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(Fark Fiction Anthology)   "If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers." ― Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow. This is your Fark Writer's Thread, Asking Questions Edition   ( divider line
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499 clicks; posted to Main » and Discussion » on 05 Oct 2022 at 5:45 PM (8 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook

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2022-10-05 4:00:13 PM  
Thomas Pynchon is an American novelist known for dense, almost impenetrable fiction, ranging from surrealist goofy humor to intricate and convoluted wordplay that works on multiple levels. Trying to read and understand everything he has on the page can be exhausting, and bewildering for critics; The Crying of Lot 49 has been called both an "exemplary postmodern text" and an outright parody of postmodernism itself.

Some critics observe that reading too closely misses the point. On Mason & Dixon, one critic wrote: "Whatever meanings and complex messages may lie hidden in Pynchon's text can, for now, be left to develop subconsciously as the reader enjoys the more immediate rewards of the work of a consummate storyteller. Pynchon is one, and he never quite lets you forget that while this might be an epic story, it's an epic story told to wide-eyed children who are up past their bedtime."

What can we learn from his writing style?

Don't fear complexity. His writing is a montage of ideas, blended together.
Use suggestive images rather than simple ones. He references a wide tapestry of abstract ideas and lets us fill in the blanks.
Don't forget your sense of scale. He ties everything into everything else to remind the reader how much there is there.

I will admit to having bounced off a few of his books before trying them again and getting drawn in, but once I did, they were powerful and amazing. (I will also admit to keeping Mason & Dixon on the bookshelf in a visible spot just to feed my literary pretensions, but that's another story)

Writing question of the week!

At what point does a story become 'too complex?'

Fark Fiction Anthology Update!

Edited versions of all submissions have been sent out to all submitters who were accepted. If you haven't received an updated version of your story, check your spam boxes, and if you don't see it there, drop me a line at ed­ito­r­s[nospam-﹫-backwards]n­oit­c­i­fkraf­*n­et and I'll get it sorted out. Please get back to us with any last minute concerns before October 28th!

Writer's Thread Reviews!

If you'd like to have a short story critiqued by the community, even anonymously, send it to me at ed­ito­r­s[nospam-﹫-backwards]n­oit­c­i­fkraf­*n­et (or just post it here!)
2022-10-05 4:13:14 PM  
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2022-10-05 5:49:45 PM  
I was halfway through "Gravity's Rainbow" before I figured out what it was about.
2022-10-05 5:59:49 PM  
What is the answer to this question?
2022-10-05 5:59:54 PM  
Thomas Wolfe (the OLD one) was my choice for almost incomprehensible fiction. And that was after good editing.
2022-10-05 6:00:34 PM  
"At what point does a story become 'too complex'?"

When the reader tosses your story into a wood chipper.

As far as I'm concerned, a story can't be too complex. I'm usually working on two or three levels at a time. Still, there has to be a base narrative that holds up everything else, otherwise you've lost the majority of your readers.

I love Pynchon's stuff, even "Bleeding Edge," which nobody likes.
2022-10-05 6:23:04 PM  

a particular individual: What is the answer to this question?

2022-10-05 6:27:41 PM  

Russell_Secord: "At what point does a story become 'too complex'?"

When the reader tosses your story into a wood chipper.

The crossover point is exactly 0.25 Silmarillions.
2022-10-05 6:48:44 PM  

a particular individual: What is the answer to this question?

2022-10-05 7:53:30 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size

She might have the answer...
2022-10-05 8:47:03 PM  
Wasn't that Vineland?

2022-10-05 9:17:32 PM  

fugeeface: [Fark user image image 445x463]
She might have the answer...

Sit bolt upright in your straight back chair.
2022-10-05 10:40:34 PM  
Started on my Abridged Script for Days of Thunder.  Really like how it's looking so far. Seems to really put my Nascar fandom to good use theoretically being accessible to an outsider.
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