Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Wha of Thomas Pynchon

The best thing so far in Thomas Pynchon's V. is his use of "wha." It's not that the book is bad, it's that the "wha" is so good. V. is made up of this consistent, energetic mad dashery where it seems that at any time quaintly-named characters are sprinting to or from revolutions, open fire, and/or parties interrupted only by song, which sometimes is also mad, or the simple, "Wha?" The casual skimping of the "t" makes the "wha" somehow triumphant; in my head, it sounds like, "Whaaaaaaaaa?!?!?!?!" It's pretty easy to get into the story and tag along on the excursions with the characters and one gets almost blasee about all the delirium that's unfolding until this sassified, James Brown-ified "whaaaaa?!?!?!" like jolts you back to your senses and makes you see the loony hoopla for what it is and makes it exciting all over again. The simplicity of the inserted "Whas" exacerbates the gnarliness of everything else. It's perfect.

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