive Mr. P. appears on his dandy literary blog.