Pynchon’s Little Instrument of Resistance
February 13, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.
thefidget space (1714 N Mascher Street)
The American writer Thomas Pynchon is loved and feared for his sweeping novels with historical depth, technological precision, slapstick witticism, and, all in all, a whole lot of general mayhem. Pynchon is also a literary musicologist, and one of the instruments he is particularly fond of is the kazoo, that all-too neglected American vessel mirliton which has both been ridiculed and sainted since its invention in the 1840s. Christian Hänggi will talk about this seemingly insignificant musical toy and shed some light on how Pynchon stages it as an instrument of resistance.
In April 2015 (date to be announced), Christian will continue his series of talks on musical instruments in Pynchon’s work.
Christian Hänggi is a media ecologist and an aspiring literary scholar who is currently working on a dissertation on music in Pynchon’s work at the University of Basel, Switzerland. He has been a scholar-in-residence at thefidget space where he also presented talks on Philip K. Dick and Karlheinz Stockhausen. He is a member of the American Association of Kazoologists.