Analysis Of Thomas Pynchon's Bleeding Edge

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Among citizens of the United States, few, if any, are unaware of what occurred on September 11 in the year 2001. Nor would many regard themselves as oblivious of at least one of the multitude of conspiracy theories following the so-dubbed 9/11 attacks. As a well-established dabbler in the twists and turns of secret histories, it came as no surprise that writer Thomas Pynchon took to creating an alternate timeline for the event in his postmodern detective novel Bleeding Edge. Yet the matter in which he approaches 9/11 is unique. The plot of the novel is not a frantic race by secret agents to uncover a nefarious scheme against America, but a mildly meandering tale concerning the life of Maxine Tarnow, a detective, former Certified Fraud Examiner, …show more content…
Instead statements such as “quote” are thrown around, often side-by-side with stories of time-traveling Cold War spies or UFOs. The narrative revels in this, mixing tales that would be more at home in a pulp magazine in the same breath as the far more textually supported hypotheses of back-room dealings with terrorists. Ghosts of wildly disreputable websites dredged up from the deep web and the protagonist’s own eyes provide equal amounts of a patchwork pointing to some nebulous wrongness in the world, but neither are able to clarify what that might be. As multiple critics can attest to, this style of writing is nothing new for Pynchon, yet it reaches new depths in a double, triple-cross of mental toying, for both the characters and the narrative …show more content…
“quote about walking kids to school.” A technology billionaire may have helped the United States government stage 9/11. Reality might not exist. Someone did kill a government agent who tried to leave his black-ops life behind him and another person was murdered in the crossfire somewhere in-between. But Maxine does not vow to bring the responsible parties to justice, nor does she resign herself to fear that she or her family are the next names on a hit list. The idea that it is something worthy of her full attention, after finding rotting corpses and getting into shoot-outs, is made irrevocably null. And so the weight given to what might have happened disappears. According to “critic”, it is not unusual for Pynchon to leave fantastical plot threads unanswered. Here, that they are left unanswered is the answer. To quote (whoever, wherever), “quote.” A sharp bit of the realism genre to end with certainly, but one that speaks

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