Against the Day and September 11

This discussion contains spoilers. Events from all parts of Pynchon's novels may be discussed. There's a lot to be said, so get started! Feel free to edit judiciously

9/11 in Against the Day

On roughly pages 138-155 of Against the Day, the Lovecraftian narrative about a mysterious power dug up from the ice bears numerous parallels to the events of 9/11:

Page 145: "even reaching the depot would prove an Odyssey. For the streets were in mad disorder"

Page 148: "the bad dream I still try to wake from, the great city brought to sorrow and ruin"

Page 151: "they'd been warned, repeatedly, about just such a possiblity. The city more and more vertical, the population growing in density, all hostages to just sich an incursion."

Page 151: "a story taken so for granted that its coming true was the last thing anybody expected"

Against the Day & the Controlled Demolition Hypothesis

It has been suggested that the following excerpts might allude to the Controlled demolition hypothesis for the collapse of the WTC:

Page 85: "some of these explosions, the more deadly of them, in fact, were really set off to begin with not by Anarchists but by the owners themselves."

Page 175: "Only slowly would it occur to his ultra-keen detective's reasoning that these bombs could have been set by anybody, including those who would clearly benefit if "Anarchists", however loosely defined, could be blamed for it."

See also the comments on page 85 and page 175.

9/11 and Pynchon's other works

Gravity's Rainbow
The poem/song that appears on the final page of the book contains an image that takes on new meaning post-9/11:

There is a Hand to turn the time,
Though thy Glass today be run.
Till the Light that hath brought the Towers low
Find the last poor Pret'rite one...
Till the Riders sleep in ev'ry road,
All through our crippl'd Zone.
With a face on ev'ry mountainside,
And a Soul in ev'ry stone...

The Playboy Interview
A supposed "interview" was published in an issue of Playboy Japan, entitled "Most News is Propaganda. Bin Laden May Not Exist." It purported to be a talk with Pynchon on the events of 9/11 and Osama Bin Laden. Its authenticity has been disputed, and few facts exist to prove one way or another whether Pynchon actually said or wrote the opinions printed. Got info? Add it!

For more, see the full translated text: The Playboy Japan Pynchon Interview

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