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Thomas Pynchon and Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice(s) and the Affective Politics of Nostalgia

Thomas Pynchon and Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice(s) and the Affective Politics of Nostalgia Abstract This essay examines Thomas Pynchon’s 2009 Inherent Vice and Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2014 adaptation of the novel. These works are closely connected, and can be effectively viewed as two parts of a single transmedia text which includes a novel, a film, and two trailers. All of the constituent parts of this meta-Inherent Vice are informed by their engagement with nostalgia. Yet it is precisely here that the texts diverge from each other most markedly, activating different types of nostalgia for different purposes. While much contemporary scholarship relies on Svetlana Boym’s reflective/restorative binary to conceptualize the phenomenon of nostalgia, this reading argues that a public/personal divide offers another perhaps more appropriate lens to view the differences between the two versions of Inherent Vice. Pynchon’s novel emphasizes the political potential and social aspects of nostalgia, while Anderson’s film focuses on its personal, affective impact. Nostalgia, book and movie trailers, politics, memory, neo-liberalism The critical response to Thomas Pynchon’s 2009 novel Inherent Vice has been somewhat muted. While the novel was generally respectfully reviewed, some prominent critics were less than enthusiastic. Michiko Kakutani, for instance, described it in The New York Times as ‘Pynchon Lite’, a sort of ‘Classic Comics version of a Pynchon novel’, while Louis Menand compared it in The New Yorker to a Cheech and Chong skit. Even Thomas Jones’s insightful essay in the London Review of Books claimed that the novel fails to offer the ‘menace and the passion of its predecessors’. Academic criticism, too, has been slow to embrace Inherent Vice: as Nick Levey points out, while by no means ignored it has attracted relatively little attention in comparison with the outpouring of scholarly articles dedicated to, say, Against the Day (2006) (45).1 Yet Inherent Vice has, alone out of Pynchon’s eight novels, been accorded the honour of adaptation, with Paul Thomas Anderson’s film version released in 2014.2 The adaptive relationship between novel and film began very early: according to producer JoAnne Sellar, Anderson had heard that Pynchon might be open to an adaptation of the at-that-point-unpublished novel. Sellar contacted Pynchon’s agent, who confirmed the author’s interest and his admiration of Anderson’s films, and sent galley copies for them to read (Oscars). Inherent Vice thus seems to have been conceived of by Pynchon as ‘inherently adaptable’, and this may, in part, explain its critical reception: a discussion of the novel that ignores the film is arguably incomplete. This adaptive bond may also help explain the reception of Anderson’s film. As with Pynchon’s novel, while reviews were generally positive, some critics have been strident in their condemnation of Anderson’s ‘worst film’ (Sabo). Even those who take a more charitable view have had difficulty reconciling its fidelity as an adaptation with the fact that it is ‘utterly its own thing, as thoroughly a piece of Anderson’s imaginative universe as of Pynchon’s’ (O’Brien), and in situating it in relation to Anderson’s career as a whole. Anthony Carew’s recent overview of the director’s oeuvre, for example, sees Inherent Vice as a step backwards from masterpieces like There Will Be Blood and The Master to the ‘the big-ensemble mischief’ typical of Anderson’s early work (88). Popular reception has been, by all accounts, even less enthusiastic: this was as ‘a great walk-out movie’, the ‘season’s mustn’t-see experience’ (Rose). This phenomenon was widely registered on social media: ‘Walked out of Inherent Vice. Understood so little of plot or dialogue, I worried I’d had a stroke’ (@PhilipHensher). For many viewers unfamiliar with Pynchon’s novel, Anderson’s film causes a sort of cognitive strain: as Howard Hampton notes in his enthusiastic review, ‘if you haven’t read the novel, the turns of this story can’t be easy to follow’ (30). This makes sense, given Anderson’s description of his scriptwriting process: he ‘did it the old-fashioned way’, manually transcribing the novel’s dialogue into a working script, a process he likens to a form of ventriloquism. He was ‘sick of the sound of [his] own voice’, and was happy to work with Pynchon’s words instead of his own (Oscars). Despite the many changes that occur as the story moves from page to screen, Pynchon and Anderson’s Inherent Vices are thus very closely linked. This means they are, first, a refutation (should any further refutation be required) of notions of adaptation as inevitably ‘secondary and derivative in relation to what is usually (and tellingly) referred to as the “original”’ (Bortolotti and Hutcheon 443). In this case, the novel and the film are so bound together as to make the notion of novelistic primacy inadequate. Secondly, their relationship is a fine example of the way in which contemporary adaptation occurs not as a financially lucrative by-product of a novel, a ‘serendipitous but unlikely afterthought’ as Simone Murray puts it, but as part of a broader multimedia constellation of content (Adaptation 26).3 As Tore Rye Andersen points out, the ‘aggregation of different media texts’ associated with the label Inherent Vice is probably not extensive and diverse enough to justify a description of this as transmedia storytelling, but it is an example of a single narrative embodied in, and extended by, a range of multimedia paratexts (237). INHERENT VICE’S TRAILERS: ANTICIPATING NOSTALGIA One indication of the ‘adaptive’ nature of Pynchon’s Inherent Vice is the fact that the novel was not just followed by a film, but accompanied by one in the form of a promotional trailer. This practice has become more common in the digital ecosystem of twenty-first-century cultural production and distribution, offering what has been described, perhaps hyperbolically, as an entirely new way of promoting books (Davila 32). But trailers are much more common in YA and children’s segments, where dedicated YouTube channels distribute hundreds of trailers to potential readers (Murray, Digital 63), than for prestigious literary fiction of the sort associated with a writer like Pynchon.4 The existence of the book trailer is thus in itself significant, as it associates the novel with a typically cinematic genre. Also, as Lisa Kernan argues of movie trailers, it acts as both paratext and metatext, that is to say as a text which contributes to the signification of the novel, and as a text which communicates about the novel (7). The importance of the trailer is indicated by the fact that it is written and narrated by Pynchon himself, despite his famous avoidance of media attention (Geier). This is not simply an advertisement for the book, fulfilling what Andersen (using Dorothee Birke and Birte Christ’s terminology) describes as the paratext’s commercial function, but a transmedia extension of it which also has an interpretive function (231). One of the most interesting things the trailer does is offer information unavailable elsewhere about the novel’s main character, the ‘private gumshoe’ Larry ‘Doc’ Sportello (‘Inherent’). We learn that Sportello ‘used to work the traditional Hollywood type of PI gigs, setting up drugs busts for parties in divorcee cases, helping the cops out with their many shakedown schemes and so forth’: since moving to Gordita Beach, he has been working ‘smaller tickets’ that offer ‘less karmic hassle, less guilt-tripping’: sometimes he ‘ends up paying the tab, whether it’s in cash or something heavier, and that’s, you know, it’s groovy’ (‘Inherent’). This back-story of transgression and restitution, available in the trailer but not the novel, connects him with the main object of his investigation, property developer Mickey Wolfmann, who attempts to build the city of ‘Arrepentimiento’ (or ‘sorry about that’ in Spanish) where anyone can live for free, as his ‘penance for having once charged money for human shelter’ (Pynchon, Inherent 249). This is in effect what Sportello is doing throughout the novel by offering his investigative services for free as a form of personal redemption. A reader of the novel might notice the Sportello-Wolfmann connection—Jennifer Backman, for instance, has pointed out uncomfortable linkages in terms of sexuality and power between the two—but the trailer makes the parallel explicit and extends its range (22–23). This additional information is difficult to exclude from a reading of the novel as it is ‘literally authorized by the author and therefore functions as a legitimate supplement to the characterization of Doc’ (Andersen 235). In other words, the text itself—the novel—can be seen as incomplete without its accompanying trailer, or indeed as (unconventionally, to say the least) a single multimedia text consisting of the trailer and the novel. It is also important to note that the trailer operates through retrospection, using Sportello’s past to illuminate the narrative present, and situating the narrative as a whole within a nostalgic framework. Its opening title shot is followed by an intertitle of the novel’s epigraph, ‘“Under the paving-stones, the beach!” – Graffito, Paris, 1968’, a translation of a famous Parisian graffiti from the May 1968 student protests: ‘Sous les pavés, la plage!’ This epigraph is explicitly retrospective and implicitly nostalgic, referring to a time when it was not, to paraphrase Slavoj Žižek paraphrasing Fredric Jameson, easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism (Dean and Fisher 26). Even for viewers unfamiliar with this context, the epigraph speaks of a vanished world in which paradise was not yet a parking lot. In the opening shots of the trailer, a car drives from LA international to Gordita Beach, California—‘right here’, as the narrator says, referring to a zoom shot of beach at sunset, palm trees silhouetted against a luminous seascape. This iconic Californian image then cuts to a shot of a beach blocked by a traffic sign indicating END, while at the same time the narrator corrects himself: ‘actually this used to be the beach’ (‘Inherent’) (Figure 1). Thus, a physical journey becomes temporal, a nostalgic journey to ‘right now, back in 1970’ before ‘all this’ went ‘high rise, high rent, high intensity’ (‘Inherent’). The trailer concludes, however, by moving from past to present. Figure 1. Open in new tabDownload slide Inherent Vice’s book trailer: the beach comes to an end. Source: Penguin Books USA, “Inherent Vice, Thomas Pynchon—9781594202247,” YouTube. Figure 1. Open in new tabDownload slide Inherent Vice’s book trailer: the beach comes to an end. Source: Penguin Books USA, “Inherent Vice, Thomas Pynchon—9781594202247,” YouTube. To this point, I have focused on the interpretative elements of the trailer that make it ‘more than merely a type of advertising’ (Kernan 7). As the voice-over shifts to overt promotion—‘Maybe you’ll just want to read the book. Inherent Vice, Penguin Press. $27.95’—Pynchon focuses on the temporal gap between the ‘now’ of viewing and the ‘right now, back in 1970’ through an audible double-take: ‘…$27.95? That used to be, like, three weeks of groceries, man. What year is this again?’ (‘Inherent’). Andersen quite rightly identifies this as an instance of Pynchon’s ‘penchant for anachronism’ (234), but the emphasis on the temporal gap between then and now also enables a particular kind of nostalgic response to the text—a point I will return to after considering the trailer for Anderson’s film.5 Anderson’s trailer is of course part of a much more prominent, better-established genre: more or less all commercially released films are accompanied by trailers. Like the book trailer, it, too, performs a number of different functions. Firstly, it aims to build anticipation for the upcoming film—this is in the words of Vinzenz Hediger ‘storytelling as selling’ (quoted in Klecker 409). Its upbeat soundtrack—Sly and the Family Stone’s 1969 hit ‘I Want to Take You Higher’ features prominently in the first half of the trailer—and fast-cut montage technique—fifteen separate shots in the first twenty seconds—work to catch the viewer’s attention. This promotional intent is slyly acknowledged toward the end of the trailer in a shot of an armed Sportello, played by Joaquin Phoenix, asking ‘Did I get you?’ (‘Inherent Vice – Official’). It also acknowledges its adaptive status with a prominent intertitle proclaiming ‘from the novel by Thomas Pynchon’ written in the distinctive neon-tubing version of Dresher Grotesk typeface used on the novel’s first edition cover (Andersen 230). In comparison, the trailer for Anderson’s only other adaptation, There Will Be Blood (2007), very discreetly acknowledges the fact that it is ‘based on Oil! by Upton Sinclair’ (‘There Will’) (Figure 2). Less traditionally, the trailer acts as a sort of primer for viewers of the film unacquainted with the novel by outlining key plot developments through voice-over narration (‘Inherent Vice – Official’). As one viewer commented on YouTube, ‘i think i would have followed the movie more easily if i had watched this trailer beforehand’ (McCarthy). Finally, the movie trailer, like the book trailer, appeals to viewers’ nostalgia, both visually in terms of costume, sets, and a mise-en-scène generally evocative of the late 1960s, but also through the soundtrack, particularly in the second half of the trailer which is set to Sam Cooke’s nostalgic 1960 hit ‘Wonderful World’. Figure 2. Open in new tabDownload slide Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood and Inherent Vice’s movie trailers: the relative prominence of adaptive intertexts, illustrated. Source: Movieclips Classic Trailers, “There Will Be Blood (2007) Official Trailer—Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano Movie HD,” YouTube and Warner Bros. Pictures, “Inherent Vice—Official Trailer [HD],” YouTube. Figure 2. Open in new tabDownload slide Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood and Inherent Vice’s movie trailers: the relative prominence of adaptive intertexts, illustrated. Source: Movieclips Classic Trailers, “There Will Be Blood (2007) Official Trailer—Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano Movie HD,” YouTube and Warner Bros. Pictures, “Inherent Vice—Official Trailer [HD],” YouTube. INHERENT VICES: DEFINING NOSTALGIAS While Inherent Vice’s book and movie trailers both activate nostalgic energies, the way this nostalgia is articulated is quite different. If the book trailer, as discussed earlier, openly acknowledges the gap between the present and the past (‘What year is this again?’), and allows nostalgia to circulate in this space, the movie trailer offers a more direct nostalgia, sensory rather than intellectual, felt rather than thought. In the case of the book trailer, we have a text that openly acknowledges itself as a contemporary cultural product engaging with the past; in the film trailer, we have a contemporary cultural product aimed at re-creating a sense of the past through a range of cinematographic tools. The difference between these two approaches corresponds closely to the most influential contemporary intervention in nostalgia theory, Svetlana Boym’s distinction between restorative and reflective nostalgia.6 This binary is developed at length in Boym’s seminal The Future of Nostalgia, but she has usefully summarized the contrasting concepts: Restorative nostalgia stresses nóstos (home) and attempts a transhistorical reconstruction of the lost home. Reflective nostalgia thrives in álgos, the longing itself, and delays the homecoming—wistfully, ironically, desperately. [. . .]. Restorative nostalgia does not think of itself as nostalgia, but rather as truth and tradition. Reflective nostalgia dwells on the ambivalences of human longing and belonging and does not shy away from the contradictions of modernity. Restorative nostalgia protects the absolute truth, while reflective nostalgia calls it into doubt. (‘Nostalgia’) Restorative nostalgia, in other words, postulates a simplified version of the past to which it attaches itself. This is the nostalgia both of cultural products that derive their emotional impact from the representation of a version of the past which bears little resemblance to the complexities and ambiguities of historical reality, and of political movements such as Trump’s American populism, Orbán’s Hungarian nativism, and Erdoğan’s neo-Ottomanism. This nostalgia represents a ‘kind of magical thinking about history’ (Lilla xx). Reflective nostalgia is a less obvious phenomenon, both in terms of its appearance in cultural products and in its political manifestations. One thing that can be said, however, is that it is always aware of itself as nostalgia, and aware of the gap between the present in which it occurs and the past towards which it gestures. It can be thought of as an ironized nostalgia capable of negotiating the ‘gap between the real and the ideal without doing violence to either’ (Lilla 133). The association of Pynchon’s Inherent Vice with reflective nostalgia and Anderson’s with restorative nostalgia seems to hold not just for the trailers, but for the works themselves. Pynchon’s novel, for example, while insistent on its historical setting, contains a number of anachronisms that indicate an awareness of its evocation of the past, such as the presence of ARPAnet, a proto-internet established by the US Department of Defence in 1969. It is highly improbable that repoman Fritz Drybeam would be so closely involved in the very early development of the network, and these references thus point readers not towards the past, but towards a future (our present) when ‘everybody is going to wake up to find they’re under surveillance they can’t escape’ (Inherent 365). This is the sort of thing that justifies descriptions of Pynchon’s work as bi-temporal, building meaning out of the gap between the time of setting and the time of reading (Grausam 44). Anderson’s film, on the other hand, can be associated with traditions like British heritage cinema and television and Austro-German Heimatfilm that ‘emotionalize time and space by constructing a cultural memory’ (Voigts-Virchow 128). Here, the heritage object is not the stately home of the British tradition, or the rural landscape of the German, but the ‘innocent’ objects and spaces of America’s mid-twentieth-century past. The film opens, for example, with a static shot of a beach scene framed by weathered clapboard and stucco houses, illuminated in golden afternoon light, and briefly overlaid with a hand-written intertitle identifying time and place; we hear sounds of surf and sea-birds as two soft-focus children enter the frame and run towards the beach (Figure 3). The voice-over tells us that (in the opening words of the novel) ‘she [Sportello’s ex-girlfriend Shasta Fay Hepworth] came along the alley and up the back steps the way she always used to’, with the first cut (to the narrator’s face) coinciding with the phrase ‘used to’. The editing thus intertwines image, sound, text, and voice into a highly evocative, nostalgic representation of a lost golden age of youthful innocence. Figure 3. Open in new tabDownload slide A nostalgic image of small-town, old-time America sets the tone in Anderson’s Inherent Vice. Source: Inherent Vice. Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, Warner Bros. Pictures, 2014. Figure 3. Open in new tabDownload slide A nostalgic image of small-town, old-time America sets the tone in Anderson’s Inherent Vice. Source: Inherent Vice. Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, Warner Bros. Pictures, 2014. It would be relatively easy to accept this reading of the two texts in relation to reflective and restorative nostalgia. The association of Hollywood with restorative nostalgia is a well-established trope of cultural criticism; Boym, for instance, links particular Hollywood cinematic practices (from the ‘Disney-style recreation of small-town life’ to hyper-realistic CGI dinosaurs) to a restorative version of American nostalgia (Future 34), while Fredric Jameson points to George Lucas’s 1973 American Graffiti as an inaugural nostalgia film (7–8). Indeed, Jameson’s argument that a film like Lawrence Kasdan’s 1981 Body Heat relies on its vision of small-town America to allow it access to nostalgic energies despite its contemporary setting is directly relevant to the way Anderson’s Inherent Vice represents an America stripped, as Jameson writes of Body Heat, of ‘the signals and references which we might associate with the contemporary world, with consumer society’ (9). Yet limiting our reading of the relationship of novel and film to the binary pair of reflective versus restorative would be a mistake. Thomas Leitch has complicated Boym’s ‘anodyne portrayal of Hollywood nostalgia as restorative’, concluding that while it may offer audiences a feeling of belonging, it should be seen as separate from both the restorative nostalgia of British heritage cinema and the reflective nostalgia of American literature (‘There’s No’ 4–6). More specifically, we could look to Anderson’s refusal of any number of easily accessible 60s visual stereotypes, such as tie-dye t-shirts or beaded headbands, as a complication of the film’s apparent restorative nostalgia. As Anderson claims, ‘you can do something that is entirely accurate to the period, ripped straight from a photograph [. . .] and then you are standing on set thinking this is absolutely preposterous’ (Oscars). This approach is the opposite of the ‘accurate (though very selective) reproductions’ of the past that critics like Sarah Cardwell associate with heritage film and television’s ‘ideologically reactionary force’ (119). In effect, reading Pynchon’s novel and Anderson’s film as oppositional halves of a reflective-restorative pair would be a reassertion of the traditional but unilluminating comparison between a valorized literary source text and a denigrated film adaptation, another way to imply ‘that cinema has somehow done a disservice to literature’ (Stam 3). It is certainly an approach that would fail to do justice to the complexity and richness of the relationship between Pynchon and Anderson’s work. Yet there is, as any reader of the novel and viewer of the film will attest, something very different about what the two works do with nostalgia. If the reflective-restorative binary is an incomplete description of this difference, we must look elsewhere. INHERENT VICE(S)’S NOSTALGIA(S): SHIFTING THE BINARY Nostalgia is a portmanteau word developed by Johannes Hofer in 1688 from the Greek Nosos, ‘return to the native land’, and Algos, ‘suffering or grief’, to describe a constellation of medical symptoms experienced by Swiss living, working, or travelling away from home (Hofer 381).7 The condition eventually lost its diagnostic credibility, and became associated instead with imagination and artistic production (Sullivan 585). The term has since entered into daily use, retaining as it has done so, however, some of the negative connotations of its medical origins (Marcus 12). Another essential transformation involves the replacement of geographical with temporal distance. Hofer refers to a Bernese student in Basel who nearly died of the condition before returning to his home, a modest hundred kilometres away; indeed, his symptoms were alleviated by travelling ‘scarcely some few miles’ in the right direction (382). The contemporary nostalgic has a more difficult task, for the lost homeland is not a place but a time. Marcel Proust dedicated the seven volumes of À la recherche du temps perdu to bridging the nostalgic gap, but as the Proustian narrator confesses, the success of this work relies on chance: ‘It is a labour in vain to attempt to recapture it: all the efforts of our intellect must prove futile’ (52). Famously, for Proust the experience of childhood is accessible through involuntary memory based on physical sensation, but this sort of nostalgia, however successful, is always highly personal. We may share a madeleine, but we will not share the same memories. This tradition thus sees nostalgia as an individual, rather than social condition. Today, however, while we of course continue to experience nostalgia on a personal level, and use these experiences in our cultural production, we are also sensitive to its social and political role, as is the case with critiques of the nostalgic politics and policies of post-2008 right-wing populism. We have become all too aware that, as Mark Lilla writes, nostalgia is a hugely powerful political tool: ‘Hopes can be disappointed. Nostalgia is irrefutable’ (xiv). In Boym’s taxonomy, this type of communal nostalgia would be classified as restorative, and it tends to be viewed as a reactionary, regressive response to changing social and economic realities. However, nostalgic thinking in its public form can have a revolutionary impact as well, or, to put it less dramatically, it can be mobilized as part of a critique of the present dispensation. As Paolo Magagnoli writes, nostalgia is ‘not always the expression of conservative politics but may in fact be seen to respond to a diversity of desires and political needs: in other words, along with the conservative, reactionary nostalgia, there can be a critical progressive one [. . .]’ (9). This critical form of public nostalgia is a key characteristic of Pynchon’s Inherent Vice. Sportello certainly experiences nostalgia on a personal level, both for his time with ex-girlfriend Shasta and more generally for a ‘childhood’ he ‘never much felt he wanted to escape from’ (Pynchon, Inherent 125). But the novel as a whole is more concerned with the systematic cultural changes that have left the past looking ever more attractive. It explores not, or not primarily, what Pynchon characterizes in Against the Day as ‘the flaccid swoon of yielding to memory’, but a less solipsistic form of remembering (853). In its ‘post-Mansonical’ setting, America is waking up from the ‘great collective dream’ of 1960s counter-culture, haunted by the eruption of violence into what is remembered as—and the novel is very aware of the fact that this is a memory, not a reality—a sort of paradise lost (Pynchon, Inherent 176).8 Gone are the days when hippies could cruise ‘straightworld neighbourhoods picking out strange houses at random, asking to use the bathroom, going in and shooting up’ (38). The ‘end of a certain kind of innocence’ has transformed the average American’s ‘real desire sometimes to help’ into the sort of paranoid terror that defines ‘every gathering of three or more civilians [. . .] as a potential cult’ (38, 179). This is a novel set at a moment of what David Lowenthal describes as a typically nostalgic ‘fin-de-siècle sense of change’, and signs of a degraded present separating a threatened future from a remembered past abound (11). As a private detective, Sportello is associated with the ‘old-time hardboiled dick era’ in opposition to the ‘Glass house wave of the future’—the LAPD headquarters that sits incongruously amidst ‘the old-time good intentions of that downtown architecture’ (33, 137). This is a representative structure of what police detective Bigfoot Bjornsen calls ‘Reality’, or the emerging paradigm of America as a neo-liberal security state, with its ‘exploitative system of privatization, deregulation, militarization, and free-market fundamentalism’ (33; Carswell 7). In this America, the police hire Adrian Prussia as an under-the-table hitman to handle problems intractable to conventional policing such as ‘politicals––black and Chicano activists, antiwar protestors, campus bombers, and other assorted pinko fucks’ (323). Prussia’s hit (involving prolonged sexual torture) on a blackmailer who has had the temerity to threaten Ronald Reagan’s tenure as Governor of California and his political career in general is central to the novel’s critique: ‘the future of America belongs’ to Reagan quite literally, and, in the history proposed by the novel, this ownership is built on state terror (Inherent 321). The novel contrasts this with Sportello’s nostalgia for a previous cultural paradigm: ‘Once there were all these great old PIs––Phillip Marlowe, Sam Spade, the shamus of shamuses Johnny Staccato, always smarter and more professional than the cops [. . .]