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Bleeding Edge (Anglais) Relié – 17 septembre 2013


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Extrait

It’s the first day of spring 2001, and Maxine Tarnow, though some still have her in their system as Loeffler, is walking her boys to school. Yes maybe they’re past the age where they need an escort, maybe Maxine doesn’t want to let go just yet, it’s only a couple blocks, it’s on her way to work, she enjoys it, so?

This morning, all up and down the streets, what looks like every Callery Pear tree on the Upper West Side has popped overnight into clusters of white pear blossoms. As Maxine watches, sunlight finds its way past rooflines and water tanks to the end of the block and into one particular tree, which all at once is filled with light.

“Mom?” Ziggy in the usual hurry. “Yo.”

“Guys, check it out, that tree?”

Otis takes a minute to look. “Awesome, Mom.”

“Doesn’t suck,” Zig agrees. The boys keep going, Maxine regards the tree half a minute more before catching up. At the corner, by reflex, she drifts into a pick so as to stay between them and any driver whose idea of sport is to come around the corner and run you over.

Sunlight reflected from east-facing apartment windows has begun to show up in blurry patterns on the fronts of buildings across the street. Two-part buses, new on the routes, creep the crosstown blocks like giant insects. Steel shutters are being rolled up, early trucks are double-parking, guys are out with hoses cleaning off their piece of sidewalk. Unsheltered people sleep in doorways, scavengers with huge plastic sacks full of empty beer and soda cans head for the markets to cash them in, work crews wait in front of buildings for the super to show up. Runners are bouncing up and down at the curb waiting for lights to change. Cops are in coffee shops dealing with bagel deficiencies. Kids, parents, and nannies wheeled and afoot are heading in all different directions for schools in the neighborhood. Half the kids seem to be on new Razor scooters, so to the list of things to keep alert for add ambush by rolling aluminum.

Revue de presse

"Thomas Pynchon, America's greatest novelist, has written the greatest novel about the most significant events in his country's 21st century history. It is unequivocally a masterpiece." (Stuart Kelly Scotsman)

"It's dense, complex and riotously, ridiculously funny." (Esquire)

"The looming shadow of 9/11 touches every page. Nonetheless, many of those pages are outrageously funny, others are sexy, touchingly domestic, satirical or deeply mysterious. All are brilliantly written in Pynchon's characteristically revved-up, even slightly over-revved style - a joy to read. Swarms with amazing characters. Full of verbal sass and pizzazz, as well as conspiracies within conspiracies, Bleeding Edge is totally gonzo, totally wonderful. It really is good to have Thomas Pynchon around, doing what he does best." (Michael Dirda Washington Post)

"Bleeding Edge, Pynchon's eighth novel, is the best and most surprising thing he's written since those great books. The jokes in this novel, incidentally, are superb, with the comic tone perhaps a career high point." (Tim Martin Telegraph)

"Part thriller, part detective story, it's a vibrant portrait of a city on the cusp of change." (Sonia Juttla Sunday Telegraph)

"[Pynchon's] eighth novel is something of a return to form, and could well be his best since his comeback. Offers a winning heroine, scintillating screwball dialogue and a typical host of weird, zany or depraved characters, this time corralled into a tighter-than-usual plot." (John Dugdale Sunday Times)

"Entropic in its plottery and joyously paranoid in its world view. My advice: read it, but don't try to follow it. It'll make you giddy." (John Sutherland The Times)

"There's plenty of space within the pattern for Pynchon's trademark digressions.songs, terrible puns.and some magnificent set pieces." (Thomas Jones Financial Times)

"Though Bleeding Edge doesn't stint on leftish theorizing about far-right misdeeds, it also gives the sense that for the first time Pynchon is looking at things from a very great height, as a battle between toy soldiers." (Leo Robson New Statesman)

"The new novel by the reclusive Pynchon is set in New York in 2001 and follows a fraud investigator who takes on more than she bargains for when she checks out a billionaire internet tycoon." (Mail on Sunday)

"[Pynchon's] working towards a sort of metaphysics of our accelerated, encrypted world; he's positing that once you reach a certain bandwidth, classical notions of space and time, and even maybe the unitary indivisible soul, break down." (Keith Miller Literary Review)

