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Reading: Beyond the Shallows: 24/7, Network Culture, and Vertical Time in Thomas Pynchon’s Bleeding Edge

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Beyond the Shallows: 24/7, Network Culture, and Vertical Time in Thomas Pynchon’s Bleeding Edge

Author:

Arkadiusz Misztal

University of Gdańsk, PL
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Abstract

The paper addresses the topic of time experience and temporal representation by studying the complex relations between the digital and the temporal in Pynchon’s 2013 novel. It argues that Pynchon, in examining the contemporary coupling of power and technology, is not only concerned with the threats and dangers of the information revolution, but that he also explores the subversive and liberating potentials of new digital technologies, which, among other things, can counterbalance the expansion of the Internet’s “shallows” and the global 24/7 paradigm. In its portrayal of our transition from an analogue past to the digital future, Bleeding Edge explores the various forms of the present as an alternative to detemporalized instantism. By approaching “the moment and its possibilities”, Pynchon’s narrative projects a specific form of temporality—“vertical time” that transforms a single now into a long and meaningful duration, and thus resists what Mitchum Huehls calls “the great digital flattening” of our  temporal sensibilities at the turn of the 21st century.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.35360/njes.513
How to Cite: Misztal, A., 2019. Beyond the Shallows: 24/7, Network Culture, and Vertical Time in Thomas Pynchon’s Bleeding Edge. Nordic Journal of English Studies, 18(2), pp.62–85. DOI: http://doi.org/10.35360/njes.513
Published on 27 Nov 2019.
Peer Reviewed

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