Pynchon’s Harmonica


From Hitler’s Germany to Nixon’s America and beyond, way beyond
April 27, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.
a FREE talk by <fidget> scholar-in-residence Christian Hänggi
thefidget space (1714 N Mascher Street)

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. One of the instruments that is sucked and blown throughout much of his work is the harmonica. Christian will talk about Pynchon’s intricate staging of this ingeniously marketed German instrument whose history visits the major battlefields of the twentieth century as well as the counter-cultural campfires of flower-power America.

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, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and, most recently, on Pynchon’s kazoo.