"Routinely extraordinary but also wonderfully funny, regularly gripping and, whisper it, engaging." (Hugh MacDonald Herald)

"Beneath the constant wordplay and manic invention there's serious intent; the intensity of Pynchon's prose can be a demanding slog but stay the course and you'll be rewarded for your efforts." (Ben Felsenburg Metro)

"Pynchon has a particular gift for apprehending a scene, for conveying the resonance of objects and understanding their role in our lives." (Jennifer Szalai Prospect)

"The narrative voice of Bleeding Edge is warmer: it's omniscient and at times essayistic but more often casual, chatty and in the present tense. Pynchon has an almost fatherly fondness for his characters. He takes an obvious pleasure in the game: in his gags and obscurities, in storytelling, and in chronicling the wasted days and nights of a scene that flickered for a few years and then burned out." (Christian Lorentzen London Review of Books)

"Bleeding Edge is an elegiac yet compulsively readable novel. The humour crackles, eliciting chuckles on almost every page. No one works magic with words like Pynchon, and here he is at the height of his powers, by turns gripping, thought-provoking, inventive, touching and poetic, not to mention warmly human." (Sean Carroll Nature)

"Pynchon makes interesting observations about life, there are lovely twists of lyricism throughout, the dialogue is punchy and believable, the jokes are funny." (Darragh McManus Irish Independent)

"Maxine is a fraud investigator and mother of two in pre-9/11 Manhattan, but a peek into the books of a tech billionaire uncovers - this is a Pynchon novel after all - a vast conspiracy." (Time)

"But the big surprise of Bleeding Edge is how tender it is. The novel makes an appeal for the survival of innocence in a hostile world. Pynchon wants to find a way out of paranoia and conspiracy, even as he forces the reader deeper into them. The novel really feels like the work of a writer coming to terms with the world. And while he may not like much of what he finds out there, he wants there to be a place for innocence somewhere. As everything falls apart, there's a real yearning in Bleeding Edge for at least some things to hang together." (David Barrett Standpoint)

"Enormous fun. Deserves a place alongside Pynchon's finest works." (James Kidd Independent on Sunday)

"Pynchon's latest novel is a historical romance set in during the internet's infancy in the spring of 2001." (Jo Ellison and Violet Henderson Vogue)

"Bleeding Edge is a romp. On full display are Pynchon's trademark linguistic and imaginative acrobatics. It may sound frivolous but an emotional maturity counterpoints the silly songs, deliberately bad puns, and pop-cultural references" (Irish Examiner)

"When he's in his hardboiled vein, [Pynchon] writes the most entertaining dialogue in any year." (Tom Stoppard Guardian)

"Pynchon's best novel since Mason & Dixon, an exhilarating shaggy-dog private-detective story that punctured its own garrulous charm with sharp stabs of betrayal and threat. Astonishing, too, that that a 76-year-old should produce a novel with such wild and slangy bounce." (Tim Martin Telegraph)

"Pynchon at his most hilarious, it gave way to more sombre realities involving a suspicious Silicon Alley tech company and its possible links to international terrorism and who knows what else." (Uncut)

"Suspenseful and darkly humorous." (Michael Dirda Times Literary Supplement)

"Intriguing, and probably the most straightforwardly readable of his books." (Gordon Brewer Herald)

"A thrilling ride through the first tech bubble, filled with "bleeding edge" technology... Accomplished, funny and digressive." (Financial Times)

"Pynchon's take on the attack on the Twin Towers. Will he reject the conspiracy theories of the "truthers" or spin some new conspiracies of his own? I think the answer is both. But I wouldn't swear to it." (Gordon Brewer Scotsman)

"· Pynchon delivered a piece of typically raggedy brilliance with Bleeding Edge." (Stuart Kelly Scotsman)

"Engrossing, hilarious and shocking." (Jonathan Jones Guardian)

"Pynchon's high-energy writing crackles with dark wit and foreboding" (Mail on Sunday)

"Playful and paranoid New York noir" (Adam Boulton New Statesman) --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.


