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Slow Learner #2020

Slow Learner By Thomas Pynchon Slow Learner Long before Thomas Pynchon published his famous novel V and radically changed the shape of literature in our century he was writing stories inventive wonderfully imagined short fiction that startled
  • Title: Slow Learner
  • Author: Thomas Pynchon
  • ISBN: 9780553249620
  • Page: 106
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Slow Learner By Thomas Pynchon Long before Thomas Pynchon published his famous novel V and radically changed the shape of literature in our century, he was writing stories inventive, wonderfully imagined short fiction that startled and delighted readers fortunate enough to find them among the pages of Kenyon Review or The Noble Savage Now, for the first time, five of these stories have been collectedLong before Thomas Pynchon published his famous novel V and radically changed the shape of literature in our century, he was writing stories inventive, wonderfully imagined short fiction that startled and delighted readers fortunate enough to find them among the pages of Kenyon Review or The Noble Savage Now, for the first time, five of these stories have been collected in book form, as Slow Learner The Small Rain, Low Lands, Entropy, Under the Small Rain, and The Secret Integration, all written between 1958 and 1964, appear here together with Pynchon s own very candid and surprisingly personal introduction In it Pynchon reveals how he came to write each work and how he now views the young author he was then, making this volume than a collection of stories, but a rare and fascinating self portrait of an intensely private man.
    Slow Learner By Thomas Pynchon
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    About "Thomas Pynchon"

    1. Thomas Pynchon

      Thomas Ruggles Pynchon, Jr is an American writer based in New York City, noted for his dense and complex works of fiction Hailing from Long Island, Pynchon spent two years in the United States Navy and earned an English degree from Cornell University After publishing several short stories in the late 1950s and early 1960s, he began composing the novels for which he is best known today V 1963 , The Crying of Lot 49 1966 , Gravity s Rainbow 1973 , Vineland 1990 , Mason Dixon 1997 , and Against the Day 2006.Pynchon is regarded by many readers and critics as one of the finest contemporary authors He is a MacArthur Fellow and a recipient of the National Book Award, and is regularly cited as a contender for the Nobel Prize in Literature Both his fiction and non fiction writings encompass a vast array of subject matter, styles and themes, including but not limited to the fields of history, science and mathematics Pynchon is also known for his avoidance of personal publicity very few photographs of him have ever been published, and rumours about his location and identity have been circulated since the 1960s.

    965 Comments

    1. While not essential to the Pynchon canon, these stories provide insight into how Pynchon started created his stories and his universes We even get to see a few characters that appear in Gravity s Rainbow and Against the Day later on I would say this is for the Pynchon addicts like myself who are waiting impatiently for yet another Pynchon masterpiece.


    2. Video review youtube watch v gURP2Featured in my Top 20 Books I Read in 2016 youtube watch v 4X6OQWorth its price for the introduction alone, the five stories in Slow Learner show a writer trying his hand at different things Paradoxically enough, the least Pynchonian stories in the collection 1st and 5th are also the most effective if you ask me, but even in the less elegant middle stories one can find sparks of true genius Must read.


    3. Introduction, by Thomas Pynchon The Small Rain Low lands Entropy Under the Rose The Secret IntegrationPublisher Date of Publication


    4. My first reaction, rereading these stories, was oh my God, accompanied by physical symptoms we shouldn t dwell upon.This, from the opening paragraph of Thomas Pynchon s introduction to his earliest published stories, appears at first to be a self conscious oversell of false modesty Even after watching him pick apart the stories for the first 25 pages, one by one and with an assiduous efficiency, you still don t believe they are going to be bad But then you read the first story, and you start to [...]


    5. Delinquent JuveniliaIt s almost inevitable that any author will consider their juvenilia as inferior to their later or mature works especially if they made the transition from short stories to fully fledged and ambitious novels.Thomas Pynchon is no different in his perspective on the five short stories in this collection which were originally published between 1959 and 1964 Only the last story was published after one of his novels VFrom Under the Rose to V It s generally known that Pynchon was [...]


    6. Worth it for the introduction alone This was my 4th Pynchon, and probably a good time for it Would probably be a bit anticlimactic if I had saved this for last Highlights Entropy and Under the Rose Also, a Slothrop relative, wart Doctor makes an appearance Good enough writing, but experience enhanced if you re all in with Pynchon, natch.


