«Shall I project a world?». Thomas Pynchon e la poetica della paranoia PDF Print Email

Carlo Avolio


The paper begins by analyzing the category of paranoia, evaluating it not simply from a pathological point of view (a Freudian one) and relating it instead to the one Patrick O'Donnell has called cultural paranoia: an interpretative category useful to highlight some common peculiarities of art expressions of the contemporary age. Specifically, the analysis of the emergence of a paranoid cognition in Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 offers a passkey to the question about the definition of its author's poetics: paranoia, in fact, seems to work both like a theoretical device that undermines the process of knowledge formation in general, and like a reference to fiction formation itself. Pynchon's poetics, therefore, shows itself as openness to the possibility of a permanently opposed narration, compared to the one conveyed by the dominant power structures.

Carlo Avolio (Napoli, 1985) graduated in Philosophy from the University of Naples (Federico II) and Florence, where he developed research interests in aesthetics, hermeneutics, and literary theory. His attention was drawn to the analysis of epiphany in James Joyce's fiction (La terza qualità della bellezza. L'epifania in Joyce, Albatros, Roma 2010), to the phenomenon of cultural paranoia and to Thomas Pynchon's poetics.


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