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Amazon.com: 221 commentaires
34 internautes sur 36 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Hooray for Pynchon 20 octobre 2013
Par P. Mccaffrey - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I really enjoyed this book. I read it right after finishing Against The Day. I feel that there are very few authors today who write as well as Pynchon. He uses metaphor beautifully, which few writers today do. This book contains a few of his wonderful long wild Faulkner-Kerouac-Coltraneish sentences (check out pages 311-312 in the hardcover edition)and great place descriptions. I wonder if "DeepArcher" is not in part an allusion to Lew Archer, the (anti) hero of Ross MacDonald's wonderful series of detective novels. I think that maybe this book needs to be approached as you approach those novels- not all of the plot twists themselves are so important, rather they serve as a frame for mood, description, language and characterization. (Here I need to give a plug to "The Doomsters" and "Black Money", in my opinion MacDonald's greatest books and a must reads for anyone interested in American literature.)I disagree with those who say that Pynchon's writing has not evolved. His early work saw characters as confluences of historical forces which I feel made his work kind of "chilly", however beginning with "Vineland" he still places his characters in a historical context but there is more of a traditional sense of characterization, I think. Maxine is a fully drawn, living character. I feel that this lends more depth and warmth to his work. Finally, as one who was living in the New York City area on 9/11, I feel that I can say that Pynchon's description of that time is completely accurate and describes the tragedy of that time in a very real, non-sensationalized way.
11 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
rock 'n roll literature 20 octobre 2013
Par Heidireader - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
the writing swings, rollicks, rolls, is darkly humorous and lacks nothing of Pynchon's normal brilliance. The story takes us back to the post dot-com bubble and for the main portion exists in that pre-9/11 world that seems so distant now. Fresh and lively, a pleasure to sit down with
34 internautes sur 42 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
So Forth 24 octobre 2013
Par JB - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Oh, man, what a disappointment. Inherent Vice was accurately dismissed as 'Pynchon Lite'; Bleeding Edge can be disregarded as Virtual Pynchon: looks like the real thing but has no soul. All of his trademark elements - paranoia, wacky names, conspiracies and subconspiracies, acronyms, lefty politics, drug use - are present in spades. What's missing are compelling characters, a narrative, a purpose, something to say. What's worse, this is an incredibly unfunny book. Pynchon seems more interested in demonstrating how hip he still is (do we really want grandpa name-checking Bad Brains and the Bunnymen?) than developing a plot. Pynchon's heroes and villains are always cartoonish, but in this novel the schtick-factor is relentlessly tiresome. Nearly every sentence of dialogue is meant to be a punch line. The characters, regardless of sex or age, all sound alike, dropping unhilarious bugs bunnyisms in the exact same voice. Instead of getting on with the story, Pynchon simply adds new boring characters with each chapter, until the book is crammed with wise-crackin' geeks, freaks and sneaks, none of whom have anything to say. What comes through most strongly is Pynchon's glowering contempt - for modern NYC, the government, techno-society - basically everything. It's upsetting, and a bit insulting for his readers, for this author to waste his gifts on what is essentially a lengthy hate letter disguised as a 'comedic' detective story.

It is interesting how authors of Pynchon's vintage, say Roth, DeLillo, Barth, are unable to write from a woman's perspective. The book's protagonist, Maxine, is basically a middle-aged NY yenta version of Doc Sportello or Zoyd Wheeler. None of the characters are supposed to be realistic, but if I was a woman I might be pretty offended at how one-dimensionally Pynchon's female characters are presented. Actually, the whole cast of Bleeding Edge is lame and unlikeable, but it's especially noticeable with the women that populate the book.