    7. Any book that starts out in the preface saying that what you are about to read sucks and then makes a series of apologies about how bad it is and how much he learned and how smart he actually is and on and on with the pretentious I really am one of the greatest writers in the 20th century, you just won t be able to tell from the shit you are about to read litany That is just self indulgent and embarassing But, he was right, it all pretty much didn t do a lot except bore I bought an Elvis Costell [...]


    8. 31 Slow Learner Early Stories by Thomas Pynchon published 1984 stories originally published 1959, 1960, 1961 1964format 193 page paperbackacquired March 13 read May 30 Jun 4rating 4 starsA much nicer reading experience than I expected The self deprecating introduction really sets the tone, downplaying expectations and welcoming the reader to just relax a bit and enjoy the flawed stories These five stories include the first four stories Pynchon published They were apparently no minor item, as the [...]


    9. Borderline juvenilia Introduction by author dismisses the collection ab initio as illustrative of typical problems in entry level fiction 4 Explains that when we speak of seriousness in fiction ultimately we are talking about an attitude toward death 5 which I regard as probably philistine Nevertheless, author suggests one of the reasons that fantasy and science fiction appeal so much to younger readers is that, when the space and time have been altered to allow characters to travel easily anywh [...]


    10. The most interesting aspect of this volume of short stories is the introduction by its author Thomas Pynchon He s very funny and there is a certain amount of charm in how he looks at his work when he was young and before he became the icon that he is now The only book I have read all the way through is his last novel Inherent Vice which I loved, because it reminded me of my youth in Southern California and all the references both culturally and actual stores in actual locations are just perfect [...]


    11. Worth the read for Pynchon s introduction to the book and the story Entropy I think the best introduction to Pynchon is The Crying of Lot 49 followed by V I d say read this if you are a completionist As for a starting point, it could work, but I still think his novels outpace any of his stories.I read this because Gravity s Rainbow has claimed me as a victim five times now I ve yet to get past page 250 One day.



    12. Oh, Thomas Pynchon The only author who has fully convinced me of two polar opposite things at once 1 that I am terribly stupid and 2 that he is terribly stupid.I think the only reason you would want to read this compilation of short stories would be to study Pynchon s work further than you already have This is not a good introductory book to read to understand Pynchon s writing There are five stories in this novel, written from 1959 1964, from when he was in college at Cornell, to a couple of ye [...]


    13. I recently felt motivated to actually read this thing cover to cover It sort of confirmed my opinion that Pynchon s ideal format is the novel While they aren t poorly written, these stories will probably disappoint anyone who has read one of his epic novels Most of the endings seem abrupt, and Pynchon has always seemed like an elaborate architect when it comes to storytelling, so I often felt like the pace was too fast and the length insufficient His rather self deprecatory introduction on the [...]


    14. Insomma, io ce l ho messa tutta L ho letto fino alla fine, sperando sempre in un riscatto, che per niente, non c stato Non sono riuscita ad entrare in risonanza con la frequenza di Pynchon Non mi ha preso La lettura mi sfuggiva di mano Leggevo, ma i personaggi non mi trattenevano Mi giravano intorno e non si fermavano Sembra che P sia un grande della letteratura americana Ma io non l ho capito.E cos le stelline si sono spente un po alla voltaAl racconto Entropia , che ho letto per primo, ne avre [...]


    15. L apprendistato di un grande narratore del caosDopo la lettura di un opera come V la cui complessit e vastit sorprende e per certi versi sconcerta, leggere i cinque racconti contenuti in questo ottimo volume delle edizioni e o porta a conoscere un Pynchon sostanzialmente diverso, pi convenzionale se mi si passa il termine, da intendersi comunque compreso entro pi serie di virgolette I motivi di questa convenzionalit sono a mio avviso essenzialmente due Il primo che si tratta di racconti giovanil [...]


    16. This might change later, but right now, I m less interested in What Pynchon Has To Tell Me than I am in How Pynchon Became Pynchon I m sure I ll eventually get around to the Boners Bombs book, but I m burningly curious about how one wills oneself into the person that writes that sort of book The issue is all the curious when reading Slow Learner, a collection of five of Pynchon s earliest short stories, four of them written while still in college, and annotated in the present day 1984 by the au [...]


    17. I read Pynchon s intro weeks ago on a sample That s pretty much the best thing in this book still it s interesting to watch development in style and motifs through these stories, which were first published 1960 1964.The Small Rain A lot of this is a pretty conventional short story, not a bad one though, about an army battalion sent to clear up after a natural disaster Presumably a semi autobiographical element some of the main characters are rank file soldiers their comrades think are than smar [...]


