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100 Notable Quotes By Thomas Pynchon Impassioned Readers

Famous As: Writer, Novelist, Essayist, Science fiction writer
Born On: May 8, 1937
Born In: Glen Cove
Age: 85 Years

Thomas Ruggles Pynchon Jr. is an American novelist. A recipient of MacArthur fellowship, he is renowned for his complex and dense form of fiction and non-fiction writings. His writings circumscribe a vast array of themes, genres and subjects, including, music, mathematics, history, and science. In 1973, he bagged in the ‘U.S National Book Award for Fiction,’ for ‘Gravity’s Rainbow.’ Some of his illustrious novels include ‘Inherent Vice,’ ‘V.,’ ‘Bleeding Edge,’ and ‘The Crying of Lot 49.’ Following is a collection of quotes Thomas Pynchon, which have been extracted from his novels, interviews, writings, books, articles, etc. Read through the compilation Thomas Pynchon quotes on poetry, literature, time, life, journalists, influence, men, peace, character, humanity, and more.

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Every weirdo in the world is on my wavelength.

Every weirdo in the world is on my wavelength.

Thomas Pynchon
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.

If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.

Thomas Pynchon
Life's single lesson: that there is more accident to it than a man can ever admit to in a lifetime and stay sane.

Life's single lesson: that there is more accident to it than a man can ever admit to in a lifetime and stay sane.

Thomas Pynchon
They're in love. Fuck the war.

They're in love. Fuck the war.

Thomas Pynchon
Why should things be easy to understand?

Why should things be easy to understand?

Thomas Pynchon
Keep cool but care

Keep cool but care

Thomas Pynchon
Paranoids are not paranoid because they're paranoid, but because they keep putting themselves, fucking idiots, deliberately into paranoid situations.

Paranoids are not paranoid because they're paranoid, but because they keep putting themselves, fucking idiots, deliberately into paranoid situations.

Thomas Pynchon
The general public has long been divided into two parts; those who think that science can do anything and those who are afraid it will.

The general public has long been divided into two parts; those who think that science can do anything and those who are afraid it will.

Thomas Pynchon
A screaming comes across the sky.

A screaming comes across the sky.

Thomas Pynchon
Shall I project a world?

Shall I project a world?

Thomas Pynchon
All the animals, the plants, the minerals, even other kinds of men, are being broken and reassembled every day, to preserve an elite few, who are the loudest to theorize on freedom, but the least free of all.

All the animals, the plants, the minerals, even other kinds of men, are being broken and reassembled every day, to preserve an elite few, who are the loudest to theorize on freedom, but the least free of all.

Thomas Pynchon
Through the machineries of greed, pettiness, and the abuse of power, love occurs.

Through the machineries of greed, pettiness, and the abuse of power, love occurs.

Thomas Pynchon
It all comes down, as it must, to the desires of individual men. Oh, and women too of course, bless their empty little heads.

It all comes down, as it must, to the desires of individual men. Oh, and women too of course, bless their empty little heads.

Thomas Pynchon
There is nothing so loathsome as a sentimental surrealist.

There is nothing so loathsome as a sentimental surrealist.

Thomas Pynchon
You may never get to touch the Master, but you can tickle his creatures.

You may never get to touch the Master, but you can tickle his creatures.

Thomas Pynchon
What, I should only trust good people? Man, good people get bought and sold every day. Might as well trust somebody evil once in a while, it makes no more or less sense.

What, I should only trust good people? Man, good people get bought and sold every day. Might as well trust somebody evil once in a while, it makes no more or less sense.

Thomas Pynchon
If there is something comforting - religious, if you want - about paranoia, there is still also anti-paranoia, where nothing is connected to anything, a condition not many of us can bear for long.

If there is something comforting - religious, if you want - about paranoia, there is still also anti-paranoia, where nothing is connected to anything, a condition not many of us can bear for long.

Thomas Pynchon
Someday she might replace whatever of her had gone away by some prosthetic device, a dress of a certain color, a phrase in a letter, another lover.

