112 episodes

Thomas Pynchon's novels are as wonderful as they are difficult. Our show, done in seasons, addresses one book at a time in a panel-discussion format. While we aren't experts, we do try very hard to understand and analyze as much as we can. We also occasionally have guests, songs, and you never know...perhaps Mr. Pynchon himself.

Pynchon in Public Podcast Bo Butler

    • Arts
    • 4.8 • 69 Ratings

Thomas Pynchon's novels are as wonderful as they are difficult. Our show, done in seasons, addresses one book at a time in a panel-discussion format. While we aren't experts, we do try very hard to understand and analyze as much as we can. We also occasionally have guests, songs, and you never know...perhaps Mr. Pynchon himself.

    111: Quite Possibly, at Worst, Profoundly Evil

    111: Quite Possibly, at Worst, Profoundly Evil

    Returning from a summons into other-dimensional realms (see PIPcast and the Lugubrious Lawsuit), we begin a look at part 2 of chapter 9 in Thomas Pynchon’s first novel, V.



    Check out this site for a decent write-up of the D’Annunzio/Fiume story: https://www.historytoday.com/miscellanies/fiume-escapade

    • 2 hr 5 min
    110: This Apex that Doesn't Exist

    110: This Apex that Doesn't Exist

    Back from a recent brouhaha at Brew-Ha-Ha Brewreies out in Boise (see PIPCast and the Hoppy Hilarity), our hopped-up crew talks though the first section of chapter 9 in Thomas Pynchon’s first novel, V. Shownotes with links below.



    This is a map of Africa after it was divided up in the 1884 Conference of Berlin. 

    If you’re interesting in hearing one of the so-called “click languages” found in Namibia, check out this video.

    Aug mentions an article called “Smoking Dope with Thomas Pynchon.” As of this posting, it’s available at the Pynchon Wiki.

    • 1 hr 7 min
    109: And Then You Hear a Twig Snap...

    109: And Then You Hear a Twig Snap...

    Back from their fantastic adventures abroad (as told in The Pynchon In Public Podcast Meet the Huldufòlk), our intrepid team covers the chapter 8 of Thomas Pynchon’s first novel, V. Follow the links below for more information, reading, and/or rabbit holes.

    Before you do that though, Aug has recently published an amazingly good book about his misadventure in search for a mythological bar in Berlin. You can find it here on Amazon. He’s also written an excellent article about the music scene in 1980s Berlin over at The Quietus.



    Alan mentions that the Rusty Spoon, Profane and the Crew’s hangout, is based on the White Horse Tavern in Manhattan.

    You can read the article “Paranoid Style in American Politics,” by Richard Hofstadter here at Harpers.

    Aug mentions the article “Smoking Dope with Thomas Pynchon.” The folks at the Pynchon wiki have it available.

    • 1 hr 38 min
    108: Maybe the Kazoos Will Save Us

    108: Maybe the Kazoos Will Save Us

    In which we look at the final three sections of chapter seven in Thomas Pynchon’s first novel, V.



    Bo begins with a New York Times article by Ruth Bader Ginsburg. You can read it here.

    Aug mentions an interest piece on Pynchon in the Boston Review.

    Bo mentions another piece about Pynchon.

    Lastly, Aug mentions the book Stranger Than We Can Imagine, by John Higgs.

    • 1 hr 42 min
    107: Get Out the Vogt

    107: Get Out the Vogt

    In which we take a look at sections 6 through 8 of chapter 7 of Thomas Pynchon’s first novel V.

    • 1 hr 33 min
    106: I Almost Spit Out My Tea

    106: I Almost Spit Out My Tea

    In which we have a look at sections two through five of chapter 7 of Thomas Pynchon’s first novel, V.



    Bo mentions that Vheissu reminds him of The Vhorr, a novel by Brian Catling.

    Alan mentions the movie Lost Horizon (1937).

    Bo points out the Pynchon is the first person credited with using “shrink” to mean a therapist in the Oxford English Dictionary. Here is a screenshot.



    The Birth of Venus painting at the heart of the story.

    • 1 hr 37 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
69 Ratings

69 Ratings

Christian Vogan ,

Very good show

Show can be enlightening, and I love the hosts. Not a huge fan of the theme song

PLslater ,

Nope

They don’t really know how to read — Read Pynchon and talk to your friends about it

starkravingchad ,

Thomas Pynchon Nerdfest

Chris, Bo, and their guest Pynchon fanatics discuss his notoriously dense novels the way I do with my friends and the paranoiac voice in my head. They aim their tele- or microscopes, depending on the subject, at each passage and tease out in-crowd jokes, camouflaged symbolism, esoteric cultural references, academic absurdites, obscure character relationships, post-modern self-references, and propositions in metaphysics that hide in the pages of Pynchon’s writing. I devour each episode as I would the subject novel and often replay them, book in hand, laughing out loud, and nodding affirmatively.

As with any such podcast, I sometimes find myself shouting at the hosts for overlooking or misinterpreting a cultural reference obvious to someone like myself, born a decade or two earlier. But who can blame them? No on will ever decipher Thomas Pynchon completely. His novels suggest that perhaps even he might not have cracked that nut yet.

Keep it up guys! I can’t wait for the Mason

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