WHERE THEY COULD BE SAFELY FORGOTTEN

The Golden Fang operative were cleverly disguised tonight as a wholesome blond California family in a ’53 Buick Estate Wagon, the last woodie that ever rolled out of Detroit, a nostalgic advertisement for the sort of suburban consensus that Crocker and his associates prayed for day and night to settle over the Southland, with all non-homeowning infidels sent off to some crowded exile far away, where they could be safely forgotten. The boy was six and already looked like a Marine. His sister, a couple years older, had a possible future in drug abuse but wasn’t saying much, content to sit staring at Doc while focused inside on thoughts of her own he was just as happy not to know about. Mom and Dad were all business.

– from Pynchon’s Inherent Vice

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2 thoughts on “WHERE THEY COULD BE SAFELY FORGOTTEN

  1. Jeff says:

    Must have been a hard excerpt to decide on. Pynchon can be a tough read. I do like the mix here of the protection afforded by the ’53 nostalgia, a land that never existed perhaps, and the dreaded possibility of a daughter’s future already potentially in ruins.

    • For sure, I appreciate your assessment of the protective nostalgia in tension with a potentially ruinous future. That’s an apt summation of the balance of past and future at that particular point in America that the story touches on. Although the book as a whole dealt plenty with memory – however hazily – this excerpt was noteworthy for tying together the role of illusion in American culture and the shady underbelly of the country that specific national brands of nostalgia try to counteract. This is only my second Pynchon book, and despite a loss of interest during the second fourth of the story, I very much enjoyed it.

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