Thomas Pynchon's Mason & Dixon (1997)

Mason & Dixon

Read Professor Irwin Corey's acceptance speech for Pynchon's 1974 National Book Award for Gravity's Rainbow.

 

Also, have a look at Douglas Kløvedal Lannark's exhaustive documenting of "love" in Gravity's Rainbow.

Mason & Dixon (ISBN: 0312423209) is Thomas Pynchon's fifth novel, published in 1997. A couple excerpts...

"...Who claims Truth, Truth abandons. History is hir'd, or coerc'd, only in Interests that must ever prove base. She is too innocent, to be left within the reach of anyone in Power,—who need but touch her, and all her Credit is in the instant vanish'd, as if it had never been. She needs rather to be tended lovingly and honorably by fabulists and counterfeiters, Ballad-Mongers and Cranks of ev'ry Radius, Masters of Disguise to provide her the Costume, Toilette, and Bearing, and Speech nimble enough to keep her beyond the Desires, or even the Curiosity, of Government..." (p.350)

The Line

"Facts are but the Play-things of lawyers,—Tops and Hoops, forever a-spin.... Alas, the Historian may indulge no such idle Rotating. History is not Chronology, for that is left to lawyers,—nor is Remembrance, for Remembrance belongs to the People. History can as little pretend to the Veracity of the one, as claim the Power of the other,—her Practitioners, to survive, must soon learn the arts of the quidnunc, spy and Taproom Wit,—that there may ever continue more than one life-line back into a Past we risk, each day, losing our forbears in forever,— not a Chain of single Links, for one broken Link could lose us All,—rather, a great disorderly Tangle of Lines, long and short, weak and strong, vanishing into the Mnemonick Deep, with only their Destination in common." (p.349)

 

Mason & Dixon
Mason & Dixon - Thomas Pynchon