It gives me great pleasure to announce that, should all go to plan, my book Pynchon and Philosophy: Wittgenstein, Foucault and Adorno will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in April 2014. This book presents thorough, comprehensive and previously unaddressed philosophical and ethical readings of Thomas Pynchon's fiction through Ludwig Wittgenstein, Michel Foucault and Theodor W. Adorno.
Thomas Pynchon, the most important living American author, is famed for his lengthy, complex and erudite fictions. Given these characteristics, an examination of the philosophical dimensions of Pynchon's works is long overdue. In this book I comprehensively and clearly redresses this balance, mapping Pynchon's interactions with the philosophy, ethics and politics of Ludwig Wittgenstein, Michel Foucault and Theodor W. Adorno, resulting in a fresh approach to these seminal novels.
Pynchon and Philosophy is based on the notion that Pynchon's brand of postmodern literature mocks theoretical frameworks. On these grounds, Pynchon has been accused of being an anti-rationalist, a postmodern nihilist figure who revels in the collapse of logic. In this book I show that a fruitful showdown between these philosophical figures and Pynchon is now urgently needed to unearth the latent ethics within Pynchon's novels and to counter these wild claims. In this work I cover all of Pynchon's novels to date and read the corresponding philosophy in detail through a variety of methodologies, while finally demonstrating that Pynchon's work cannot be considered without evaluating his ethics; an ethics that I show requires philosophy.
My thanks are due, for this book, among others: first and foremost, to Peter Boxall and Doug Haynes for all their insight and wisdom. I would also like to thank Derek Attridge and Pam Thurschwell for their invaluable feedback on this book. Within the English department at Sussex I would particularly like to thank Vicky Lebeau for her unceasing support on various projects.
To Sam Thomas for his constant warm-spirited generosity. To all who have encouraged me in the launch of Orbit and my study of Pynchon, but particularly to Sascha Pöhlmann, David Cowart, John Krafft, Simon de Bourcier, Fabiennne Collignon, Luc Herman, Zofia Kolbuszewska, Jeff Severs, Richard Moss, Matthias Mösch, Gilles Chamerois, Yorgos Maragos, Zac Rowlinson and Xavier Marco del Pont. To Sam Halliday, for his lecture on The Crying of Lot 49 in my first undergraduate year at QM and also for his MA dissertation supervision. Who knows where I would be now had I not been there.
To my seniors, peers, friends and mentors in academia who have supported me in this and other enterprises: Liz Sage, Caroline Edwards, Ruth Charnock, Bob Eaglestone, Joe Brooker, Siân Adiseshiah, Christopher Marlow, Rupert Hildyard, Rebecca Styler, Amy Culley, Owen Clayton, Agnes Woolley, Phil Redpath, Catherine Redpath, Phil Langran, Mary Stuart, David Armitage, Zara Dinnen, Simon Davies, Ned Hercock, Bill McEvoy, Rachael Gilmour, Mike Jones, Dennis Duncan, Katie Reid, Silvia Panizza, Joanna Kellond, Sarah Robins-Hobden, Catherine Pope, Liz Thackray, Jane Harvell, Joanna Ball and Chris Keene. To Jocelyn Burrell, Asha Tall and Myrna Morales for doing immeasurable good in the world.
To my friends/family outside of academia who nonetheless continue to put up with my obsessions: Lianne de Mello and Owen Devine, Helen and Duncan Stringer, Julian Cottee, Jake Wilson, Linda and Roland Clare, John and Caroline Matthews, Alyson Jakes, Susan Eve, Juliet Eve and Lisa Holloway, Carin Eve, Anthony and Julia Eve, Ethel Gray, Gill Hinks, Richard Hinks, William Davis and Wilberforce TH.
At Palgrave, to Paula Kennedy and Peter Cary who were supremely helpful and efficient, making the publication process smooth and enjoyable.
Finally, my biggest thanks of all go to my wife Helen, for her love, belief and support even though she has never read a Pynchon novel.