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Approaches to Teaching Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 and Other Works

by Thomas H. Schaub

Approaches to Teaching Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 and Other Works Synopsis

As teachers well know, the elements that make Thomas Pynchon exciting to read and study--the historical references, the multilayered prose, and the postmodern integration of high and low cultures and science and literature--often constitute hurdles to undergraduate and graduate readers alike. The essays gathered in this volume turn these classroom challenges into assets, showing instructors how to make the narratives' frustration of reader expectations not only intellectually rewarding but also part of the joy of reading The Crying of Lot 49, Gravity's Rainbow, Mason & Dixon, and other Pynchon works, short and long. Like all volumes in the Approaches to Teaching series, the collection opens with a survey of original and supplementary materials. The essays that follow offer an array of classroom techniques: among them, ways to contextualize the novels in their historical settings, from Puritan America through World War II and the volatile 1960s; to use the texts to explore racial and gender politics and legacies of colonialism; and to make Pynchon's elaborate prose style accessible to students. Teachers will also find sample syllabi for courses solely on Pynchon as well as suggestions for incorporating his work into graduate and undergraduate classrooms at a range of institutions.

Approaches to Teaching Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 and Other Works Press Reviews

This volume will be useful for the many teachers who want to include Pynchon's texts in their courses but may be daunted by the question of where to begin. Especially useful are the contributions from non-American teachers, who face additional problems when approaching Pynchon. --Bernard Duyfhuizen, Coeditor, Pynchon Notes Highly recommended for college library literary studies collections. --Midwest Book Review This helpful volume will benefit all who engage with Pynchon's work. Highly recommended. --Choice

Book Information

ISBN: 9780873528139
Publication date: 15th January 2008
Author: Thomas H. Schaub
Publisher: Modern Language Association of America
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 195 pages
Categories: linguistics,

About Thomas H. Schaub

Thomas H. Schaub is professor of English at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has published essays on James Fenimore Cooper, William Carlos Williams, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, and Thomas Pynchon. He is the author of Pynchon: The Voice of Ambiguity (1981) and American Fiction in the Cold War (1991) and is editor of Contemporary Literature. His interests include the politics of culture and environmental studies.

More About Thomas H. Schaub

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