Why do I rate Bleeding Edge two stars when it's such a dud? Because Pynchon can still write rings around anyone else when he feels like it. Note that many of the readers who rated the book 3 stars also called it 'disappointing', 'not so great' and 'a let down' or observed that it 'falls flat'. (In fact, nearly all of the 3 star reviews are more critical than this one.) Occasionally he'll serve up some terrific paragraphs that remind you of what he is or was capable of. It's not a bad book; it's a bad Pynchon book. You can't really compare him to anyone else. For those readers that are unfamiliar with this author's works, do yourself a favor and read everything he wrote through Mason & Dixon. (Maybe take on Against the Day, too, if you're in prison for a while.) Pynchon is a brilliant author and his previous work is among the best of the last 50 years. A bit challenging at times, sometimes very challenging, but usually worth it, until now. Bleeding Edge is simply an okay novel that Pynchon phoned-in, for lack of a better expression. I tried like hell to like this book but it just never delivered.
73 internautes sur 94 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Sorting Things Out 18 septembre 2013
Par Shubha Ghosh - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
[...]

Sorting Things Out (On Pynchon's Bleeding Edge)

September 14, 2013

It's here. Nine months after an Internet rumor that gestated into details ever more elusive and a glimpse of the first couple of paragraphs, Penguin Press has delivered Thomas Pynchon's Bleeding Edge, a historical romance about 9/11, the dot com bust, and New York City. Four hundred and seventy-seven pages spanning the period from March, 2001, to February, 2002, it's a Pynchon novel about a time and place most of his readers will have lived through. Yet, the events seem as far away as Malta in 1919 or Peenemunde in the 1940's. That's what Pynchon does best: show us how our memories are made to cast shadows on the fleeting and evanescent present.

And Bleeding Edge is almost certainly about the present, the here and now. Pynchon's use of the present tense throughout the novel, except for the frequent flashbacks, is reminiscent of the opening of Gravity's Rainbow--hallucinatory and ominous. The present tense turns some parts into one of those interactive text-based games from the late 1970's--unadorned and urgent. Other parts of the book read like a film treatment, a gentle nudge to some bold director. If Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice (2014) is half as popular as I expect, filmmakers take notice of Bleeding Edge. Let me suggest Mary Herron for the job. Maxine Tarnow (nee Loeffler and to be portrayed, IMHO, by Catherine Keener), Pynchon's fraud investigating heroine off the licensure grid, is as interesting as Betty Paige or Valerie Solanas and could take on Patrick Bateman, a prototypical yuppie similar to the ones encountered in Bleeding Edge, although with more homicidal tendencies.

But the present tense is not just a gimmick. Although set twelve years ago, the narrative is about the unfolding of 9/11, a portal into a new world as uncertain as the many links and urls that Maxine follows in her quest within the Deep Web. Pynchon describes the Web as the eternal present, time flattened, measured, if at all, by clicks. After 9/11, Heidi, Maxine's Rhoda, says that everyone has been infantilized, and Maxine feels the regressive force of that tragedy on a New York City street, where she feels in a time warp. Maxine finds comfort in recognizing her surroundings as what had to be "the present" and "the normal." The present of the Bleeding Edge may be shell shock or the desire to set to zero the delta-t's Pynchon wrote earnestly about once.

Quests for Pynchon have always been about sorting things out. Maxine searches for answers both before and after 9/11. The tease is whether the quest changes with the attacks. For those who poo-poo conspiracies and paranoia, the fall of the towers may have been a wake-up call. Or it may have been a random event not connected to broader plots or schemes. We are reminded early on about another 9/11, in Chile, 1973, when the CIA assassinated Allende. While the connectedness of all history into plot is presented in bold operatic style in Gravity's Rainbow, the tensions are given a more human scale in Bleeding Edge. How to make sense of things? Does the explanation for the Event explain everything? Or is it just one of the many mysteries, mundane and quotidian?

Maxwell's Demon is a metaphor that appears in The Crying of Lot 49 explicitly, but also pervades all of Pynchon's work. Imagine a box filled with particles of gas moving at different speeds. Partition the box and place a trap door on the partition. Maxwell's Demon stands guard at the door, letting particles of certain speed go through while slower particles stay behind. Eventually the particles are sorted out into high speed, high temperature ones and low speed, low temperature ones. The entropy in the box has decreased without any work on the part of the Demon except for the mental work of sorting. Magically, the Demon defies the Second Law of Thermodynamics by allowing less disorder with no expenditure of energy.

