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Friday, May 11, 2012

Open Letter: Thomas Pynchon

Dear Thomas; Given your total media silence, I have no illusion you will see or answer this, but I still have to ask: Which of your books would you suggest I try next? Or, any chance a short story is on the horizon?

Full disclosure: I first tried reading "V" as an undergraduate in 1968 and have since tried three more times - no luck yet. Based on their relatively shorter length and the hardcover jacket blurbs (Do you write these? Somehow I doubt it), I also recently attempted both "Crying of Lot 49" & "Inherent Vice" - same deal.

While otherwise devouring "Reading For My Life", a collection of pieces written by John Leonard, I struggled just following his review of your 1990 book "Vineland". I suspect my struggle had to do with how Leonard casually referenced "V", "Crying...." & "Gravity's Rainbow" in his review. Since Leonard is no longer with us, I can't ask if he thought his readers had understood those earlier books of yours well enough to follow him. But I can ask you: Based on his review, how closely did Leonard "get" you?

A few more questions: Although I think I recall reading somewhere you will not option any of your books for adaptation to film, if you ever changed your mind, which Director/Screenwriter would you consider up to the task? Please don't say Terence Malick - I can see some producer committing suicide trying to pull that off. An easier question, based on the role music plays in your books: Who to do a score? My guess would be Tom Waits. If I'm even close on that, please contact me - smoke signals accepted.

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