Thomas Pynchon and Video Games!

by Darius Kazemi on November 27, 2006

in Uncategorized

I’m a really big fan of Thomas Pynchon‘s writing. He just released a novel last week called Against the Day. It’s kind of a big deal, because it’s the first novel he’s released in almost a decade and it’s only the sixth novel he’s ever released in a career that spans almost 50 years.

Now, this ain’t no highfalutin’ literary blog, but I was reading the new book and was tickled to see Pynchon give a shout-out to one of the most beloved video games of all time.

The novel takes place around 1900, so understand that this is all pretty anachronistic. On page 123, we see a Russian airship called “The Great Game.” Its captain is one Igor Padzhitnoff. Sound familiar? The book goes on to describe that

Padzhitnoff’s own specialty [is] to arrange for bricks and masonry, always in the four-block fragments which had become his “signature,” to fall on and damage targets designated by his superiors.

Okay, now it had better sound familar. Yes, it’s only a minor thing, but it’s a rare moment when I get to draw on my knowledge of video games to inform the lit geek in me!


Anonymous November 27, 2006 at 3:40 am

Damn, here I thought ATD was due out in mid-december. Why doesn’t Amazon tell me these things? Bye bye FFXII, hello Pynchon. Thanks Darius,

-Lucas Ackerman

Anonymous November 28, 2006 at 4:05 pm

That’s hilarious

Phil December 7, 2006 at 11:50 am

I feel absolutely ashamed to admit I didn’t pick up on that. Which is a shame, because I remember that passage specifically and I even generated a mental image of the blocks in my head. (They even looked like that awkward stairstep kind of block from Tetris.)

But my mind did not make the connection. I did find the Simpsons reference, though. So I’m not a total boob.

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