. but nowadays it’s all you see anymore is cops, the tube is saturated with fuckin cop shows’ (97).9 These cops, who are presented by mainstream media as ‘no more threat to nobody’s freedom than some dad in a sitcom’ are the very people ushering in the new ‘reality’ (97). A key scene in this contrast between a nostalgically idealized past and a debased present occurs when Sportello receives a postcard from Hepworth, asking if he remembers ‘that day with the Ouija board?’ (163). This is a reference to an unsuccessful attempt to get otherworldly dope-buying advice which lead Shasta and Doc, ‘at a point late in their time together’, not to a well-stocked drug dealer but to ‘an empty lot with a gigantic excavation in it’ that looks at first like ‘a great wet temple entrance, into someplace else’ (164–66). This indeterminate elsewhere operates in explicit contrast to the ‘real’ Los Angeles, a city that is in its totality a ‘public and anonymous confession of the deadly sin of greed’ (166). Rather than mourn the spirits’ cruel prank, Sportello and Shasta experience a moment of united bliss, forgetting ‘how it was all going to develop anyhow’ and making-out ‘frantically, like kids at the drive-in’ (166). If the narrative stopped here, this would be an instance of personal nostalgia, the painful yet irresistible remembrance of things past. However, after receiving Shasta’s postcard, Sportello revisits the site, only to find that things have changed. Instead of a hole in the ground—and an avenue of escape—he finds a ‘strangely futuristic building’, the headquarters of the Golden Fang (166–67). This could be read in the context of one of the novel’s sub-themes as a reflection on the ‘long, sad history of Los Angeles land use: Mexican families bounced out of Chavez Ravine to build Dodger Stadium, American Indians swept out of Bunker Hill for the Music Center [. . .]’ (17). But the Golden Fang has a special status in the novel. A vertically integrated drug cartel that produces, imports, and distributes heroin, while also investing in rehabilitation facilities and working closely with the government’s anti-leftist activities, it is the central node of the narrative’s sprawling network of corruption, ranging all the way from racist prison gangs to California’s social elite. It is, as Jones has pointed out, in its ubiquity, ruthlessness, and contempt for the weak, a clear textual analogue for global capitalism, or, in Rob Wilson’s terms, ‘a Pynchonesque metonym for the totality of global-capitalist circulation’ (220). Thus, the novel’s primary site of personal nostalgia—the remembered location of Sportello and Shasta’s last good days—is transformed into its primary site of political critique, its most focused representation of ‘the faithless money-driven world’ that Sportello sees emerging from the shadows of counter-culture California to ‘reassert control over all the lives it felt entitled to touch, fondle, and molest [. . .]’ (130). The nostalgic site is a gateway to somewhere else, an escape from what is and what will be. Magagnoli has argued that nostalgia’s social critique emerges out of ‘discontent towards the society one lives in’ (1). But if the imagined gateway to elsewhere, to difference, to the place where in Magagnoli’s terms the problems of the present ‘are transcended or resolved’ is closed, we are left with no escape from reality, a term that as we have seen is heavily loaded in the world of Inherent Vice (1). The novel’s conclusion does, however, present an alternative, albeit in a tenuous form. Sportello’s investigation has ended, and as he drives south on the Santa Monica Freeway, he hits a bank of fog, in which he and the other drivers on the road form a temporary community: ‘He crept along till he finally found another car to settle in behind. After a while in his rearview mirror he saw somebody else fall in behind him. He was in a convoy of unknown size, each car keeping the one ahead in taillight range, like a caravan in a desert of perception, gathered awhile for safety in getting across a patch of blindness. It was one of the few things he’d ever seen anybody in this town, except hippies, do for free’. (368) This moment of unity between strangers can be seen as an example of what Joanna Freer has described as a central idea in Pynchon’s late work, communitas, a social ideal of collaboration and cooperation which contrasts with the overwhelming self-interested isolation of mainstream American society (144). It is a vision of a world less bleakly and hopelessly invested in the self (Hock 216). The novel ends as Sportello drives on, ‘waiting for the fog to burn away, and for something else this time, somehow, to be there instead’ (369). These two scenes lie at the heart of the nostalgic critique of Pynchon’s novel, offering a memory of a different past and a different way of being that inspire hope for a better future. Both scenes appear in Anderson’s Inherent Vice, but in ways that decisively shift their nostalgic register from the social and political towards the personal. In a major interview about his film, Anderson has described his interpretation of Pynchon’s novel: ‘Amidst all these crazy jokes and everything else you gotta…well, there’s that, but what’s the real thing? And the real thing in the book is his love for Shasta, his kind of pining obsession about an ex-old lady who got away, who maybe is not the one you want to be with but you can’t help but think of her all the time’ (Vice). This reading of the novel as a love story, an elegy for a lost relationship, and as an exercise in personal nostalgia is clear in the adaptive choices Anderson makes in the presentation of the narrative’s two central nostalgic scenes.10 In the case of the Ouija board-excavation-Golden Fang scene, the difference is in part attributable to the production processes of cinema: shooting for the scene took place in Pomona because, according to location manager Larry Ring, ‘there are sections of it that are just dead’ and thus look right for an evocation of 1970 Hollywood (Rocchi). The location, however, appropriate in terms of period ambiance, has an empty lot in place of a ‘giant excavation’, and while the production team can be excused for not having dug one, the novel’s link between a nostalgic, sacred hole leading to a utopian ‘elsewhere’ and the threatening tower of the present is thus unavailable to viewers of the film, alongside any other associations that the hole-to-tower transformation may evoke (e.g., a whole set of gendered binaries). In place of these connections, Anderson’s interpretation of the scene focuses visually on the remembered happiness of Sportello and Shasta (played by Katherine Waterston) (Figure 4). Nor does the film’s voice-over narration, which is frequently used to explicate points that might otherwise be missed or cause confusion, refer to the site as a gateway to elsewhere, focusing instead on the romantic nostalgia of the scene. What is represented here, then, is a highly personal form of nostalgia, focusing on the absent beloved. This is accentuated by the scene’s extra-diegetic music, Neil Young’s ‘Journey through the Past’ (‘When the winter rains come pouring / on that new home of mine / will you think of me and wonder if I’m fine? / Will your restless heart come back to mine / on a journey through the past?’). Thus, when Sportello returns in the narrative present to Sunset Boulevard and finds the Golden Fang building instead of the empty lot, the contrast made is not so much between a potential alterity and present reality (as in the novel), but between the remembered presence of Shasta Fey, and her current (and for Sportello deeply troubling) absence. Figure 4. Open in new tabDownload slide The nostalgic memory of Shasta Fay Hepworth (Katherine Waterston) and Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix): Can a hole to elsewhere be missing? And can love fill that hole? Source: Inherent Vice. Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, Warner Bros. Pictures, 2014. Figure 4. Open in new tabDownload slide The nostalgic memory of Shasta Fay Hepworth (Katherine Waterston) and Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix): Can a hole to elsewhere be missing? And can love fill that hole? Source: Inherent Vice. Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, Warner Bros. Pictures, 2014. The same transformation takes place in the final scene of the movie—but on this occasion the difference is not limited to emphasis or accent, for Anderson has made a major change in his source material. This alone should be enough to alert us to the fact that something important is going on: adaptations are, as Linda Hutcheon has argued ‘haunted at all times by their adapted texts’, and this is a moment at which the ghost of Pynchon’s novel moans with particular energy (6). In addition, Anderson, as was discussed earlier, has consistently emphasized his fidelity to the novel (‘I was just responding to what he wrote’) and while the adaptive process has led to any number of negotiations, compromises, additions, omissions, and transformations, in general the film is remarkably ‘faithful’—to use that provocative term—to the novel (Vice). This is true on a large scale, in terms of plot, character, and dialogue, and also on a level almost invisible even to attentive viewers and readers. For instance, early in the narrative Sportello joins a group of friends for pizza. While no overt reference is made to the fact in the film, in the novel the pizza toppings are, as any reader of Pynchon would expect, bizarre and unappetizing. And, sure enough, a close look at Anderson’s scene reveals marshmallows on the pizza. Clearly, a major change from the novel to the film should be a point of major hermeneutic interest, and that is certainly the case here (Figure 5). Figure 5. Open in new tabDownload slide Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) and Sortilège (Joanna Newsome) and a discreet marshmallow pizza: an instance of extreme adaptive fidelity. Source: Inherent Vice. Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, Warner Bros. Pictures, 2014. Figure 5. Open in new tabDownload slide Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) and Sortilège (Joanna Newsome) and a discreet marshmallow pizza: an instance of extreme adaptive fidelity. Source: Inherent Vice. Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, Warner Bros. Pictures, 2014. In the novel, the reader last encounters Shasta during a post-coital walk on the beach, as Sportello follows ‘the prints of her bare feet already collapsing into rain and shadow, as if in a fool’s attempt to find his way back into a past that despite them both had gone on into the future it did’ (314). She may be, as Sportello tells his inquisitive mother, ‘living back at the beach now’ but the whole weight of the narrative suggests that this is a temporary situation, and that no happy reunion is possible (352). Yet Anderson’s film ends not with Pynchon’s ephemeral community of fog-bound drivers, and the hope for a different future, but with what Hampton describes as a ‘newly minted revamp of a warhorse ending’ as ‘Doc and Shasta drive off into a stylized artificial sunset, framed in the car like Bogie and Bacall [. . .]’ (32). Shasta compares this moment of intimacy directly to the night of the Ouija board: ‘Remember that day, Ouija board sent us off into that big storm? This feels the same way tonight. Just us. Together. Almost like being underwater. A world. Everything…gone someplace else’ (Inherent) (Figure 6). Here, the someplace else of the nostalgic alternative to the world as it is comes not from a political or social alternative, a vision of community, or a group of strangers gathered together outside the norms of capitalist behaviour, but from the recreation of the couple, and the separation of that couple from the world around them. Figure 6. Open in new tabDownload slide Shasta Fay Hepworth (Katherine Waterston) and Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix): A community of two? Source: Inherent Vice. Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, Warner Bros. Pictures, 2014. Figure 6. Open in new tabDownload slide Shasta Fay Hepworth (Katherine Waterston) and Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix): A community of two? Source: Inherent Vice. Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, Warner Bros. Pictures, 2014. This reunion is not represented in Anderson’s film as entirely comfortable or comforting: there is a an odd claustrophobic isolation to the scene, and the score here is not a nostalgic hit, as when Neil Young plays over the scene of Sportello and Shasta’s remembered moment of happiness in the rain, but an intense classical composition of haunting strings reminiscent of Shostakovich (from Jonny Greenwood’s ‘Shasta Fay Hepworth’).11 The dialogue, echoing Shasta’ earlier rejection of Sportello (‘This don’t mean we’re back together’), leaves the permanence of their new relationship an open question. But this line is delivered by Phoenix with a wry smile, and as the movie ends, the bleak and unsettling ‘Shasta Fay Hepworth’ gives way to the film’s final nostalgic hit, Chuck Jackson’s upbeat recording of ‘Any Day Now’, which plays over the closing credits. Ultimately, in Anderson’s Inherent Vice, the nostalgically evoked past is not just remembered, but literally regained, as Sportello recaptures lost time and gets a second chance with Shasta. As Pynchon writes in his 2013 Bleeding Edge, in a very different context, ‘Proust Schmoust’ (251). CONCLUSION Samuel Thomas’ 2007 study Pynchon and the Political was published before Inherent Vice, but his summary of the new developments apparent in Pynchon’s Against the Day, a work demonstrating an ‘ever-deepening understanding of the “real”’ price of capitalism, an ever-more unflinching and sophisticated engagement with violence, with legitimacy, and with the reformulation of the political sphere’, could be applied to all of the author’s late work, including Inherent Vice (156). In this novel, the political sphere includes, quite clearly, the nostalgic as part of a utopian impulse, as recently defined by China Miéville: it ‘isn’t hope, still less optimism: it is need, and it is desire’ for ‘betterness tout court’ (6). Utopia is alterity, and the past, evoked by nostalgia, can thus be harnessed to a political critique of the present. Yet nostalgia is also a personal emotion, and it is this difference that seems to most powerfully shape the relationship between Pynchon’s Inherent Vice and Anderson’s adaptation of it. While the restorative/reflective binary has shaped much recent academic discussion of nostalgia—for example, it is referred to in thirteen of the fifteen essays included a recent special journal issue on contemporary nostalgia—it seems clear that other ways of thinking about the phenomenon are required to do justice to the individual parts of a greater adaptive text (Salmose). While Péter Kristóf Makai’s description of Boym’s distinction as facile is perhaps extreme, there are certainly grounds for treating the concept with caution (5). Boym herself acknowledges that the two poles of the magnet of nostalgia are ‘not absolute binaries, and one can surely make a more refined mapping of the gray areas on the outskirts of imaginary homelands’ (‘Nostalgia’). One way of doing this is to reconsider nostalgia as both a personal emotion and a social force. We may wish to view nostalgia as neither a binary system, nor as a sliding scale ranging from reflective on the one hand to restorative on the other, but as a Cartesian grid on which manifestations of nostalgia are mapped both in terms of Boym’s categories and in relation to their degree of communality, from the solipsism of individual, private nostalgia, to larger-scale, collective manifestations of social nostalgia. It would then be possible to map Pynchon’s Inherent Vice within a quadrant describing a reflective, communal nostalgia, while Anderson’ Inherent Vice with its major focus on a restorative form of personal nostalgia would clearly be positioned elsewhere on this diagram. Any such mapping runs the risk of reductiveness, of neglecting the polysemous complexity of both novel and film in favour of schematic clarity. But it would also allow for a more nuanced way of thinking about not just the relationship between the multiple texts that make up and surround Inherent Vice, but more generally about the many ways adaptive works can mobilize different types of nostalgia for different purposes. References @PhilipHensher . “Walked out of Inherent Vice. Understood so little of plot or dialogue, I worried I ‘d had a stroke.” Twitter 1 Feb. 2015 : 1:47 p.m. https://twitter.com/PhilipHensher/status/562004382104166400. Accessed 18 Oct. 2019. WorldCat Andersen , Tore Rye . “Pynchon’s Twenty-First-Century Paratexts.” The New Pynchon Studies . Ed. Joanna Freer . Cambridge: Cambridge UP , 2019 : 226-240. Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Anspach , Carolyn Kiser. “ Introduction: ‘Medical Dissertation on Nostalgia by Johannes Hofer, 1688’.” Bulletin of the Institute of the History of Medicine 2 . 6 ( 1934 ): 376 – 78 . WorldCat Backman , Jennifer . “From Hard Boiled to Over Easy: Reimagining the Noir Detective in Inherent Vice and Bleeding Edge.” Thomas Pynchon, Sex, and Gender . Eds. Ali Chetwynd and Joanna Freer . Athens, GA: U of Georgia P , 2018 : 19 – 35 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Birke , Dorothee , and Birte Christ . “ Paratext and Digitized Narrative: Mapping the Field.” Narrative 21 . 1 ( 2013 ): 65 – 87 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS WorldCat Bortolotti , Gary R. , and Linda Hutcheon . “ On the Origin of Adaptations: Rethinking Fidelity Discourse and ‘Success’—Biologically.” New Literary History 38 . 