What's that, you say? America's most reclusive author, Thomas Pynchon, appeared in the news Friday -- not once but twice? Why, yes, yes, he has, surfacing in two unconnected rumors. Conspiracy? Pynchonian? Maybe we should henceforth designate Jan. 4 as Thomas Pynchon Rumor Day.
Rumor 1: Pynchon has a new novel coming this fall titled "Bleeding Edge." The news was announced by the
Rumor 2: Pynchon "may be working" on the film adaptation of his novel "Inherent
Clearly, Pynchon did cooperate in one way -- he agreed to the novel being optioned. Anything beyond that is conjecture. Yet the Daily News ratchets up the rumor mill, writing, "It looks like Thomas Pynchon may be collaborating with Paul Thomas Anderson on the production of 'Inherent Vice,' " as if Pynchon at this very moment could be found at Jerry's Deli, talking casting choices with Anderson.
Anderson declined to speak on the record about any Pynchon involvement -- or any non-involvement. The New York Times piece is confusing: "Mr. Anderson, a fan of that author since his teenage years, declined to speak on the record about him and seemed loath even to utter his name. 'I would get dangerously close to betraying trust,' he said." Look closely, and that quote is pretty far removed from any context -- what was the question, exactly?
It's not as if Pynchon has shunned Hollywood entirely -- he did appear, as a cartoon character wearing a paper bag over its head, on "The Simpsons." More recently, he provided the voice-over for the trailer for the book version of "Inherent Vice," sounding a lot like its stoned detective Doc Sportello. The chances of him being actually involved in the production of a movie adaptation? Let's say less than 30%.
Any other Pynchon rumors out there? The day isn't over yet.