While we’re on the topic of lit trailers…

Penguin has a trailer up for Inherent Vice, Pynchon’s new novel which hits shelves today. The actual narrator may or may not be Thomas Pynchon. It may have happened before (the Simpsons), but there is nothing (else) to compare it to now.

I’m sort of torn about whether or not to take the plunge on this one — Pynchon’s pretty much my favorite author, and I’m going to read it eventually, but $28 seems pretty steep for an elegy to the promise of the 60s — granted, a drugged-out, picaresque, paranoid elegy to the 60s, but still. I’m sure it’ll be entertaining, but the evocation of that particular historical moment always makes me think of that one passage in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas:

We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave…

So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark — that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.

It’s strange that even though I completely missed out on that era, I can’t help but think of the end of the 60s with a sense of loss, maybe even more poignant because the loss is irretrievable. Considered forty years out by someone born in the 80s, it seems that the death of that energy signified a final death of any sort of broad-based challenge to prevailing social and economic norms. From the vantage point of 2009, even ripples seem unthinkable. When the wave crashed, it crashed.

Even wrapped up in shiny Pynchonian/noir paper, I think Inherent Vice will just end up being… depressing.

~ by Benji on August 4, 2009.

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