As compared to the other wikis, V suffers from the inclusion of unnecessary, easily-available definitions. Clarifying obscure terminology & providing context is an important mission of the Pynchonwiki's; cataloguing definitions for anyone too lazy to look up the word "pig" is not. Is this someone's idea of a joke?
As the initiator of this wiki, I totally agree with you. To get this wiki started I just ported over the alphabetical content from the ThomasPynchon.com website, for which I am responsible. However, everyone is responsible for this wiki, so if you want to pull some of the more obvious definitions, I have no problem with that!
WikiAdmin 21:42, 5 September 2007 (PDT)
As the one who initially posted a definition of 'pig', I want to say that some words/definitions which seem 'obvious' reveal the kind of subtleties
we associate with Pynchon, with many a great writer, when we explore the full range of meanings---a Pynchonian theme, we know. (I eliminated part
of the obvious definition of pig and left certain overtones that might matter for Pynchon in V.) Look at a full annotated edition of Shakespeare or Austen to see how posting 'simple' definitions can illumine a great writer.
What Shakespeare does with the simple words of the Sonnets is astonishing when simple definitions are looked up.
This wiki should match those writers' annotated editions and illumine Pynchon as deeply and for as long. I ask you if you do not see Pig Bodine just a bit differently than you did, than most seem to see him once you have taken into your understanding some of the other meanings of 'pig' found in standard dictionaries. Pynchon is subtler, deeper than all of us and what we can do is try to flesh out all the possible meanings we can, imho.
A-and, what is obvious to some of us who are older, who may have read and reread V. and many other of Pynchon's works, is not so to many new young minds. V. is (almost) as far back in time now [1963; set 1955] as
World War 1(!) was when it was published. There are a lot of young minds for whom many 'obvious' meanings have still to be learned. And many nuances
and sources---Benny's very name, for example; Christmas Eve 1955 and the first Santa tracking "across the sky", of course. ---that have not been deeply known before.
MKOHUT 17:22, 11 September 2007 (PDT) A-and, just to make it even more personal, I never finished V. back when I was much younger because I felt there was too much I wasn't getting, wasn't seeing and feeling and was too lazy and/or busy to look up. I am adding my contributions for that bi-located, time-travelling young person I once was.
MKOHUT 17:22, 11 September 2007 (PDT)
I wish more people would add anything, simple to not-so.
- True, but we've just started. My argument is not that 'obvious' definitions are not important, but that they are easily available on any number of online sources. Instead of cut/pasting the definition of pig, why not link to a discussion page on the history & interpretations of Pynchon's use of pigs & pig themes? Doesn't clutter the page by page annotations & could provide some connections w/ (all?) other Pynchon works.
I will attempt to get off my arse & write it myself.
-Yes, we have just started. I wish I were younger.
A close reading of Pynchon can make one feel the uselessness of certain either/or distinctions, imho. To me, anyone can look up much other stuff about Pynchon---(Pynchon + pigs) in Google goes right to the Hyperarts piece on the occurrences of 'pig' in Gravity's Rainbow, ending with a mention of Pig Bodine from V. Anyone can post a link to it on this wiki; Mr. Ware might if he sees fit and has time; I will in time if no one else does.
But almost no one, I think, stops to look up some resonances to the word "pig". Pynchon 'likes' pigs goes the easy line. Yea, I say, like he likes sex---with a lot more "range", positive and negative, to both than is often too easily said. That is what a full annotation brings to a writer of genius, I think.
I guarantee you that there is ALREADY relevant stuff on this V. wiki that is not on any other site, in any articles or books. And much of what is 'out there' is, maybe, wrong, or certainly not true enough (if that makes sense).
Example: I am just rereading On the Road, a book Pynchon praises overtly in Slow Learner. What I had no memory of was this: before the duo start the famous road trip west we all remember from the book, THEY HAVE A FALSE START, they go North of NY City, come back, go back....they travel as seemingly aimlessly as Benny and Pig; they kind of yo-yo!. I will post that ob when I can (and when I find out where is best). Seems quite possible to me that Pynchon picked up on that and spun the inspiration into the start of V....a book NOT about an exuberant trip west.
USER: MKohut, September 15, 2007, 7:01 AM EST. (tildes not working!?!)
Now that I know I have at least one close reader of my close reading besides Tim Ware, I'll try to find the time to continue posting myself. "now there's two of us, you know", wrote Emily Dickinson.-- MKohut