    18. Review 7 of Year of the Review All Read Books The following is a recently recovered collection of notes and feedback given to Thomas Ruggles Pynchon from his writing workshop classmate redacted at Cornell University In the case of The Secret Integration the story was completed after his undergraduate years and the response is actually mailed 1962 1963 The Small RainI was liking the Hemingway tone of it until you ruined it with the self referential dig at him Also felt like the characters were i [...]


    19. Pynchon is a little too hard on himself in his estimation of these five stories, all but one published before his first novel We can forgive this, since he wrote the goddamn things, but we can just as easily argue with him since we re reading the goddamn things.I d read Lowlands before, in one of those baffling, half turgid little small press limited runs and quite liked it, but it s in Under the Rose and The Secret Integration where Pynchon begins to stake his claim in those weird nooks and cra [...]


    20. Thomas Pynchon s short story Entropy is what kick started my interest in modern well, post modern literature and it s a little odd to see it again, not quite as good as I remembered it though still good and ripped to shreds by the author in the preface.So what is there to say Some of these stories are just good, some are pretty darned good and some are outright wonderful It is a collection of short stories that I would recommend for those too tentative to dive right into V or are not quite sure [...]


    21. Of this book s five stories I give five stars to The Secret Integration one of the best stories I ever read the one picked by other readers the one I therefore started with Then read the introduction all of twenty four pages, a bit too long in which the writer himself elaborately puts down the other stories written twenty years previously when in college It is only fair to warn even the most kindly disposed of readers that there are some mighty tiresome passages here, juvenile and delinquent too [...]


    22. These stories are proof that Thomas Pynchon was once not the behemoth of a writer he is now Even though, The Secret Integration was oddly sweet which is a story about a few little kids in post segregationist America Also, the introduction was very funny I didn t care so much for the other stories They were still very Pynchonesque except not fully developed After these, Pynchon went on to write V Wow



    23. Lisa gave me this collection of short stories for my birthday a few years ago I feel badly that it took me so long to get around to reading it, but it just didn t look like it d be my sort of thing It kind of wasn t I ve never read any Pynchon before These were his early stories, all published in the late 1950s and early 1960s They felt thicker than the sorts of stories I usually read I did like the bit of a flair of fantasy that runs through a few of the otherwise perfectly ordinary stories the [...]


    24. Un lento aprendizaje recoge los primeros relatos de Thomas Pynchon, que escribi entre 1958 y 1964, y en ellos se aprecia esa esencia pynchoniana tan t pica Ya en la larga introducci n, Pynchon nos comenta los errores que contienen estos cuentos, t picos en un autor nobel, y de su man a a la hora de documentarse con la lectura de otros libros antes que con la experiencia En esta introducci n, Pynchon tambi n nos habla de las tramas y sus personajes, del humor inherente en ambos, del germen de sus [...]


    25. The introduction is definitely an important part of the Pynchon canon, and the stories themselves, though Pynchon discounts them as juvenilia, are pretty good in their own right The Small Rain is the weakest of the lot, and oddly the most fascinating part is the one Pynchon is most ashamed of the sex scene between Levine and the country girl may reek of the sort of flowery prose belonging to many an amateur author, but it hints at the greatest to come in V and GR Low lands is good as a first loo [...]


    26. I love Pynchon However, I think the greatest satisfaction I got from this story collection was two fold 1 the introduction, by the man himself In a way, he lost a little of the glamorous sheen of anonymity he heretofore possessed, but otherwise, it was kind of thrilling to catch a glimpse of the man behind the curtain It hasn t ruined the magic of any of his previous works, though being able to hold tenable the hypothesis that he is just as human as any other meatbag with a keyboard is exciting [...]


    27. So as not to reiterate what many reviewers said already, I will just give some very brief notes onSlow Learner.Most critical is that one read the introduction after it should absolutely be an afterword Beyond that, most of the stories feel like test runs with ideas and genres and characters that Pynchon later brought to captivating life later in his career My favorite, by a long shot, has to be The Secret Integration, in which we discover that Thomas Pynchon has feelings Other fun facts he hates [...]


    28. Pynchon s short stories are all good and a couple of them are great, but the introduction is the prime attraction here one of the few times the author has ever written critically about his own work In general, the stories improve over the years between the writing of The Small Rain and The Secret Integration, each better than the preceding one Under the Rose is like the distilled essence of the fin de siecle sections of V, as close to a pulp thriller as Pynchon would write until Against the Day [...]


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