Intratextuality, Trauma, and the Posthuman in Thomas Pynchon'sBleeding Edge

Francisco Collado-Rodríguez
2016 Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction  
This paper contends that in Bleeding Edge Pynchon uses again a female unconventional detective, as he did almost fifty years earlier in The Crying of Lot 49, with the aim of gathering sufficient information for the reader to ponder on the present condition of America. However, whereas Oedipa had to deal with a classic paradigmatic definition of American society in terms of science and religion, in the later novel Maxine is at pains to understand a society ruled by the new paradigms of
more » ... ty and trauma. By focusing on the binary life/death-a recurrent one in Pynchon's fiction-the paper evaluates Pynchon's portrayal of current society as posthuman and disrupted by a new type of social stagnation related to the control of information flow, a situation that demands the role of an active protagonist, in line with later theories in the field of trauma studies. The analysis of the intricate textual implications of Bleeding Edge point to information, terrorism, and web addiction as the new dangerous limits that the heroine in Bleeding Edge has to cope with if she wants to pull society back to motion.
doi:10.1080/00111619.2015.1121860 fatcat:gwngmokdtjaxxmtff4j2yxjiie