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Group reads > The Crying of Lot 49 (spoilers)

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message 1: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
Let the discussion begin...

message 2: by Silver (new)

Silver I am currently reading Sophocles' Oedipus Trilogy so the first thing which popped into my head is the similarity and connection in the names Oedipa and Oedipus.

Also it is interesting that within Crying Lot there is an account of a play given, in which one of the characters in the play ends up having to marry his mother. It is also interesting how it seems that elements within the play seem to start to interconnect with Oedipa's own life, and it is almost as if she is be lead upon this predetermined course as all these strange occurrences keep popping up that all seem to interrelate to each other. There was something almost strangely Delphic in her discovering the mysterious WASTE symbol in the women's restroom, and the symbol does seem to appear as almost an omen that is further directing her life and pushing her into this curious mystery.

message 3: by Ivan (last edited Nov 20, 2011 04:51AM) (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
My copy has yet to arrive and The Paperback Rack didn't have one in stock. Damn and drat.

message 4: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
Geez....12 people voted for this book and thus far only Silver has made a comment.

message 5: by Craig (new)

Craig | 30 comments One thing I kept thinking about when I read this is the timing of it. So much change from the conservative life of the 1950s and early 1960s. A lot of the factors are pointed out, drug culture, the hippy movement, Vietnam, and the story takes place close to Haight-Ashbury. I liked the satirical way everything was viewed. I'm sure the paranoia during that period was felt equally by conservative types and those wanting change. The ending reinforced this for me, has it all been a ruse and everything will be okay? Or is it really a vast conspiracy and things are about to change? Pynchon captures the energy of an interesting period. When I give this a second reading sometime I'm sure my focus will be on something else entirely.

message 6: by Candiss (new)

Candiss (tantara) Ivan wrote: "Geez....12 people voted for this book and thus far only Silver has made a comment."

I just started this one. (I started "Breakfast at Tiffany's" first, because I wanted to check out the writing style, and I got sucked in and had to finish, so this one got pushed back.) I'll be back when I have something to contribute or after I've finished (whichever occurs first.)

message 7: by Candiss (new)

Candiss (tantara) I'm loving Pynchon's language. He's excellent with both evocative imagery and metaphor. I do, however, find myself drifting off on a cloud of words and losing the thread of the story. Several times, I've discovered that a page has gone by, yet I really don't know what just happened on that it's slow going, as I keep needing to re-read passages to try to connect the (pretty) dots. I'm enjoying it for the language, but so far, the plot is taking a backseat for me. There's nothing at all wrong with that, but it does (for me) make a short book into a long project.

message 8: by Bruce (new)

Bruce Maguire | 5 comments I agree. Gravity's Rainbow was a little better (perhaps because it's length gave you time to settle in). But after re-reading so many pages you wonder how compelling is a story that requires so much effort from its readers. Maybe it's just me. I have started Ulysees 2 or 3 times, got half way through, and then given up in frustration.

message 9: by Wendy (new)

Wendy | 1 comments I'm having the same issue, loving the language but I have no idea what is going on with the actual story. This one is going to take me a while. I guess it works out since Breakfast at Tiffany's has a wait list at the library.

message 10: by Phil (new)

Phil Jensen | 70 comments I read and loved this one several times in college. For what it's worth, I was never sure what it was about, either. The plot is that Oedipa Maas comes in contact with evidence of an ancient conspiracy that runs an alternative postal system. The vastness of the conspiracy grows and develops.

I didn't read this in the hopes of a coherent plot or even to figure out all the symbolism. I read it as an experience of paranoid mania- the same way I read Kafka.

If I had to guess about what it's "really" about (based on decades' old memories), I would say that by the end of the book, visible reality is a shell that fails to contain the actual power structures at work in our lives, and that Pynchon beckons us to look deeper into things that are left unsaid.

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