Thursday, June 23, 2011

Return to Pynchon

It has been years, nay even a decade or more, since I last read Thomas Pynchon. Now I'm starting Against the Day (thanks, KS!).

So far it's about a team of balloonists/adventurers on their way to the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago. How I have missed this sort of thing:

At one end of the gondola, largely oblivious to the coming and going on deck, with his tail thumping expressively now and then against the planking, and his nose among the pages of a volume by Mr. Henry James, lay a dog of no particular breed, to all appearances absorbed by the text before him. Ever since the Chums, during a confidential assignment in Our Nation's Capital (see The Chums of Chance and the Evil Halfwit), had rescued Pugnax, then but a pup, from a furious encounter between rival packs of the District's wild dogs, it had been his habit to investigate the pages of whatever printed material should find its way on board Inconvenience, from theoretical treatments of the aeronautical arts to often less appropriate matter, such as the "dime novels"--though his preference seemed more for sentimental tales about his own species than those exhibiting extremes of human behavior, which he appeared to find a bit lurid. He had learned with the readiness peculiar to dogs how with the utmost delicacy to turn pages using nose or paws, and anyone observing him thus engaged could not help noticing the changing expressions of his face, in particular the uncommonly articulate eyebrows, which contributed to an overall effect of interest, sympathy, and--the conclusion could scarce be avoided--comprehension.

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