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May 01, 2008

Celebrate Pynchon's 71st birthday in Red Hook with Moxie, BBQ, and faxes to everyone's favorite literary recluse

Freebird Books invites you to their Thomas Pynchon Birthday BBQ and Fax-a-Thon, this Sunday in Red Hook:

3 pm, Sunday, May 4

(Freebird Books is located at 123 Columbia St. in Red Hook, Brooklyn.)

JUST ADDED!!! Thomas Pynchon birthday bash

Mark your calendars for the literary event of the season: Thomas Pynchon turns 71 and Freebird Books and greater Red Hook won't let him forget it.

Join us for a backyard barbeque and fax-a-thon celebrating America's greatest literary cipher. We'll dine on foodstuffs famously vomited by Gravity's Rainbow's Tyrone Slothrop: burgers, homefries, chef's salad with French dressing, Moxie, after-dinner mints, Clark bars, salted peanuts, and "the cherry from some Radcliffe girl's old-fashioned."

And yes, we'll be faxing birthday greetings to the great elusive one via the miracle of outmoded techology. One fax per customer, please. Please check your Kakutani hate mail at the door.

What? You want more?! OK, OK, we'll be screening a rarely-seen Italian documentary and giving away lots of foolish prizes.

I saw a flyer for this event on my way to the gym this morning. I decided right then to cover the event.


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I'm torn on this. In a way, it's an apt tribute. He's a pop guy, so must expect such action. On the other hand, he wants to hide away and long ago made a genius lifestyle prediction about how publicity would yank artists around.

His ventures into public proclamations have not been sterling. (Remember his endorsement of the interesting mediocrity rock band Lotion? Pumping Spike Jones and Roky Erickson are more justified, but quite unsurprising.) So my gut tells me to let him rest in prose.

I've never been able to get through "V" despite half a dozen attempts.

Sorry folks, I think Pynchon is the biggest wank in contemporary literary history. I even think he's a hoax in certain senses. I think he's laughing at all the people who take him seriously.

Forgive me. But I have to be honest. I even think that what he's doing is a literary hoax. If so - he's a genius at literary hoaxes, I'll give him that much.

I wonder if someone will bring the banana breakfast described in the beginning of Gravity's Rainbow.

I hope not. Although if he did, I would want LB to photograph it.

Oh, man, it was Pynchon's birthday? I should have gotten back to reading Against the Day.

Well, the way the POV jumps around every few pages to an anecdote about another person, it's actually a book that you can easily put down and come back to later.

I'm not sure what would be involved in taking Pynchon seriously, but I like his stuff. He'll be joking around in this absurd way, throwing sewer alligators and animate light bulbs and gratuitous musical numbers at the reader, and then occasionally he actually comes out with some prose that just knocks me over.

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