Someday she might replace whatever of her had gone away by some prosthetic device, a dress of a certain color, a phrase in a letter, another lover.

Thomas Pynchon
Though it is not often that death is so clearly told to fuck off.

Though it is not often that death is so clearly told to fuck off.

Thomas Pynchon
Love with your mouth shut, help without breaking your ass or publicizing it: keep cool, but care.

Love with your mouth shut, help without breaking your ass or publicizing it: keep cool, but care.

Thomas Pynchon
Danger's over, Banana Breakfast is saved.

Danger's over, Banana Breakfast is saved.

Thomas Pynchon
But with a sigh he had released her hand, while she was so lost in the fantasy that she hadn't felt it go away, as if he'd known the best moment to let go.

But with a sigh he had released her hand, while she was so lost in the fantasy that she hadn't felt it go away, as if he'd known the best moment to let go.

Thomas Pynchon
Despair came over her, as it will when nobody around has any sexual relevance to you.

Despair came over her, as it will when nobody around has any sexual relevance to you.

Thomas Pynchon
He decided that we suffer from great temporal homesickness for the decade we were born in.

He decided that we suffer from great temporal homesickness for the decade we were born in.

Thomas Pynchon
To have humanism we must first be convinced of our humanity. As we move further into decadence this becomes more difficult.

To have humanism we must first be convinced of our humanity. As we move further into decadence this becomes more difficult.

Thomas Pynchon
Let the peace of this day be here tomorrow when I wake up.

Let the peace of this day be here tomorrow when I wake up.

Thomas Pynchon
It is simply wrong to begin with a theme, symbol or other abstract unifying agent, and then try to force characters and events to conform to it.

It is simply wrong to begin with a theme, symbol or other abstract unifying agent, and then try to force characters and events to conform to it.

Thomas Pynchon
What are the stars but points in the body of God where we insert the healing needles of our terror and longing?
--Gravity's Rainbow, V699

What are the stars but points in the body of God where we insert the healing needles of our terror and longing? --Gravity's Rainbow, V699

Thomas Pynchon
Once they have you asking the wrong questions. They don't have to worry about the answers.

Once they have you asking the wrong questions. They don't have to worry about the answers.

Thomas Pynchon
Some typewriters in Whitehall, in the Pentagon, killed more civilians than our little A4 could have ever hoped to.

Some typewriters in Whitehall, in the Pentagon, killed more civilians than our little A4 could have ever hoped to.

Thomas Pynchon
Next worst thing to unrequited Love, isn't it? Insufficient hate.

Next worst thing to unrequited Love, isn't it? Insufficient hate.

Thomas Pynchon
Can't say it often enough - change your hair, change your life.

Can't say it often enough - change your hair, change your life.

Thomas Pynchon
Not me, paranoia's the garlic in life's kitchen, right, you can never have too much.

Not me, paranoia's the garlic in life's kitchen, right, you can never have too much.

Thomas Pynchon
This is America, you live in it, you let it happen. Let it unfurl.

This is America, you live in it, you let it happen. Let it unfurl.

Thomas Pynchon
Colonies are the outhouses of the European soul, where a fellow can let his pants down and relax, enjoy the smell of his own shit.

Colonies are the outhouses of the European soul, where a fellow can let his pants down and relax, enjoy the smell of his own shit.

Thomas Pynchon
The hand of Providence creeps among the stars, giving Slothrop the finger.

The hand of Providence creeps among the stars, giving Slothrop the finger.

Thomas Pynchon
... as long as American life was something to be escaped from, the cartel would always be assured a bottomless pool of new customers.

... as long as American life was something to be escaped from, the cartel would always be assured a bottomless pool of new customers.

Thomas Pynchon
Explosion without an objective', declared Miles Blundell, 'is politics in its purest form'.

Explosion without an objective', declared Miles Blundell, 'is politics in its purest form'.

Thomas Pynchon
You can only cruse the boulevards of regret so far, and then you've got to get back up onto the freeway again.

