Ralph Clare, associate professor of English, published the essay “Pynchon on Film” in The New Pynchon Studies (Cambridge University Press). The essay looks at the American writer Thomas Pynchon’s lifelong engagement with film in his fiction, including P.T. Anderson’s film adaptation of Pynchon’s novel “Inherent Vice.”
The essay argues that, while Pynchon long ago saw the way in which our reality was radically altered by film and media, Pynchon’s digital age novels lament the “death” of celluloid film and are concerned with digitalization of life and history. Like Pynchon’s novels, which attempt to preserve marginal histories, Anderson’s film (which was not filmed digitally, as most films today are) attempts to preserve a certain idea of cinema and history.