Friday, March 2, 2012

5 Mega Po-Mo's

The Recognitions 
Delectable.  Delicious!  The best I've ever had.  It had everything in it.  Everything.  Some stuff I couldn’t even identify, but hell, even that tasted good.  I believe it took me four months to finish, as some days I had to settle for just a few bites while I chewed and chewed and chewed.  But it was well worth it.  And that last morsel?  Divine.  Divine!

The Sot-Weed Factor      
I've got this one waiting for me.  I just need to finish a couple of appetizers first:  The Floating Opera and The End of the Road, which I’m working on right now.  Oh, they are whetting my appetite, that’s for sure.  I just hope I can survive it, because from what I’ve heard it’s pretty damn funny.  And you know it can be dangerous having a laughing fit with your mouth full.  Anybody know the Heimlich maneuver?

Gravity’s Rainbow           
I devoured this one years ago, yet there are parts I can still taste.  A dense, difficult masterpiece.  A fair amount of gristle, to be sure, but I just kept chewing and swallowing, and eventually got it down.  Recommended side:  banana pancakes.

The Tunnel                          
Watch out for this one, as it could give you gass.  It’s an acquired taste, I would have to say; definitely not for everyone.  How do you finish this monster?  One bite at a time.  Chew slowly...slowly...savoring each bilious bite, until it’s absorbed into your guts and brain.

Infinite Jest                        
I have yet to try this one, but I’ve been gazing at it on the menu for quite some time now.  For quite some time.  And it’s going down the gullet later this year, make no mistake.

Well, those are just a few examples of mega po-mo's.  There's a whole smörgåsbord of others, I know.  Care to share a few you've enjoyed? Or some you've been salivating about?


  1. That's a nice quintuple megapomohoagie you got going there, Bubba!

    5 huh?

    Well, Jesus, are we twins? I can only add two that you've not listed.

    The Royal Family by Vollmann &
    Women and Men by McElroy (mentioning him a lot lately!)

    Now, can you guess the two of yours I wouldn't put on mine? If this were a ten-decker sandwich they'd easily make the cut.

  2. You got me thinking. One of them is probably GR? I don't know about the other. Maybe Sot-Weed? Does it not make the cut for Po-Mo status?

  3. No, they're both great. I'd just scoot them out of my top 5 in favor of others. Sot-Weed is total pomo.

  4. Read all but The Tunnel. Maybe next year. Hard to leave JR out of the Gaddis factors in this equation.
    I've always felt Tristram Shandy was po mo a few centuries too early. (pre mo? definitely primo)

  5. I completely concur with Séamus about Tristam Shandy being pomo, er, premo -- Ha!

    You know, it would be interesting to compile the pre-20th century novels that would fit w/in the parameters of postmodernism. I think Gargantua & Pantagruel is another one. Nothing beyond those two comes automatically to mind, though. Curious to hear if you guys know of others.

  6. I'm so looking forward to when I can get to JR. But I hear it's even more demanding than The Recognitions. And what with devoting myself to all of DFW's works this year,....arrrggghhhh!! Okay, I feel better now.

    I've been leafing through Tristram Shandy lately, and yeah, it was way ahead of its time. Timeless and hilarious.

    I've got some fond memories of Gargantua and Pantagruel. It was one of the first books I remember reading. Needless to say, the subject matter left an imprint on me (could explain a lot.) It was a really old edition that belonged to my mom. I can't recall which, but it had some really cool illustrations. I don't know how much I actually read, but it's always been my intention to go through it again. Unfortunately, I no longer have my mom's copy.