Resisting Nationalism

Understanding Thomas Pynchon’s Postnational Vision From Mason & Dixon To Against The Day

  • Ali Dehdarirad Sapienza University of Rome


The creation of so-called alternative worlds in his fiction has been seminal in establishing Thomas Pynchon as a postmodern writer. From the mysterious worlds of lady V. and the Tristero postal system in his early novels to the fictive worlds of a sailing airship beneath desert sand and the Deep Web and the software DeepArcher in his later fiction, these alternative realities have been investigated by distinguished critics from different points of view. Regarding the possibility of a post-national imagination in Pynchon’s fiction, in relation to his alternative worlds, several acclaimed scholars have prominently addressed this issue. Nevertheless, the narrative of Against the Day still needs to be meticulously analysed. This essay aims to investigate how Pynchon’s post-national vision calls into question and resists the overreaching metanarrative of nationalism in the world. By analysing the alternative realities, in connection with the issue of temporality, this essay attempts to depict the instantiation and development of a post-national vision from Mason & Dixon to Against the Day which questions the long-established dominance of nationalism in the world