Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Dude's Detective Novel Now A Movie: INHERENT VICE by Thomas Pynchon

Thomas Pynchon’s INHERENT VICE is of course being made into a movie–a Cheech and Chong movie, the director says.
Seems like a fit to me. I can’t wait to hear the music on the soundtrack.
Jeff Bridges: We miss the cheerful, peaceful counter-culture.

Of course, the main reason for reading INHERENT VICE is the wordplay:


They’ve had a change of lead actors--we now have Joaquin Phoenix instead of Robert Downy--but the natural choice would have been the dude himself, Jeff Bridges, who plays himself so well in THE BIG LEBOWSKI. Watching a recent Charlie Rose interview with Bridges made that crystal-clear.
Pynchon picked out the dustjacket art for the first edition hardcover, and a good selection it is, I’d say.

You can see the story behind the dustjacket art at this link:


I like the idea that the counter-culture back in 1969-70 was an island in which there was a certain sense of freedom not seen since. Perhaps it is true that, like Pynchon’s novel itself, it was only a pipe dream, something mythical and mystical from where we now stand, like the running argument about Lemuria and Atlantis in the novel, but there was a certain sense of freedom in the anti-establishment stance that seems timeless.

With character names like Puck and Bigfoot, it is bound to have a certain Midsummer Night’s Dream ambiance. A detective novel in an alternate state of consciousness, some say, but it seems like much more than that to me. It is timeless not because it is aimless but because it is absurdist, and there is a distinct difference between the concepts.

We have gotten beyond the pipe dream and the beach boy music, but the world continues to be as absurdist as ever.

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