To the uninitiated, Thomas Pynchon's V.
seems to defy comprehension with its open-ended and fragmented
narrative, huge cast of characters (some 150 of them), and wide
range of often obscure references. J. Kerry Grant's
Companion to "V." takes us through the novel chapter by
chapter, breaking through its daunting surface by summarizing
events and clarifying Pynchon's many allusions. The
Companion draws extensively from existing critical and
explicative work on V. to suggest the range of
interpretations that the novel can support.
The hundreds of notes that comprise the Companion are
keyed to the three most widely cited editions of V. Most
notes are interpretive, but some also provide historical and
cultural contexts or help to resurrect other nuances of meaning.
Because it does not constitute a particular "reading" of, or "take"
on, the novel, the Companion will appeal to a wide range
of users. Rather than attempting to make final sense of the novel,
the Companion exposes and demystifies Pynchon's
intent to play with our conventional attitudes about fiction.
Subjects: Language & Literature
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