Publication details

The Internet as Myth in Thomas Pynchon’s Bleeding Edge



Year of publication 2020
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Education

Description Thomas Pynchon’s Bleeding Edge (2013) is one of the few foundational texts of literary representations of the digital. This contribution aims to position Pynchon’s Bleeding Edge in relation to the other foundational texts of this genre, such as Hari Kunzru’s Transmissions (2004), Gary Shteyngart’s Super Sad True Love Story (2010), and Dave Egger’s The Circle (2013), which show how profoundly the Internet enables spreading of chaos and surveillance. Even though Bleeding Edge cursorily affirms such a line of argument, this contribution primarily examines a rare feature in the genre which is present in the novel: Pynchon’s vision in which a part of the Internet can make a profound and, at the same time, positive impact on the lives of the novel’s characters. By examining the Internet as myth, this contribution discusses Pynchon’s use of the Internet as a means to assuage human grief, find meaning, and transcend the self. Nonetheless, the contribution concludes by emphasizing that Pynchon’s novel uses the positive myth of the Internet-which-could-be to criticize the Internet-which-is along with its growing ability to negatively impact humanity.

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