Inherent Vice continues Thomas Pynchon's interrogation into California as American edge-site perpetually situated on the brink of catastrophe, metamorphosis, or redemption. In his latest novel, Pynchon labors in the time-honored generic trenches of American “hardboiled fiction” to elaborate the transformative energies of what California still stands for as worlding edge-space, as a temporal promise of social transformation and popular-cultural redemption not quite over. In bleaker plot strands, we witness an American vernacular revolution of pop-carnivalesque energies being infiltrated and hollowed out, as if the utopic energies of the 1960s were foreclosed at birth by the security apparatus of police forces, land development, and the global totality of capital as situated on the Pacific Rim.
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Rob Wilson; On the Pacific Edge of Catastrophe, or Redemption: California Dreaming in Thomas Pynchon's Inherent Vice. boundary 2 1 May 2010; 37 (2): 217–225. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01903659-2010-010
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