mercoledì, agosto 26, 2009

PYNCHON. 08: Inherent vice

E' uscito il nuovo romanzo, un noir psichedelico ambientato al crepuscolo del sogno alternativo degli anni '70. Ed è già disponibile il rispettivo wiki.
Sulla Sunday Book Review del New York Times, Walter Kirn ha scritto una bella recensione dal titolo "Drugs to do, caseso to solve" (ovvero, così al volo, "Droghe da farsi, casi da risolvere"). Vale la pena leggersela, non è nemmeno tanto lunga, ma in poche frasi mi pare riesca a delineare bene, e con straordinaria chiarezza, il cuore pulsante del romanzo (che non ho ancora letto) e di gran parte della narrativa pynchoniana...
Un paio di passi che mi hanno particolarmente colpito:

If Doc [Sportello, l'investigatore hippy fumato protagonista del romanzo] sounds like a literary joke — the Private Eye with drooping lids who can’t trust the evidence of his own senses — then he must be a joke with a lesson to impart, since Pynchon isn’t the type to make us laugh unless he’s really out to make us think. Even in “V.” and “Gravity’s Rainbow,” the colossal novels of ideas that have inspired a thousand dissertations as unreadable as the books are said to be but actually aren’t, he grounds his intellectualism in humor and livens it up with allusions to pop culture while sacrificing none of its deep rigor. He’s our literature’s best metaphysical comedian. The weighty points his work makes about the universe — that it’s slowly winding down as the Big Bang becomes the Final Sigh — tend to relieve our despair, not deepen it, by letting us in on the cosmos’s greatest gags: for example, that the purpose of the Creation was to make itself perfectly unmanageable and purely unintelligible. No wonder so many of Pynchon’s characters revel in chemical dissipation. Entropy — if you can’t beat it, join it.


In Pynchon, the problem of distinguishing between coincidences and conspiracies, between the prosaic and the profound, is one of the defining tasks of consciousness. For some, like Doc, whose cerebral equipment is particularly unreliable, this perennial mental challenge can prove insuperable, but that may be why Pynchon chose him for the job. His confusion is all of ours exaggerated, his paranoia a version of normal pattern­making amped way up by his intake of hallucinogens. That doesn’t mean he’s blind, though, or delusional. Hyper-awareness makes sense at times, especially when, as in 1970 (the year in which the book is set), the times are changing more rapidly than usual and were radically out of joint to start with.

[e, conclude, ma il lettore che voglia tirar da solo le proprie conclusioni non proceda oltre...]

The grand conclusion of Doc’s nonlinear sleuthing, the revelation he stumbles on despite himself, is that he and his freedom-loving kinfolk (the private eye and the hippie, we finally see, are related as outcast seekers of the truth) have been boxed in by the squares, their natural foes, and will henceforth be monitored with their own consent, to assure their own ostensible safety. The oppressors’ specific methods and identities continue to mystify Doc to some degree (they include the Internet, it seems, which appears in the novel in a nascent version, as the plaything of a techno-hobbyist), but he divines their overarching goal: to close the frontiers of consciousness forever by rendering life in the shadows impossible and opening the soul itself to view, or at least criminalizing its excursions into deeply subjective, hidden realms. The age of the private eyes is over, that is, and with it the age of privacy itself. And what’s left? The sleepless, all-seeing, unblinking public eye.

Spero vivamente che i fratelli Cohen leggano questo libro...

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