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

Editor(s): Thomas H. Schaub

Pages: xiii & 195 pp.
Published: 2008
ISBN: 9780873528139 (hardcover)

"This helpful volume will benefit all who engage with Pynchon's work. Highly recommended."


"Highly recommended for college library literary studies collections."

Midwest Book Review

We are currently out of stock of the paperback edition of this title. The cloth edition will be substituted at the paperback price.

As teachers well know, the elements that make Thomas Pynchon exciting to read and study—the historical references, the multilayered prose, and the postmodern integration of high and low cultures and science and literature—often constitute hurdles to undergraduate and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.

Table of Contents 


Hanjo Berressem

David Cowart

Inger H. Dalsgaard

Amy J. Elias

Norbert Finzsch

Michael Harris

Luc Herman

Molly Hite

Zofia Kolbuszewska

Deborah L. Madsen

Robert L. McLaughlin

Alan Nadel

Stacey Olster

Alison T. J. Preston

Mark Rohland

Todd Rohman

Gary Thompson

Jerry Varsava

Robert N. Watson

Steven Weisenburger

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