I am headed to Chicago to attend the 2014 Modern Language Association Convention. I’m looking forward to a fun and stimulating time, and am especially excited for a panel on Thomas Pynchon’s Bleeding Edge (2013).
So, amidst the nearly daily revelations of the NSA, Scott Shane for The New York Times reports that “No Morsel Too Miniscule for All-Consuming NSA”:
From thousands of classified documents, the National Security Agency emerges as an electronic omnivore of staggering capabilities, eavesdropping and hacking its way around the world to strip governments and other targets of their secrets, all the while enforcing the utmost secrecy about its own operations. It spies routinely on friends as well as foes, as has become obvious in recent weeks; the agency’s official mission list includes using its surveillance powers to achieve “diplomatic advantage” over such allies as France and Germany and “economic advantage” over Japan and Brazil, among other countries.
I am tempted to say that the NSA represents something like the capital T Truth of our global, hyperarchival reality.
And in still paranoid, but less frightening news, Carolyn Kellogg, friend and writer for The Los Angeles Times, appears on a podcast discussing Thomas Pynchon’s Bleeding Edge at Three Percent.
This month’s issue of Harper’s Magazine has a lengthy and interesting review of Thomas Pynchon’s Bleeding Edge by Joshua Cohen (article link requires subscription), and an interesting take on the crisis in the humanities (something this blog has posted frequently on this last summer) in Thomas Frank’s monthly column, “Easy Chair,” titled, “Course Corrections.” Frank nicely summarizes many of the issues facing humanists and the humanities today, and ends with a fairly bold call: “The world doesn’t need another self-hypnotizing report on why universities exist. What it needs is for universities to stop ruining the lives of their students [financially]. Don’t propagandize for your institutions, professors: Change them. Grab the levers of power and pull.” (On a semi-related note I’m happy to report that my own current department looks like it is doing just that.)
My friend Carolyn Kellogg has a review of Bleeding Edge in the Los Angeles Times, “Thomas Pynchon Meets 9/11 in Bleeding Edge.”
John Williams for The New York Times has reported on a promotional video released by Penguin Press for Thomas Pynchon’s forthcoming Bleeding Edge (2013).
Here is a link to Michiko Kakutani’s review of Thomas Pynchon’s Bleeding Edge (2013) from The New York Times. Bleeding Edge comes out next Tuesday. (Here’s to hoping Amazon gets me my pre-ordered copy a day or two early.)