3 ( 2007 ): 443 – 58 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS WorldCat Boym , Svetlana. The Future of Nostalgia . New York: Basic Books , 2001 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC ———. “ Nostalgia.” Atlas of Transformation . http://monumenttotransformation.org/atlas-of-transformation/html/n/nostalgia/nostalgia-svetlana-boym.html. Accessed 4 Apr. 2019 . Cardwell , Sarah. Adaptation Revisited: Television and the Classic Novel . Manchester: Manchester UP , 2002 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Carew , Anthony . “Paul Thomas Anderson.” Screen Education no. 91 ( 2018 ): 80 – 93 . WorldCat Carswell , Sean. Occupy Pynchon: Politics after Gravity’s Rainbow . Athens, GA: U of Georgia P , 2017 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Chetwynd , Ali. “ Inherent Obligation: The Distinctive Difficulties in and of Recent Pynchon.” English Studies 95 . 8 ( 2014) : 923 – 48 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS WorldCat Davila , Denise . “Not So Innocent: Book Trailers as Promotional Text and Anticipatory Stories.” ALAN Review 38 . 1 ( 2010 ): 32 – 42 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS WorldCat Dean , Jodi , and Mark Fisher . “ We Can’t Afford to Be Realists: A Conversation with Mark Fisher and Jodi Dean.” Reading Capitalist Realism . Ed. Alison Shonkwiler . Iowa City, IA: U of Iowa P , 2014 : 26 – 38 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Fiske , John. Understanding Popular Culture . 2nd ed. New York: Routledge , 2010 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Freer , Joanna. Thomas Pynchon and American Counterculture . Cambridge: Cambridge UP , 2014 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Geier , Thom. “ Thomas Pynchon speaks! Author lends his voice to ‘Inherent Vice’ trailer.” Entertainment Weekly 11 Aug. 2009 . https://ew.com/article/2009/08/11/thomas-pynchon-speaks-inherent-vice-trailer/. Accessed 22 Mar. 2019. WorldCat Grausam , Daniel. On Endings: American Postmodern Fiction and The Cold War . Charlottesville, VA: U of Virginia P , 2011 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Greenwood , Jonny . “Shasta Fay Hepworth.” Inherent Vice (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) . Nonesuch Records , 2014 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Hampton , Howard . “Everybody Must Get Stoned: The Rainy Day Men (and Women) of Inherent Vice. ” Film Comment 50 . 6 ( 2014 ): 28 – 32 . WorldCat Hock , Stephen. “ Maybe He’d Have to Just Keep Driving, or Pynchon on the Freeway.” Iowa City, IA: Pynchon’s California . Eds. Scott McClintock and John Miller . U of Iowa P , 2014 : 201 – 19 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Hofer , Johannes . “Medical Dissertation on Nostalgia.” Trans. Carolyn Kiser Anspach . Bulletin of the Institute of the History of Medicine 2 . 6 ( 1934 ): 379 – 91 . WorldCat Hutcheon , Linda , and Siobhan O’Flynn . A Theory of Adaptation . 2nd ed. New York: Routledge , 2013 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Inherent Vice . Dir. Paul Thomas Anderson . Warner Bros. Pictures , 2014 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Warner Bros. Pictures . “Inherent Vice—Official Trailer [HD].” YouTube 29 Sep. 2014 . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZfs22E7JmI&t=19s. Accessed 27 Mar. 2019. WorldCat Penguin Books USA . “Inherent Vice, Thomas Pynchon—9781594202247.” YouTube 4 August 2009 . www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=162&v=RjWKPdDk0_U. Accessed 4 Jan. 2019. WorldCat Jameson , Fredric . “Postmodernism and Consumer Society.” The Cultural Turn: Selected Writings on the Postmodern , 1983–1988 , London: Verso ( 1998 ): 1 – 20 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Jones , Thomas . “Call It Capitalism.” London Review of Books 31 . 17 (10 Sep. 2009 ): 9-10. www.lrb.co.uk/v31/n17/thomas-jones/call-it-capitalism. Accessed 4 Jan. 2019. WorldCat Kakutani , Michiko. “ Another Doorway to the Paranoid Pynchon Dimension.” New York Times 3 Aug. 2009 . www.nytimes.com/2009/08/04/books/04kaku.html?pagewanted=all. Accessed 4 Jan. 2019 . WorldCat Kernan , Lisa. Coming Attractions: Reading American Movie Trailers , Austin, TX: U of Texas P , 2004 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Klecker , Cornelia . “The Other Kind of Film Frames: A Research Report on Paratexts in Film. ” Word & Image 31 . 4 ( 2015 ): 402 – 13 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS WorldCat Kindley , Evan. “ The One That Got Away: On Inherent Vice.” Avidly: A Channel of the Los Angles Review of Books 12 Jan. 2015 . http://avidly.lareviewofbooks.org/2015/01/12/the-one-that-got-away-on-inherent- vice/. Accessed 3 May 2019. Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Leitch , Thomas. “ There’s No Nostalgia Like Hollywood Nostalgia.” Humanities 7 . 4 ( 2018 ): 1 – 13 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS WorldCat Levey , Nick. “ Mindless Pleasures: Playlists, Unemployment, and Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice.” Journal of Modern Literature 39 . 3 ( 2016 ): 41 – 56 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS WorldCat Lilla , Mark. The Shipwrecked Mind: On Political Reaction . New York : New York Review Books , 2016 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Lowenthal , David. The Past Is a Foreign Country – Revisited . Cambridge: Cambridge UP , 2015 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Magagnoli , Paolo. Documents of Utopia: The Politics of Experimental Documentary . New York: Wallflower P , 2015 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Makai , Péter Kristóf. “ Video Games as Objects and Vehicles of Nostalgia.” Humanities 7 . 4 ( 2018 ): 1 – 14 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS WorldCat Marcus , Laura . “Nostalgia, Memory, and Autobiography.” Once Upon a Time: Nostalgic Narratives in Transition . Eds. Niklas Salmose and Eric Sandberg . Växjö, Sweden: Trolltrumma Academia , 2018 : 12 – 25 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC McCarthy , Matt . “Inherent Vice—Official Trailer [HD].” YouTube circa 7 Mar. 2019 . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZfs22E7JmI&t=19s. Accessed 27 Mar. 2019. WorldCat Menand , Louis. “ Soft-Boiled: Pynchon’s Stoned Detective.” The New Yorker 3 Aug. 2009 . https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2009/08/03/soft-boiled. Accessed 4 July 2019. WorldCat Miéville , China . Introduction . Utopia , by Thomas Moore, London: Verso , 2016 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Murray , Simone. The Adaptation Industry: The Cultural Economy of Contemporary Literary Adaptation . New York: Routledge , 2012 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC ———. The Digital Literary Sphere: Reading, Writing, and Selling Books in the Internet Era . Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins UP , 2018 . WorldCat COPAC O’Brien , Geoffrey. “ Pynchon’s Blue Shadow.” The New York Review of Books 3 Jan. 2015 . https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2015/01/03/pynchon- blue-shadow-inherent-vice/. Accessed 4 July 2019. Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Oscars . “ Academy Conversations: Inherent Vice.” YouTube 19 Dec. 2014 . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M95Yz1DwAOI. Accessed 27 Mar. 2019 . WorldCat Proust , Marcel. Swann’s Way . Trans. C. K. Scott Moncrieff and Terrence Kilmartin , rev. D. J. Enright. London: Vintage , 1996 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Pynchon , Thomas. Against the Day . London: Vintage , 2007 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC ———. Inherent Vice . New York: Penguin , 2009 . WorldCat COPAC Rocchi , James. “ Inherent Vice’s L.A. Locations: The Ultimate Guide.” LA Weekly 10 Dec. 2014 . https://www.laweekly.com/arts/inherent-vices-la-locations-the-ultimate-guide-5276577. Accessed 15 Apr. 2019. WorldCat Rose , Steve. “ Inherent Vice Walkouts: How to Make a Film Your Audience Will Be Dying to Leave.” The Guardian 3 Feb. 2015 . https://www.theguardian.com/film/shortcuts/2015/feb/03/inherent-vice-walk-outs-paul-thomas-anderson-movie. Accessed 15 Apr. 2019 . WorldCat Sabo , Lee Weston . “Peace Out and Fuck You: Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice.” Bright Lights Film Journal 20 Jan. 2015 . https://brightlightsfilm.com/peace- fuck-paul-thomas-andersons-i. Accessed 5 July 2019 . WorldCat Salmose , Niklas , ed. “ Contemporary Nostalgia.” A Special Issue of Humanities 8 . 1 ( 2018 ). https://www.mdpi.com/journal/humanities/special_issues/Contemporary_Nostalgia#published. Accessed 4 Apr. 2018 . WorldCat Sandberg , Eric . “Popular Culture.” Thomas Pynchon in Context . Ed. Inger H. Dalsgaard . Cambridge: Cambridge UP , 2019 : 138 – 45 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC ———. “ ‘Remembering Is the Essence of What I Am’: Thomas Pynchon and the Politics of Nostalgia.” Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction 60 . 