Pynchon Wiki: V.

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Order V.

This is the Wiki for Thomas Pynchon's V.. Besides using the Alphabetical Index and the page-by-page annotation, you can also take a look at V. covers, read the reviews, or provide insights or observations.

How to Use this Wiki

Pagination: We are using the 492-page pagination of the original editions of V. and the 547-page later editions. There are other paginations out there (why do they do this???), but these are the two we've chosen. Page numbers referred to as xx/xx are indicating first the 492-page edition page number and, after the slash, the 547-page edition page number.

There are two major ways to use this wiki. The first is the V. Alphabetical Index, used to keep track of the myriad characters, real and imagined, as well as events, arcana, and lots of other stuff. The second is the Spoiler-Free Annotations by Page, which allows the reader to look up and contribute allusions and references while reading the book, in a convenient and spoiler-free manner. These two sections are so far almost entirely different, but we're working on integrating them.

Apart from those, it's up to you.

Alphabetical Index

Information on the characters, events, and everything else in V., organized alphabetically:

Page by Page Annotations

An alternate form of commentary on the text. The guiding principle of these annotations is to remain spoiler-free, so that readers can follow along without the fear that later parts of the book will be revealed.

Chapter 1
In which Benny Profane, a schlemihl and human yo-yo, gets to an apocheir
Chapter 2
The Whole Sick Crew
Chapter 3
In which Stencil, a quick-change artist, does eight impersonations
Chapter 4
In which Esther gets a nose job
Chapter 5
In which Stencil nearly goes West with an alligator
Chapter 6
In which Profane returns to street level
Chapter 7
She hangs on the western wall
Chapter 8
In which Rachel gets her yo-yo back, Roony sings a song, and Stencil calls on Bloody Chiclitz
Chapter 9
Mondaugen's story
Chapter 10
In which various sets of young people get together
Chapter 11
Confessions of Fausto Maijstral
Chapter 12
In which things are not so amusing
Chapter 13
In which the yo-yo string is revealed as a state of mind
Chapter 14
V. in love
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Epilogue, 1919

Pynchon Wiki Help and Contributor Guidelines

Click here for help with editing and creating pages.

We have a few conventions we ask that you follow:

  • To open a discussion on an individual listing of the Alpha Index or Page by Page Annotations, give it a name that identifies the alpha listing (eg [[Discussion Subject|'''DISCUSSION''']]) and notice that the visible name will be "DISCUSSION" in bold and full caps, so it stands out a bit.

External Links

The Modern Word: V.
The Fictional Woods - a Pynchon forum

Featured Article

This Malta Independent article, by Noel Grima, published on April 13, 2014, explores Pynchon's relationship with Malta, which began in the 1950s when, in the Navy, he was stationed there. It also talks about modern Malta. Read the Malta Independent article...

Pynchon's Malta — This is a wonderful article by David J. Alworth, published in Post45. Excerpt:

Here, site reading takes the form of an extended analysis of chapter 11 of Pynchon's novel, which, set in a ruined Malta, narrates the death of The Bad Priest, one of the many embodiments of V. in the story. A humanoid figure trapped at a bombsite, The Priest recalls the mannequins of "Operation Cue," while functioning most emphatically, I will argue, as a riposte to Norbert Wiener and the vision of the cybernetic being that he develops in The Human Use of Human Beings, a text Pynchon knew well.

A must-read for fans of V.. The article...

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This article from the June 25, 2008 New York Times Travel section has a video of Malta's history, photographs, and is a pretty good read (but check out the comments!):

Malta’s historical significance, however, outweighs its tiny weirdness. For 2,000 years, it was one of the most important strategic locations in the Mediterranean, a key to controlling naval traffic between the sea’s east and west. More recently, Malta has occupied a strategic spot in the American imagination, from The Maltese Falcon to Thomas Pynchon’s V. and Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, both of which had significant scenes set here. And Hollywood has gotten into Malta, too: Troy, Gladiator and even Popeye were shot here.

Read the New York Times article...

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Thanks, and enjoy...

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