A Mason & Dixon Companion
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A Mason & Dixon Companion

Title Details

Pages: 308

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in

Formats

Paperback

Pub Date: 06/01/2024

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6583-1

List Price: $29.95

eBook

Pub Date: 06/01/2024

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6586-2

List Price: $29.95

eBook

Pub Date: 06/01/2024

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6585-5

List Price: $29.95

Hardcover

Pub Date: 06/01/2024

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6584-8

List Price: $114.95

A Mason & Dixon Companion

An enjoyable complement to one of Pynchon’s most engaging works

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  • Description
  • Reviews

Mason & Dixon might be Thomas Pynchon’s most human book. Its main characters are richly drawn, and they center the narrative. Yet the novel is also packed with historical allusions and an eighteenth-century vernacular that some readers may find difficult to navigate. A "Mason & Dixon" Companion offers this navigation line by line, unpacking Pynchon’s puns, his many references, and his pet themes. Brett Biebel provides a contextual map, episode-by-episode summaries, and page-by-page annotations explaining allusions, defining obscure vocabulary, and illuminating the book’s major themes. The goal is to help readers work their way through a difficult yet remarkably rewarding novel from one of American literature’s most significant writers.

In a voice that’s both relaxed and informed, the Companion illuminates what Harold Bloom called “Pynchon’s late masterpiece.” It crystallizes the prescience of Mason & Dixon, situating the novel within Pynchon’s broader oeuvre, while being fun to read in its own right.

Fans of Pynchon have long needed a guidebook, a vade mecum (Latin for ‘go with me’) for Mason & Dixon, one of Pynchon's masterworks. Now we have a reliable one. It won't just help us with its plethora of puns, references, and allusions. It will deepen the book's humor—and its tragedy.

—Peter Schmidt, author of Sitting in Darkness: New South Fiction, Education, and the Rise of Jim Crow Colonialism, 1865-1920

Brett Biebel’s strength is his lucid, engaging style. This fellow writes wonderfully and with authority—and economically. Would that such prose were more common in the profession! Moreover, Biebel’s own knowledge and research provide abundant helpful contextualization of Pynchonian arcana—meanwhile demonstrating a first-rate grasp of the novel’s rich thematic content.

—David Cowart, author of The Tribe of Pyn: Literary Generations in the Postmodern Period

About the Author/Editor

BRETT BIEBEL teaches writing and literature at Augustana College. He is the author of 48 BLITZ and Winter Dance Party, and his writing has appeared in SmokeLong Quarterly, The Masters Review, Alien Magazine, Hobart, Wigleaf, and elsewhere. He lives and writes in the Quad Cities.