Against the Day: A Novel by Thomas Pynchon
Reviewed by James Wood
The New Republic Online
"Broadly speaking, there are two great currents in the novel: one flows from Richardson and the other from Fielding. Richardson's minute epistolary method slows the novelistic examination of motive and desire to an agonizing lento, in which the individual perspective is everything. Plot expands and expires in Clarissa: there is a central, driving question ? will Clarissa succumb? ? and hardly a subplot of note in 1,300 pages. The labyrinthine belongs not to plot, but goes inward, into the human soul, and is inscribed in the advances and retreats, the feints and parries, the accommodations and resolutions, of the two central characters, Lovelace and Clarissa Harlowe...." Read the entire New Republic Online review.