You can only cruse the boulevards of regret so far, and then you've got to get back up onto the freeway again.

Thomas Pynchon
Oh, this beer here is cold, cold and hop-bitter, no point coming up for air, gulp, till it's all--hahhhh.

Oh, this beer here is cold, cold and hop-bitter, no point coming up for air, gulp, till it's all--hahhhh.

Thomas Pynchon
This spiritualist, this statistician, what are you anyway?

This spiritualist, this statistician, what are you anyway?

Thomas Pynchon
The past, hey no shit, it's an open invitation to wine abuse.

The past, hey no shit, it's an open invitation to wine abuse.

Thomas Pynchon
The one Word that rips apart the day...

The one Word that rips apart the day...

Thomas Pynchon
The object of life is to make sure you die a weird death. To make sure that, however it finds you, it finds you under very weird circumstances.

The object of life is to make sure you die a weird death. To make sure that, however it finds you, it finds you under very weird circumstances.

Thomas Pynchon
You know what a miracle is. Not what Bakunin said. But another world’s intrusion into this one. Most of the time we coexist peacefully, but when we do touch there’s cataclysm.

You know what a miracle is. Not what Bakunin said. But another world’s intrusion into this one. Most of the time we coexist peacefully, but when we do touch there’s cataclysm.

Thomas Pynchon
It takes, unhappily, no more than a desk and writing supplies to turn any room into a confessional.

It takes, unhappily, no more than a desk and writing supplies to turn any room into a confessional.

Thomas Pynchon
Hair and drug-use issues notwithstanding, I've never thought of you as any less than professional.

Hair and drug-use issues notwithstanding, I've never thought of you as any less than professional.

Thomas Pynchon
I am having a hallucination now, I don't need drugs for that.

I am having a hallucination now, I don't need drugs for that.

Thomas Pynchon
Everything is some kind of a plot, man.

Everything is some kind of a plot, man.

Thomas Pynchon
There is no literature and art without paranoia. Probably there would be even civilization. Paranoia is the world. It is the attempt to make sense of what has not.

There is no literature and art without paranoia. Probably there would be even civilization. Paranoia is the world. It is the attempt to make sense of what has not.

Thomas Pynchon
As if the dead really do persist, even in a bottle of wine.

As if the dead really do persist, even in a bottle of wine.

Thomas Pynchon
Teamwork,

Teamwork," Koteks snarled, "is one word for it, yeah. What it really is is a way to avoid responsibility. It's a symptom of the gutlessness of the whole society.

Thomas Pynchon
Questions arose. Like, what in the fuck was going on here, basically.

Questions arose. Like, what in the fuck was going on here, basically.

Thomas Pynchon
Some of us are afraid of dying; others of human loneliness. Profane was afraid of land or seascapes like this, where nothing else lived but himself.

Some of us are afraid of dying; others of human loneliness. Profane was afraid of land or seascapes like this, where nothing else lived but himself.

Thomas Pynchon
Death has come in the pantry door: stands watching them, iron and patient, with a look that says 'try to tickle me.

Death has come in the pantry door: stands watching them, iron and patient, with a look that says 'try to tickle me.

Thomas Pynchon
In their brief time together Slothrop forms the impression that this octopus is not in good mental health, though where's his basis for comparing?

In their brief time together Slothrop forms the impression that this octopus is not in good mental health, though where's his basis for comparing?

Thomas Pynchon
[Oedipa Maas] awoke at last to find herself getting laid.

[Oedipa Maas] awoke at last to find herself getting laid.

Thomas Pynchon
All variables are independent.

All variables are independent.

Thomas Pynchon
And when Franz Ferdinand pays, everybody pays!

And when Franz Ferdinand pays, everybody pays!

Thomas Pynchon
What sort of an age is this where a man becomes one's enemy only when his back is turned?

What sort of an age is this where a man becomes one's enemy only when his back is turned?

Thomas Pynchon
But as with Maxwell's Demon, so now. Either she could not communicate, or he did not exist.

