Huntington Wins Thomas Pynchon Archive
|First-edition cover of V., 1963|
The Huntington has acquired the archive of Thomas Pynchon, some 70 linear feet of material spanning the inventive novelist's career from the late 1950s to the 2020s. This constitutes one of the great prizes in contemporary literature, the more so for Pynchon's reluctance to do interviews. Photos of Pynchon are rare even on the Internet. Pynchon played himself twice on The Simpsons, but his animated character wore a bag over his head.
In recent years the Huntington has faced stiff competition from the Harry Ransom Center (Austin) as well as East Coast libraries for author's archives. The press release indicates that the Huntington reached out to Pynchon and family. Son Jackson Pynchon is quoted: "When The Huntington approached us, we were excited by their aerospace and mathematics archives, and particularly attracted to their extraordinary map collection. When we learned of the scale and rigor of their independent scholarly programs, which provide exceptional resources for academic research in the humanities, we were confident that the Pynchon archive had found its home."