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The American Reading Conspiracy: Paranoid Interpretations of US History and Pynchon Novels

Publikation: KonferencebidragKonferenceabstrakt til konferenceForskningpeer review

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The American Reading Conspiracy : Paranoid Interpretations of US History and Pynchon Novels. / Dalsgaard, Inger H.

2019. Abstract fra International Pynchon Week 2019, Rome, Italien.

Publikation: KonferencebidragKonferenceabstrakt til konferenceForskningpeer review

Harvard

Dalsgaard, IH 2019, 'The American Reading Conspiracy: Paranoid Interpretations of US History and Pynchon Novels', International Pynchon Week 2019, Rome, Italien, 10/06/2019 - 14/06/2019.

APA

Dalsgaard, I. H. (2019). The American Reading Conspiracy: Paranoid Interpretations of US History and Pynchon Novels. Abstract fra International Pynchon Week 2019, Rome, Italien.

CBE

Dalsgaard IH. 2019. The American Reading Conspiracy: Paranoid Interpretations of US History and Pynchon Novels. Abstract fra International Pynchon Week 2019, Rome, Italien.

MLA

Dalsgaard, Inger H. The American Reading Conspiracy: Paranoid Interpretations of US History and Pynchon Novels. International Pynchon Week 2019, 10 jun. 2019, Rome, Italien, Konferenceabstrakt til konference, 2019.

Vancouver

Dalsgaard IH. The American Reading Conspiracy: Paranoid Interpretations of US History and Pynchon Novels. 2019. Abstract fra International Pynchon Week 2019, Rome, Italien.

Author

Bibtex

@conference{2fb8a7a1395d4646afb8eae24254e4f2,
title = "The American Reading Conspiracy: Paranoid Interpretations of US History and Pynchon Novels",
abstract = "Puritan ideas of close reading of the Good Book to interpret the greater divine plan for their lives in the new American colonies are the foundations of a conspiratorial mindset in the USA. Personal biblical exegesis was in essence an antiestablishment activity, where personal interpretation could supersede dogmatic readings. At the same time, pursuing signs and patterns fostered a paranoid reading strategy in which “everything is connected” and confirmed a (sinister) establishment.Conspiracy has never seemed more central to the ontological understanding of the USA than now. This paper reviews the way Pynchon has handled this particular worldview in his novels, practically and historically, before arguing that our acts of interpretation of his work may themselves actually use the epistemological tools of conspiracy theory.The qualitative analysis of “elite” academic readers adjoins the quasi-scientific practices of conspiracy theorists: thorough research filtered by subjective insights. Both groups pursue textual traces and connections to reveal unseen truths. Puritan readers sifted information for God{\textquoteright}s true plan rather than that established of Roman clergy; QAnon activists look for the veiled plan Trump has mounted against a “they”-system of the hidden “Deep State” establishment. In both cases signs and interpretations proliferate around an author(itarian) figure.Early Pynchon novels arguably invited this sort of paranoid reading activity as a postmodern insight. In a post-factual world, where conspiracy theory approaches the main stream, I question whether recent novels can work this way without changing our role as readers and Pynchon{\textquoteright}s as the author of our pursuit.",
keywords = "Thomas Pynchon, Puritanism, paranoia, conspiracy theory, Reading cultures, Literary criticism. Literary theory, Donald Trump",
author = "Dalsgaard, {Inger H.}",
year = "2019",
month = jun,
day = "13",
language = "English",
note = "International Pynchon Week 2019 : Pynchon In Rome, IPW 2019 ; Conference date: 10-06-2019 Through 14-06-2019",
url = "https://teacher835.wixsite.com/ipw2019",

}

RIS

TY - ABST

T1 - The American Reading Conspiracy

T2 - International Pynchon Week 2019

AU - Dalsgaard, Inger H.

PY - 2019/6/13

Y1 - 2019/6/13

N2 - Puritan ideas of close reading of the Good Book to interpret the greater divine plan for their lives in the new American colonies are the foundations of a conspiratorial mindset in the USA. Personal biblical exegesis was in essence an antiestablishment activity, where personal interpretation could supersede dogmatic readings. At the same time, pursuing signs and patterns fostered a paranoid reading strategy in which “everything is connected” and confirmed a (sinister) establishment.Conspiracy has never seemed more central to the ontological understanding of the USA than now. This paper reviews the way Pynchon has handled this particular worldview in his novels, practically and historically, before arguing that our acts of interpretation of his work may themselves actually use the epistemological tools of conspiracy theory.The qualitative analysis of “elite” academic readers adjoins the quasi-scientific practices of conspiracy theorists: thorough research filtered by subjective insights. Both groups pursue textual traces and connections to reveal unseen truths. Puritan readers sifted information for God’s true plan rather than that established of Roman clergy; QAnon activists look for the veiled plan Trump has mounted against a “they”-system of the hidden “Deep State” establishment. In both cases signs and interpretations proliferate around an author(itarian) figure.Early Pynchon novels arguably invited this sort of paranoid reading activity as a postmodern insight. In a post-factual world, where conspiracy theory approaches the main stream, I question whether recent novels can work this way without changing our role as readers and Pynchon’s as the author of our pursuit.

AB - Puritan ideas of close reading of the Good Book to interpret the greater divine plan for their lives in the new American colonies are the foundations of a conspiratorial mindset in the USA. Personal biblical exegesis was in essence an antiestablishment activity, where personal interpretation could supersede dogmatic readings. At the same time, pursuing signs and patterns fostered a paranoid reading strategy in which “everything is connected” and confirmed a (sinister) establishment.Conspiracy has never seemed more central to the ontological understanding of the USA than now. This paper reviews the way Pynchon has handled this particular worldview in his novels, practically and historically, before arguing that our acts of interpretation of his work may themselves actually use the epistemological tools of conspiracy theory.The qualitative analysis of “elite” academic readers adjoins the quasi-scientific practices of conspiracy theorists: thorough research filtered by subjective insights. Both groups pursue textual traces and connections to reveal unseen truths. Puritan readers sifted information for God’s true plan rather than that established of Roman clergy; QAnon activists look for the veiled plan Trump has mounted against a “they”-system of the hidden “Deep State” establishment. In both cases signs and interpretations proliferate around an author(itarian) figure.Early Pynchon novels arguably invited this sort of paranoid reading activity as a postmodern insight. In a post-factual world, where conspiracy theory approaches the main stream, I question whether recent novels can work this way without changing our role as readers and Pynchon’s as the author of our pursuit.

KW - Thomas Pynchon

KW - Puritanism

KW - paranoia

KW - conspiracy theory

KW - Reading cultures

KW - Literary criticism. Literary theory

KW - Donald Trump

M3 - Conference abstract for conference

Y2 - 10 June 2019 through 14 June 2019

ER -