But as with Maxwell's Demon, so now. Either she could not communicate, or he did not exist.

Thomas Pynchon
Behind the hieroglyphic streets there would either be a transcendent meaning, or only the earth.

Behind the hieroglyphic streets there would either be a transcendent meaning, or only the earth.

Thomas Pynchon
She drove like one of the damned on holiday.

She drove like one of the damned on holiday.

Thomas Pynchon
What was “walking on water,” if it wasn’t Bible talk for surfing?

What was “walking on water,” if it wasn’t Bible talk for surfing?

Thomas Pynchon
These times are unfriendly toward Worlds alternative to this one

These times are unfriendly toward Worlds alternative to this one

Thomas Pynchon
They plot, they plot, sleeping or afoot they never let up.

They plot, they plot, sleeping or afoot they never let up.

Thomas Pynchon
Some would say eccentric. I would say stoned out of his fuckin mind, nothing personal.

Some would say eccentric. I would say stoned out of his fuckin mind, nothing personal.

Thomas Pynchon
A woman is only half of something there are usually two sides to.

A woman is only half of something there are usually two sides to.

Thomas Pynchon
Culture attracts the worst impulses of the moneyed, it has no honor, it begs to be suburbanized and corrupted.

Culture attracts the worst impulses of the moneyed, it has no honor, it begs to be suburbanized and corrupted.

Thomas Pynchon
You can only cruise the boulevards of regret so far, and then you've got to get back up onto the freeway again.

You can only cruise the boulevards of regret so far, and then you've got to get back up onto the freeway again.

Thomas Pynchon
Down the toilet, lookit me, 
What a silly thing ta do!
Hope nobody takes a pee,
Yippy dippy dippy doo . . .

Down the toilet, lookit me, What a silly thing ta do! Hope nobody takes a pee, Yippy dippy dippy doo . . .

Thomas Pynchon
She moved through it carrying her fat book, attracted, unsure, a stranger, wanting to feel relevant but knowing how much of a search among alternative universes it would take.

She moved through it carrying her fat book, attracted, unsure, a stranger, wanting to feel relevant but knowing how much of a search among alternative universes it would take.

Thomas Pynchon
Stencil had called from a Hungarian coffee shop on York Avenue known as Hungarian Coffee Shop

Stencil had called from a Hungarian coffee shop on York Avenue known as Hungarian Coffee Shop

Thomas Pynchon
My mother is the war,' declares Roger Mexico, leaning over to open the door.

My mother is the war,' declares Roger Mexico, leaning over to open the door.

Thomas Pynchon
Though she knew even less about radios than about Southern Californians, there were to both outward patterns a hieroglyphic sense of concealed meaning, of an intent to communicate.

Though she knew even less about radios than about Southern Californians, there were to both outward patterns a hieroglyphic sense of concealed meaning, of an intent to communicate.

Thomas Pynchon
If the tower is everywhere and the knight of deliverance no proof against its magic,what else?

If the tower is everywhere and the knight of deliverance no proof against its magic,what else?

Thomas Pynchon
...a million bureaucrats are diligently plotting death and some of them even know it...

...a million bureaucrats are diligently plotting death and some of them even know it...

Thomas Pynchon
The hole left by the moon’s tearing-free and monument to her exile;

The hole left by the moon’s tearing-free and monument to her exile;

Thomas Pynchon
Chotto, Kenichiro! Dozo, motto panukeiku.

Chotto, Kenichiro! Dozo, motto panukeiku.

Thomas Pynchon
The act of metaphor then was a thrust at truth and a lie, depending where you were: inside, safe, or outside, lost.

The act of metaphor then was a thrust at truth and a lie, depending where you were: inside, safe, or outside, lost.

Thomas Pynchon
Is it just this miserable fucking city, too many faces, making us crazy? Are we seeing some wholesale return of the dead?”
“You’d prefer retail?

Is it just this miserable fucking city, too many faces, making us crazy? Are we seeing some wholesale return of the dead?” “You’d prefer retail?

