Thomas Pynchon Inherent Vice


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While at Cornell, Pynchon started his friendships with Richard Fariña, Kirkpatrick Sale and David Shetzline; Pynchon would go on to dedicate Gravity's Rainbow to Fariña, as well as serve as his best man and as his pallbearer. Together the two briefly led what Pynchon has called a "micro-cult" around Oakley Hall's 1958 novel Warlock. Pynchon later reminisced about his college days in the introduction he wrote in 1983 for Fariña's novel Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me, first published in 1966. He reportedly attended lectures given by Vladimir Nabokov, who then taught literature at Cornell. Although Nabokov later said that he had no memory of Pynchon, Nabokov's wife Véra, who graded her husband's class papers, commented that she remembered his distinctive handwriting as a mixture of printed and cursive letters, "half printing, half script. " In 1958, Pynchon and Sale wrote part or all of a science-fiction musical, Minstrel Island, which portrayed a dystopian future in which IBM rules the world. Pynchon received his B. A. with distinction as a member of Phi Beta Kappa in June 1959.