Sorting things out is what folks in Pynchon novels do whether it is Oedipa uncovering the layers of America long hidden, Mason & Dixon drawing their line, Prairie Wheeler figuring out the Sixties, the Webb Children negotiating different vectors of capitalism, Doc discovering where all the sex, drugs and rock& roll went. Bleeding Edge is no different. We follow Maxine, a forensic accountant, as she examines balance sheets, web sites, financial records, in order to detect fraud and thereby find the truth. Conspiracies permeate the novel both before and after the Event, and when it occurs, it is depicted quietly but powerfully. Bleeding edge technology is one that is so untried and untested that no one knows where it might take us. Characters in Pynchon's historic romance walk the bleeding edge to an uncertain and perhaps unreachable future. They are, like the readers who take them in and define them, caught in a present sorting out the enveloping experiences.

All of which might suggest that the book has no resolutions and leaves the reader hanging. That would be a mistake. At least this reader found the process of sorting things out envigorating and moving. As readers we are not trapped in an eternal present, and Maxine and her host of comrades are moving inexorably to where we are now.

The novel begins and ends with the maternal act of tending after children. But Maxine's maternalism shifts through the novel. The conclusion is not so much about children flying the nest as about parents' guarding at a distance. One thinks about the mantra "Keep cool, but care" from V. In Bleeding Edge, that shibboleth might be "Keep distant, but help," a lesson somewhat more affirmative, more active than the earlier renunciation. Towards the end of the novel, Maxine expresses her concerns about her sons to her father: "I don't want to see them turn into their classmates, cynical smart-mouthed little bastards--but what if Ziggy and Otis start caring too much, Pop, this world, it could destroy them so easily." And as she wondered, I thought back to an earlier scene in which Maxine watches the firefighters clean up the rubble at "Ground Zero" and wonder what drives them to work as selflessly as they do. Is it possible for someone to care too much?

The novel begins with a great joke at Pynchon's expense. He describes the philosophy of a fictional Otto Kugelblitz, an errant student of Freud. Kugelblitz posits four stages for human development: the solipsism of youth, the sexual hysteria of adolescence and young adulthood, the paranoia of middle life, and the dementia of late life. These four stages culminate in death, the only form of sanity. Is Pynchon mapping his own trajectory? The truth is Pynchon in his novels seems to go through all four stages at the same time: the solipsism of the narrative voice, the erotic fetishes and urges of his characters, the ever-present and overplayed paranoia, and the demented propensities for bad puns and critical jabs. Singling up the four stages is the search for meaning and the realization that the mental quest pales before actual human contact, emotion, and connection.

Gravity's Rainbow ended in fragments as the grand paranoid schemes gave way to counterforces. The five novels after Gravity's Rainbow present different responses to the ubiquitous and oppressive System: family in Vineland, work and engagement in Mason & Dixon, social participation in Against the Day, clarity of purpose in Inherent Vice, and now simple, pure love and caring in Bleeding Edge. We have the joy to see how Pynchon tries to sort things out through the various worlds that he lovingly and carefully projects for us. Polymath as Pynchon is called, there is no pretense to have all or any answers, but his imagination has shown us possibilities that transcend labels like post-modern, or realist, or minimalist, or even historical romance.

`Now, everybody--'
.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Conspiracy 19 novembre 2013
Par Stephen T. Hopkins - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Here’s my advice if you decide to read Thomas Pynchon’s novel, Bleeding Edge: sit back, relax, laugh, and let him take you to people and places for amusement and entertainment. Don’t bother trying to keep track or figure things out: this is a plot-free novel. It’s a romp through New York City with protagonist Maxine Tarnow whose investigation provides the action for the novel. Pynchon sets the novel at the end of the dot.com bubble, and while we know 9/11 is coming, he handles that with precision. Thoughts about conspiracies abound, and shady characters are found everywhere, even in virtual reality called “DeepArcher.” The writing soars on every page, and the realistic dialogue made me feel like I was in Manhattan. While I caught many of his references, I know I missed more than I caught. I could care less about what I might have missed because I laughed a lot, and enjoyed the time spent reading these 500 pages.

Rating: Five-star (I love it)
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