Thomas Pynchon
The grandeur of space, dig it. Zillions of stars, each one gets its own pixel.”
“Awesome.”
“Maybe, but it’s code’s all it is.

The grandeur of space, dig it. Zillions of stars, each one gets its own pixel.” “Awesome.” “Maybe, but it’s code’s all it is.

Thomas Pynchon
You wait. Everyone has an Antarctic.

You wait. Everyone has an Antarctic.

Thomas Pynchon
Time is never wasted if you remember to bring along something to read.

Time is never wasted if you remember to bring along something to read.

Thomas Pynchon
For me, Shambhala, you see, turned out to be not a goal but an absence. Not the discovery of a place but the act of leaving the futureless place where I was. And in the process I arrived at Constantinople.

For me, Shambhala, you see, turned out to be not a goal but an absence. Not the discovery of a place but the act of leaving the futureless place where I was. And in the process I arrived at Constantinople.

Thomas Pynchon
...Our beauty lies in this extended capacity for convolution.

...Our beauty lies in this extended capacity for convolution.

Thomas Pynchon
And men of science,' cries dixon, 'may be but the simple tools of others, with no more idea of what they are about, than a hammer knows of a house.

And men of science,' cries dixon, 'may be but the simple tools of others, with no more idea of what they are about, than a hammer knows of a house.

Thomas Pynchon
What is most appealing about young folks, after all, is the changes, not the still photograph of finished character but the movie, the soul in flux.

What is most appealing about young folks, after all, is the changes, not the still photograph of finished character but the movie, the soul in flux.

Thomas Pynchon
Damn you all. You have no idea what you're heading into. This world you take to be 'the' world will die, and descend into Hell, and all history after that will belong properly to the history of Hell.

Damn you all. You have no idea what you're heading into. This world you take to be 'the' world will die, and descend into Hell, and all history after that will belong properly to the history of Hell.

Thomas Pynchon
Idle dreaming is often of the essence of what we do

Idle dreaming is often of the essence of what we do

Thomas Pynchon
I still don't even know for sure what a tendril is.

I still don't even know for sure what a tendril is.

Thomas Pynchon
True pornography is given us by vastly patient professionals.

True pornography is given us by vastly patient professionals.

Thomas Pynchon
1904 was the year the American Food and Drug people took the cocaine out of Coca-Cola, which gave us an alcoholic and death oriented generation of Yanks ideally equipped to fight WW II.

1904 was the year the American Food and Drug people took the cocaine out of Coca-Cola, which gave us an alcoholic and death oriented generation of Yanks ideally equipped to fight WW II.

Thomas Pynchon
Japanese staff who claim not to know a word of English beyond “awesome” and “sucks”, which for a vast range of human endeavour, actually, is more than enough…

Japanese staff who claim not to know a word of English beyond “awesome” and “sucks”, which for a vast range of human endeavour, actually, is more than enough…

Thomas Pynchon
[...] times of great idealism carry equal chances for great corruptibility.

[...] times of great idealism carry equal chances for great corruptibility.

Thomas Pynchon
Mason glowers, shaking his head.

Mason glowers, shaking his head. "I've ascended, descended, even condescended, and the List's not ended,— but haven't yet trans-cended a blessed thing, thankee.

Thomas Pynchon
Lovely morning, World War Two.

Lovely morning, World War Two.

Thomas Pynchon
To those of us who survived [...], it also means that we have learned to stand outside our history and watch it, without feeling too much. A little schizoid.

To those of us who survived [...], it also means that we have learned to stand outside our history and watch it, without feeling too much. A little schizoid.

Thomas Pynchon
Perhaps the only reason they survived, Stencil reasoned, was that they were not alone. God knew how many more there were with a hothouse sense of time, no knowledge of life, and at the mercy of Fortune.

Perhaps the only reason they survived, Stencil reasoned, was that they were not alone. God knew how many more there were with a hothouse sense of time, no knowledge of life, and at the mercy of Fortune.

Thomas Pynchon