Thursday, July 20, 2006

much ado about untitled

Slate examines the mystery around Thomas Pynchon's Amazon page.

Was this a hoax? A jump-the-gun glitch? A hype? In any event, one Amazon customer must have gone through his Web browser's cache and reposted the thing on the customer discussion board, touching off an instant classic of that kind of chatter where M.F.A. meets LSD. The following comments are fairly typical: "I am saying that the blurb is Pynchon parroting Pynchon … viral-marketing or, more hopefully, a Swiftian self-parody and critique of Internet subcultures (a sort of new, updated Tale of a Tub.)" Whee!

Also at Slate: A survey of bloggerdom, a review of Joseph Epstein's exposé of friendship, and a look at how need to vanquished have to, must, and should.