Pynchon: The Technological Sublime

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The Technological Sublime Pynchon’s essay “Is It OK To Be A Luddite?” links to the Technological Sublime. We know the term Sublime primarily from the descriptions of nature used by Romantic authors such as Wordsworth and Coleridge as a reaction to the secularisation and civilisation of the Enlightenment. With the Sublime, Romantics tried to capture the fearful enormity of the landscapes they encountered during their tours through the Lake District and other places in Europe (de Mul). That is, the Sublime transcended the ordinary, the very understanding of nature. Some American examples are the Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon. However, it has been a while since the publications of the Romantics. Times have changed. We have now developed into an age in which it seems impossible to experience the Sublime as the Romantic poets did because we have different priorities nowadays: technology (Townsend 323). Since the Enlightenment and the Age of Reason, men have tried to…show more content…
in Tabbi, 15). He considers postmodernism as the explosion of capital into global markets beyond the nation’s control (Tabbi 15). In his 1984 review, Pynchon also talks about capitalism as an institution concerned with maintaining power. He seems to agree with Orwell about socialism but he later states that when the nation is in danger, it needs good leadership. This political view is then linked to the gloomy state of contemporary Socialism and its acceptance of a Stalinist Regime, which splits the mind into double thinking. That is, we cannot see what is real and imaginary because two contradictory truths are believed simultaneously. This is termed “cognitive dissonance” (2) by Pynchon in “The Road to 1984”. Still, Pynchon believed that Orwell had “an unhesitating faith that the world, at the end of the day, is good and that human decency, like parental love, can always be taken for granted”

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