I wager a key to Thomas Pynchon’s "Against the Day"

I’m willing to bet that Against the Day, by Thomas Pynchon, is a multi-faceted card game, in which a deck of cards is taken out for play, by people in different places and times, playing different games (each with its own rules). And that our main characters only come into the light when they are played. Two layers of agency are involved, the characters, who try to get find each other, and who think they have the freedom of will to do so. And the players, who try to play winning hands by getting rid of their cards, and who have various strategies of cheating at the game. Consequently we have a proliferation of fourth dimensional patterns or logics (four of a kind, suits, face cards); we have a deuce who is high or low; we have those trying to separate colors; those trying to get a run (numerical sequence), and so on. Our little characters are thrown in to Being, but as beings, are always becoming other by virtue of the different rules among games in which they are played (and which include Tarot and magic, hence invisibility). It is possible that the cards experience their lives as an eternal return. It is possible Pynchon offers this hope to us. Aces high folks, but correct me if I’m wrong!

The Pynchon blog is picking up speed, as we all discover tha this is no ordinary book at all. I’ve created a number of thematic series pages, and a section for page by page references, as well as a section of secrets. Join us at:

Emanating Against the Day blog

Leave a Reply