5 ( 2019 ): 475 – 86 . WorldCat Sicinski , Michael. “ Gravity’s Grayscale: Alex Ross Perry’s Cinema of Deaffirmation.” Cinema Scope no. 48 (Fall 2011 ). http://cinema-scope.com/cinema-scope-magazine/interviews-gravitys-grayscale-alex-ross-perrys-cinema-of-deaffirmation/. Accessed 19 Apr. 2019. Simonetti , Paolo. “ A Mystery’s Redemption: Thomas Pynchon and the ‘Inherent Vice’ of Detective Fiction.” Thomas Pynchon & the (De)Vices of Global (Post)Modernity . Ed. Zofia Kolbuszewska. Lublin: Wydawnictwo KUL , 2012 : 287 – 96 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Solomon , Eric. “ Argument by Anachronism: The Presence of the 1930s in Vineland.” The Vineland Papers: Critical Takes on Pynchon’s Novel . Eds. Geoffrey Green , Donald J. Greiner, and Larry McCaffery . Normal, IL: Dalkey Archive P , 1994 : 161 – 66 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Stam , Robert , and Alessandra Raengo . “ Introduction: The Theory and Practice of Adaptation.” Companion to Literature and Film . Eds. Robert Stam and Alessandra Raengo. Malden, MA: Blackwell , 2005 : 1 – 52 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Sullivan , Erin. “ Historical Keyword: Nostalgia.” The Lancet 376 . 9741 ( 2010 ): 585 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS WorldCat Movieclips Classic Trailers . “There Will Be Blood (2007) Official Trailer—Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano Movie HD.” YouTube 9 May 2014 . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeSLPELpMeM. Accessed 27 Mar. 2019. Thomas , Samuel. Pynchon and the Political. Studies in Major Literary Authors. New York : Routledge , 2007 . COPAC Vice . “Director Paul Thomas Anderson Talks ‘Inherent Vice’.” Vice Meets Season 1, Episode 26. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPB6GXG7Wa8&feature=youtu.be&t=66. Accessed 2 May 2019. WorldCat Voigts-Virchow , Eckart. “ Heritage and Literature on Screen: Heimat and Heritage.” The Cambridge Companion to Literature on Screen . Eds. Deborah Cartmell and Imelda Whelehan . Cambridge: Cambridge UP , 2007 : 123 – 37 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Wilson , Rob. “ On the Pacific Edge of Catastrophe, or Redemption: California Dreaming in Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice.” Boundary 2 37 . 2 (2010) : 217 – 25 . WorldCat Footnotes 1 There are exceptions to this rule. Paolo Simonetti reads Inherent Vice as a novel unifying the high-culture, postmodern, metaphysical detective story and the popular version of the form (290–91). Ali Chetwynd sees it, like many of Pynchon’s late novels, as emphasizing a sense of shared obligation (945). Nick Levey contrasts it with Pynchon’s ‘information-packed, academic-titillating’ works (54). I have considered it elsewhere as a text that excorporates (or appropriates and repurposes—the term is John Fiske’s) aspects of popular culture (‘Popular Culture’), and alongside Bleeding Edge (2013) as a novel engaged with the politics of nostalgia (‘Remembering’). 2 Alex Ross Perry’s debut film Impolex (2009) has been described as ‘a highly unconventional riff on’, rather than an adaptation of, Pynchon’s 1973 masterpiece Gravity’s Rainbow (Sicinski). But its subject matter (an American soldier scouring post-War Germany for V2 Rockets), any number of visual references (a pig costume, a banana, etc.), and its title (a version of the novel’s Imipolex G) make the connection between the two works clear. 3 Murray points out the connections between prize culture and adaptation, with high-status prizes like the Booker acting as powerful drivers of ‘cross-media commercial impact’ (Adaptation 104). Inherent Vice won no literary prizes, but Pynchon is one of the handful of contemporary writers whose name acts as its own prize, as it were, conferring prestige on more recent works by association with his existing oeuvre. 4 Murray points out that the required budget for a book trailer of up to $10,000 means that only a publishing house’s lead authors are likely to have one, and the practice remains exceptional (Digital 64). None of the winners of the Booker Prize from 2014 to 2019 have official book trailers. 5 Andersen has also discussed the ‘complex enunciative situation’ of the book trailer, including its complex temporality. His focus, however, is on the way this ‘creates an effect of intimacy between the author and his main character’ (235). 6 The difference here is relative, not absolute. It would, for example, be relatively easy to identify elements of the book trailer that are aligned with, or could be aligned with, restorative nostalgia. Nonetheless when the two trailers are viewed as wholes the distinction is valid. 7 Hofer’s dissertation was republished in 1710 with the term ‘nostalgia’ replaced throughout by ‘Pothopatridalgia’ (Anspach 376). While one is grateful for nostalgia’s triumph in this battle of nomenclature, both terms are made up of similar roots: the less familiar term links the Greek potho, or warm desire, to the Latin fatherland, patria. Hofer also offers as alternatives ‘nosomania’ and ‘philopatridomania’ (381). 8 A key passage here is Sportello’s emerging awareness that the 60s may always have been compromised: ‘Was it possible, at every gathering––concert, peace rally, love-in, be-in, freak-in, here, up north, back East, wherever––those dark crews have been busy all along, reclaiming the music, the resistance to power, the sexual desire from epic to everyday, all they could sweep up, for the ancient forces of greed and fear?’ (130) 9 Pynchon’s most recent novel, Bleeding Edge (2013), also laments this cultural shift: ‘What happened to private eyes, lovable criminals? lost in all that post-sixties propaganda, Orwell’s boot on the face, endless prosecution and enforcement, cop cop cop’ (418). Similarly, Pynchon’s Vineland nostalgically views a past era—in this case the 1930s—as a time of ‘struggle and idealism’ (while putting forward a darker view of the 60s than Inherent Vice (Solomon 163). 10 Evan Kindley has offered a widely circulated reading of the film as ‘a personal film about lost love, which may or may not contain an encrypted portrait of Anderson’s ex-girlfriend Fiona Apple’, a biographical interpretation beyond the scope of this paper. 11 I am grateful to the anonymous peer reviewer who alerted me to the peculiar aspects of this scene. © The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/open_access/funder_policies/chorus/standard_publication_model) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Adaptation Oxford University Press

Thomas Pynchon and Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice(s) and the Affective Politics of Nostalgia

Adaptation , Volume Advance Article – Apr 1, 2004

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Oxford University Press
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© The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com
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1755-0637
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1755-0645
DOI
10.1093/adaptation/apz028
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Abstract

Abstract This essay examines Thomas Pynchon’s 2009 Inherent Vice and Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2014 adaptation of the novel. These works are closely connected, and can be effectively viewed as two parts of a single transmedia text which includes a novel, a film, and two trailers. All of the constituent parts of this meta-Inherent Vice are informed by their engagement with nostalgia. Yet it is precisely here that the texts diverge from each other most markedly, activating different types of nostalgia for different purposes. While much contemporary scholarship relies on Svetlana Boym’s reflective/restorative binary to conceptualize the phenomenon of nostalgia, this reading argues that a public/personal divide offers another perhaps more appropriate lens to view the differences between the two versions of Inherent Vice. Pynchon’s novel emphasizes the political potential and social aspects of nostalgia, while Anderson’s film focuses on its personal, affective impact. Nostalgia, book and movie trailers, politics, memory, neo-liberalism The critical response to Thomas Pynchon’s 2009 novel Inherent Vice has been somewhat muted. While the novel was generally respectfully reviewed, some prominent critics were less than enthusiastic. Michiko Kakutani, for instance, described it in The New York Times as ‘Pynchon Lite’, a sort of ‘Classic Comics version of a Pynchon novel’, while Louis Menand compared it in The New Yorker to a Cheech and Chong skit. Even Thomas Jones’s insightful essay in the London Review of Books claimed that the novel fails to offer the ‘menace and the passion of its predecessors’. Academic criticism, too, has been slow to embrace Inherent Vice: as Nick Levey points out, while by no means ignored it has attracted relatively little attention in comparison with the outpouring of scholarly articles dedicated to, say, Against the Day (2006) (45).1 Yet Inherent Vice has, alone out of Pynchon’s eight novels, been accorded the honour of adaptation, with Paul Thomas Anderson’s film version released in 2014.2 The adaptive relationship between novel and film began very early: according to producer JoAnne Sellar, Anderson had heard that Pynchon might be open to an adaptation of the at-that-point-unpublished novel. Sellar contacted Pynchon’s agent, who confirmed the author’s interest and his admiration of Anderson’s films, and sent galley copies for them to read (Oscars). Inherent Vice thus seems to have been conceived of by Pynchon as ‘inherently adaptable’, and this may, in part, explain its critical reception: a discussion of the novel