"Quaternionist talk": Luddite yearning and the colonization of time in Thomas Pynchon's against the day
Faculty of Arts. Linguistics and Literature
English studies : a journal of English language and literature. - Amsterdam
, p. 531-547
University of Antwerp
This essay focuses on the many different perspectives on past, present and future inAgainst the Dayto illustrate Thomas Pynchon's defence of Luddite fiction. By juxtaposing the anarchist conflicts of the early 1900s with the radically new scientific insights of the period, the novel exemplifies how the historical convergence of knowledge, capital and power in advanced industrial society has reshaped space-time into its own singular reality. The alternative views on time held by the anarchists, shamans and Quaternioneers inAgainst the Dayillustrate how the metaphysical or irrational might serve as counterweight to the rationalized worldview of rampant capitalism. It consequently appears that Pynchon's fictional re-imagination of time and space questions our all-enveloping and self-sustaining culture by problematizing the notion of historical knowledge.