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      Music in Thomas Pynchon’s Mason & Dixon

      Orbit: Writing Around Pynchon

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          Abstract

          Through Pynchon-written songs, integration of Italian opera, instances of harmonic performance, dialogue with Plato’s Republic and Benjamin Franklin’s glass armonica performance, Mason & Dixon extends, elaborates, and investigates Pynchon’s own standard musical practices. Pynchon’s investigation of the domestic, political, and theoretical dimensions of musical harmony in colonial America provides the focus for the novel’s historical, political, and aesthetic critique. Extending Pynchon’s career-long engagement with musical forms and cultures to unique levels of philosophical abstraction, in Mason & Dixon’s consideration of the “inherent Vice” of harmony, Pynchon ultimately criticizes the tendency in his own fiction for characters and narrators to conceive of music in terms that rely on the tenuous and affective communal potentials of harmony.

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          The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness

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            The Black Atlantic. Modernity and Double Consciousness

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              Against the Day

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Orbit: Writing Around Pynchon
                Orbit: Writing Around Pynchon
                2044-4095
                2014
                : 2
                : 2
                Affiliations
                Independent Researcher
                Article
                10.7766/orbit.v2.2.75
                Copyright © 2014, John Joseph Hess

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The citation of this article must include: the name(s) of the authors, the name of the journal, the full URL of the article (in a hyperlinked format if distributed online) and the DOI number of the article.

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                Self URI (journal-page): https://www.pynchon.net/

                Literary studies, History

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