Real estate and the internet

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A famous image from The Crying of Lot 49 (1966) – in which Oedipa Maas compares the concealed communication of a suburban “sprawl of houses” to that of a “printed circuit” board (CL 24) – sets the tone for Thomas Pynchon’s writing on real estate as much as on computing. Both these fields have grown during Pynchon’s writing career; both have come to represent systems of control throughout his writing. In his latest novel, Bleeding Edge (2013), real estate and urban planning along with the integration of computing into personal and relational spaces reappear, two twenty-first-century digital natives (sons of the female protagonist Maxine Tarnow) merging the fields at a deeper level than Oedipa’s superficial pattern recognition had done. In Pynchon’s latest analysis of human agency, both urban planning and IT infrastructure remain central; they become either loci of control, contested spaces, or places of resistance, depending on who builds, buys, uses, or reclaims the city – be it real or virtual.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThomas Pynchon in Context
EditorsInger H. Dalsgaard
Number of pages10
Place of publicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Publication year2019
Pages162-171
Chapter20
ISBN (print)9781108497022
ISBN (Electronic) 9781108683784
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019
SeriesLiterature in Context

    Research areas

  • Thomas Pynchon, Bleeding Edge, The Crying of Lot 49, Real estate market, Virtual reality, Urban Planning, IT infrastructure

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