The Crying of Lot 49 and the Age of Paranoia, 12 December 2015

Paranoia is that feeling you get when a prominent fear may be largely imagined. When these fears are given air, the need to justify the initial response, to yourself if no one else, is the first thing to be lost. If paranoia is the fruit, conspiracy is the seed. In Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49, the conspiracy behind the Thurn und Taxis carrier service and the W.A.S.T.E. symbol, along with the muted horn, are, in and of themselves, disconnected concepts before Oedipa Maas puts them together using the information she discovers searching for the Trystero. The conspiracy is created, not discovered, like natural phenomena, but conjured up by the imagination like music or poetry. It serves a similar purpose: like poetry, casting tragic events as conspiracy can be a type of catharsis, away of looking less at the impact of tragedy and the nefarious goings-on behind the scenes.

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Brandon K. Nobles

Brandon is an author, poet and head writer for Sir Swag on YouTube. With 630k subscribers. Since February 2021 he has written for the most important and popular series, News Without the Bulls%!t and the least popular work on the channel, History Abridged. Brandon joined the channel in late January, since then his work has been featured every month in News and History. His novels and works of fiction have also been well received, and he continues to be a proficient and professional chess player. In his spare time he like to catch up on work.

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