chapter  7
8 Pages

FROM KAFKA’S ‘METAMORPHOSIS’ TO PYNCHON’S ‘ENTROPY’

Every word that evokes the idea of the other side, of metamorphosis…is to be welcomed here as being exactly appropriate.

Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus

CONTRASTED with the ‘faery’ literature of J.R.R.Tolkien, C.S.Lewis and T.H.White, is a line of twentieth-century works continuing a fantastic tradition as it had developed from Gothic through Dickens, Poe, Dostoevsky, Stevenson, etc. Dostoevsky’s apprehension of another ‘language’, a ‘latent, as yet unspoken future Word’, finds a strange realization in the fantastic as a language in Kafka, Cortázar, Gracq, Peake and Pynchon. As Sartre identifies it, this language of difference is not new, but is a long familiar discourse. It has now ‘become what it always had been’: a discourse telling of absolute otherness.