Tuesday, July 27, 2010

inherited vice?

I'm reading Inherent Vice and seeing a lot of connections to The Crying of Lot 49, but I hope this doesn't mean I'm paranoid. Well, perhaps I do have such tendencies, but I'd like to believe I don't need TP to tell me this (the other TP). The novel definitely leaves me longing for Southern California in all of its imagined states. To the best of my knowledge, it's the first time Pynchon has revisited the same time and place for a second novel (although, if I remember correctly, there is some WWII overlap between V and Gravity's Rainbow).

I remember that when I was twelve and my father moved to Marina Del Rey (from Philadelphia), a few of my favorite parts of a visit to Dad's became 1) playing basketball on the Venice Beach courts (early, before the local "stars" arrived and took over) and 2) cheeseburgers from a great chiliburger joint by the beach where Marina Del Rey meets Venice and 3) fishing off the Santa Monica pier, one of the few times in my life I ever caught more than a pregnant crab while fishing. But this was 1980s L.A., nothing at all like Pynchon's glorious 1960s version. My Dad may have been expecting the roach-clip culture Pynchon describes so well, but what he found was a cool club called AA, and the rest, as they say, is sobriety.

One oddity about Marina Del Rey in the 1980s is that it was affordable; my father started out with a two bedroom apartment for $850 a month and his last unit rented there was a $1000 per month efficiency. The writing was on the wall for him and by 1991 he was back in Philly before escaping to an affordable beach town in Northern Florida. Funny thing is, I visited that town, Ponte Vedre, two years ago and saw that it too now looked shiny, new, and pricey.

So be it.

No comments: