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Pynchon's New Worlds

International Pynchon Week 2017

La Rochelle, June 5-9, 2017


Thomas Pynchon and the Meyerhof Salon: Pynchon’s Habitus, the US Literary Field and His Authorial Practice
Matthew Cissell

Scheduled in the Auditorium - Médiathèque: Thursday 8 June, from 16:15 to 16:45

In 2013 a blog called the Laws of Silence began researching some photographs from Cornell in the late fifties that might be related to Thomas Pynchon. In the process the gentlemen involved managed to receive contact from Robert “Tod” Perry, a former acquaintance of Pynchon’s at Cornell. Those who have read the interview with Mr. Perry may well remember his comments upon the disturbances at Cornell in 1958, but they might have missed what seemed an offhand remark about one of the places that Pynchon and his friends frequented in New York after graduating. Following on that comment I came into contact with Tod Perry and through him into contact with Nina Meyerhof, the daughter of a couple who frequently hosted the Whole Sick Crew and had a sort of Salon. In my presentation I will show how this hitherto unknown information casts new light on the developing habitus of the young author and how that in interaction with the changing contours of the US literary field yielded Pynchon’s own particular practical response to the positions available to him.