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The identity of Thomas Pynchon is as elusive as the sticky complex webs of meaning woveninto his prose As Americas most famous hidden author Pynchon produces works whichsimultaneously deal with issues of disappearance and meaning of identity and nothingness in afashion that befuddles some and delights others He speaks to the world from his invisible pulpithiding behind a curtain of anonymity that safely disguises his personality from the prying eyes ofcritics and fans alike Without a public author presence readers are forced to derive the identityof the author instead from the authors actual works When searching for the identity of Pynchonand indeed the notion of identity itself the novels of Thomas Pynchon offer an interesting startingpointQuestions of identity and meaning are shrouded beneath a veil of conspiracy in The Crying ofLot 49 Pynchons second novel and his shortest Throughout the novel there are snatches ofhidden agendas and mysterious plans it is a world run by Pierce Inverarity a character who isdead when the novel opens yet remains an active presence throughout the work This seems tofit Pynchons situation rather nicely as the ghostly moderator of a tired world leading his maincharacter Oedipa Maas on a quest for meaning while blindly groping for clues about aconspiratorial mail system known only as the Trystero Oedipas quest echos the quest ofeveryone she wishes for an identity that makes some sense within the framework of her worldThomas Pynchon by erasing himself from the public sphere is questing for identity in his ownright through his writings letting Mrs Maas do the searching for himLittle is known about Pynchons life and no one who knows him seems to be willing to add tothe miniscule pile of information currently available about him His most recent publishedphotograph dates back to 1953 Beginning at the beginning he was born on May 8 1937 inGlen Cove New York He attended Cornell University and received a degree in English in1959 He worked at Boeing Company in
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