Thursday, January 5, 2012
Once again, I have no idea where I bought this. When I took it off the shelf this morning, I thought it was the copy I'd read in college, but it has a used price mark on the inside cover, which leads me to believe I may have bought it for Lori, who read through Pynchon a few years ago. It's possible, but highly unlikely, that I bought it used in college. I generally only purchased new books back then, unless I was buying textbooks.
Anyhow, I read V. in college. I think I read it the summer before my senior year. I definitely read it before reading Gravity's Rainbow. I remember feeling glad that I had read them in this order, as this felt like a warm-up for Gravity's Rainbow and probably would have been a less interesting read after having read that one first.
As with all of Pynchon, the frame of historical reference is so broad and my own at the time was so narrow that I have at various times in my life found myself referring back to this book as a point of departure. This usually occurs when I read something historical that refers to incidents or ideas that I first encountered in Pynchon's books.
It's kind of a strange phenomenon: much of what I remember in his work is my ignorance of the ideas and contexts the describes, yet I retained much of that information as a kind of place holder, waiting for me to return to make sense of it once I'd filled in certain gaps in my knowledge.