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Martin Paul Eve

Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing at Birkbeck, University of London

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09:00-10:30 Session IX  chair: Sascha Pöhlmann Paweł Stachura (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań), Literary Spaces in Pynchon, Strugatskie, and Dukaj
This was one of the more... intriguing papers, although I have enormous concerns and reservations regarding the methodology herein. Pavel's basic premise was that, through mathematical transformations, he would demonstrate how Against the Day can "become" different texts by the Strugatskie brothers and Duka. He spent most of the presentation giving a demonstration of the mathematical operations required to transform complex numbers and quaternions. Sadly, he ran out of time and didn't ever get to tell us how we change AtD into a mathematical formula to which such operations can then be applied. As I said, I remain sceptical that literature can be operated upon in this way, but as he was cut short, so I guess we will never know. Left on the threshold of revelation, perhaps. Giuseppe Episcopo (University of Edinburgh),Time Overdrive / Space Override–Pynchon Antinomies
Working upon notions of turbulence and antinome, Giuseppe's paper didn't fulfill its potential in my mind owing to a problem with sound quality. I must confess that, at the end of the day, I wasn't entirely sure what had been covered. I would very much like to read this paper to digest its contents better. Clément Lévy (Université Jean Monnet, Saint-Étienne), “Back to Gondwanaland!” or, Pynchon’s Myths of Earth
Clément 's paper paved the way for a rigorous examination of an under-studied aspect of Pynchon's esoteric knowledge systems; the Earth. Working on theories of Hollow, and Flat, Earth societies, Clément  demonstrated textual affiliation to these alternative narrativesin Pynchon's work and made a convincing call for further work in this field. 10:45-12:15 Session X chair: Kate Delaney Nick Holdstock (University of Edinburgh), “Can you tell me, please, where is reality?”: Imagined Utopias in Inherent Vice
Nick's paper was a model of clarity. Using the example of Lemuria in Against the Day, his work explored the possibility of utopia through such diverse themes as the difficult double-bound resistance to free market economics involved in the drug trade and the negation of any karmic equation in Lew Basnight's perhaps purposeless penance. Maximilian Heinrich (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München) Roads Not Taken: Historical Crossroads And Their Potential In Against the Day
Max's work examined the varing forks of possibility at specific moments in history. Max convincingly demonstrated the ways in which the Vibe way of life has become an ideology, exhibiting, as it does, a world view, class interest and a political agenda. Ultimately, Max showed that ideology is an inflexible system that provides predetermined actions for future choices and that also possesses an immanent blindness to its own presence. Joanna Freer (University of Sussex), Daylit Fictions and Dark Conjugates: The Political Role of Fantasy in Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49 and Against the Day
Joanna's paper examined the political affiliation to the New Left in Pynchon's work through the role played by fantasy. Taking AtD to be Pynchon's most fantastical work Joanna queried the extent to which external escape is a possibility through the writings of Timothy Leary. Finally, Joanna proposed that we should see, in Pynchon's writing, an imaginative precursor to political action. In a sense: how can we move for real-world freedom, if we are not free imaginatively. It was, sadly, at this point in the conference that I had to leave. If anybody else wanted to write anything, I'd be etremely happy to hear from you; see the contact page. I would like to add to the many people who have thanked Zofia for the organisation of IPW2010; it was a *huge* success and one of the most enjoyable conferences I have ever attended. What can I say, roll on Durham 2012 into the care of most cited figure of IPW2010 (closely followed by Kathryn Hume), Samuel Thomas.