that ignores the film is arguably incomplete. This adaptive bond may also help explain the reception of Anderson’s film. As with Pynchon’s novel, while reviews were generally positive, some critics have been strident in their condemnation of Anderson’s ‘worst film’ (Sabo). Even those who take a more charitable view have had difficulty reconciling its fidelity as an adaptation with the fact that it is ‘utterly its own thing, as thoroughly a piece of Anderson’s imaginative universe as of Pynchon’s’ (O’Brien), and in situating it in relation to Anderson’s career as a whole. Anthony Carew’s recent overview of the director’s oeuvre, for example, sees Inherent Vice as a step backwards from masterpieces like There Will Be Blood and The Master to the ‘the big-ensemble mischief’ typical of Anderson’s early work (88). Popular reception has been, by all accounts, even less enthusiastic: this was as ‘a great walk-out movie’, the ‘season’s mustn’t-see experience’ (Rose). This phenomenon was widely registered on social media: ‘Walked out of Inherent Vice. Understood so little of plot or dialogue, I worried I’d had a stroke’ (@PhilipHensher). For many viewers unfamiliar with Pynchon’s novel, Anderson’s film causes a sort of cognitive strain: as Howard Hampton notes in his enthusiastic review, ‘if you haven’t read the novel, the turns of this story can’t be easy to follow’ (30). This makes sense, given Anderson’s description of his scriptwriting process: he ‘did it the old-fashioned way’, manually transcribing the novel’s dialogue into a working script, a process he likens to a form of ventriloquism. He was ‘sick of the sound of [his] own voice’, and was happy to work with Pynchon’s words instead of his own (Oscars). Despite the many changes that occur as the story moves from page to screen, Pynchon and Anderson’s Inherent Vices are thus very closely linked. This means they are, first, a refutation (should any further refutation be required) of notions of adaptation as inevitably ‘secondary and derivative in relation to what is usually (and tellingly) referred to as the “original”’ (Bortolotti and Hutcheon 443). In this case, the novel and the film are so bound together as to make the notion of novelistic primacy inadequate. Secondly, their relationship is a fine example of the way in which contemporary adaptation occurs not as a financially lucrative by-product of a novel, a ‘serendipitous but unlikely afterthought’ as Simone Murray puts it, but as part of a broader multimedia constellation of content (Adaptation 26).3 As Tore Rye Andersen points out, the ‘aggregation of different media texts’ associated with the label Inherent Vice is probably not extensive and diverse enough to justify a description of this as transmedia storytelling, but it is an example of a single narrative embodied in, and extended by, a range of multimedia paratexts (237). INHERENT VICE’S TRAILERS: ANTICIPATING NOSTALGIA One indication of the ‘adaptive’ nature of Pynchon’s Inherent Vice is the fact that the novel was not just followed by a film, but accompanied by one in the form of a promotional trailer. This practice has become more common in the digital ecosystem of twenty-first-century cultural production and distribution, offering what has been described, perhaps hyperbolically, as an entirely new way of promoting books (Davila 32). But trailers are much more common in YA and children’s segments, where dedicated YouTube channels distribute hundreds of trailers to potential readers (Murray, Digital 63), than for prestigious literary fiction of the sort associated with a writer like Pynchon.4 The existence of the book trailer is thus in itself significant, as it associates the novel with a typically cinematic genre. Also, as Lisa Kernan argues of movie trailers, it acts as both paratext and metatext, that is to say as a text which contributes to the signification of the novel, and as a text which communicates about the novel (7). The importance of the trailer is indicated by the fact that it is written and narrated by Pynchon himself, despite his famous avoidance of media attention (Geier). This is not simply an advertisement for the book, fulfilling what Andersen (using Dorothee Birke and Birte Christ’s terminology) describes as the paratext’s commercial function, but a transmedia extension of it which also has an interpretive function (231). One of the most interesting things the trailer does is offer information unavailable elsewhere about the novel’s main character, the ‘private gumshoe’ Larry ‘Doc’ Sportello (‘Inherent’). We learn that Sportello ‘used to work the traditional Hollywood type of PI gigs, setting up drugs busts for parties in divorcee cases, helping the cops out with their many shakedown schemes and so forth’: since moving to Gordita Beach, he has been working ‘smaller tickets’ that offer ‘less karmic hassle, less guilt-tripping’: sometimes he ‘ends up paying the tab, whether it’s in cash or something heavier, and that’s, you know, it’s groovy’ (‘Inherent’). This back-story of transgression and restitution, available in the trailer but not the novel, connects him with the main object of his investigation, property developer Mickey Wolfmann, who attempts to build the city of ‘Arrepentimiento’ (or ‘sorry about that’ in Spanish) where anyone can live for free, as his ‘penance for having once charged money for human shelter’ (Pynchon, Inherent 249). This is in effect what Sportello is doing throughout the novel by offering his investigative services for free as a form of personal redemption. A reader of the novel might notice the Sportello-Wolfmann connection—Jennifer Backman, for instance, has pointed out uncomfortable linkages in terms of sexuality and power between the two—but the trailer makes the parallel explicit and extends its range (22–23). This additional information is difficult to exclude from a reading of the novel as it is ‘literally authorized by the author and therefore functions as a legitimate supplement to the characterization of Doc’ (Andersen 235). In other words, the text itself—the novel—can be seen as incomplete without its accompanying trailer, or indeed as (unconventionally, to say the least) a single multimedia text consisting of the trailer and the novel. It is also important to note that the trailer operates through retrospection, using Sportello’s past to illuminate the narrative present, and situating the narrative as a whole within a nostalgic framework. Its opening title shot is followed by an intertitle of the novel’s epigraph, ‘“Under the paving-stones, the beach!” – Graffito, Paris, 1968’, a translation of a famous Parisian graffiti from the May 1968 student protests: ‘Sous les pavés, la plage!’ This epigraph is explicitly retrospective and implicitly nostalgic, referring to a time when it was not, to paraphrase Slavoj Žižek paraphrasing Fredric Jameson, easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism (Dean and Fisher 26). Even for viewers unfamiliar with this context, the epigraph speaks of a vanished world in which paradise was not yet a parking lot. In the opening shots of the trailer, a car drives from LA international to Gordita Beach, California—‘right here’, as the narrator says, referring to a zoom shot of beach at sunset, palm trees silhouetted against a luminous seascape. This iconic Californian image then cuts to a shot of a beach blocked by a traffic sign indicating END, while at the same time the narrator corrects himself: ‘actually this used to be the beach’ (‘Inherent’) (Figure 1). Thus, a physical journey becomes temporal, a nostalgic journey to ‘right now, back in 1970’ before ‘all this’ went ‘high rise, high rent, high intensity’ (‘Inherent’). The trailer concludes, however, by moving from past to present. Figure 1. Open in new tabDownload slide Inherent Vice’s book trailer: the beach comes to an end. Source: Penguin Books USA, “Inherent Vice, Thomas Pynchon—9781594202247,” YouTube. Figure 1. Open in new tabDownload slide Inherent Vice’s book trailer: the beach comes to an end. Source: Penguin Books USA, “Inherent Vice, Thomas Pynchon—9781594202247,” YouTube. To this point, I have focused on the interpretative elements of the trailer that make it ‘more than merely a type of advertising’ (Kernan 7). As the voice-over shifts to overt promotion—‘Maybe you’ll just want to read the book. Inherent Vice, Penguin Press. $27.95’—Pynchon focuses on the temporal gap between the ‘now’ of viewing and the ‘right now, back in 1970’ through an audible double-take: ‘…$27.95? That used to be, like, three weeks of groceries, man. What year is this again?’ (‘Inherent’). Andersen quite rightly identifies this as an instance of Pynchon’s ‘penchant for anachronism’ (234), but the emphasis on the temporal gap between then and now also enables a particular kind of nostalgic response to the text—a point I will return to after considering the trailer for Anderson’s film.5 Anderson’s trailer is of course part of a much more prominent, better-established genre: more or less all commercially released films are accompanied by trailers. Like the book trailer, it, too, performs a number of different functions. Firstly, it aims to build anticipation for the upcoming film—this is in the words of Vinzenz Hediger ‘storytelling as selling’ (quoted in Klecker 409). Its upbeat soundtrack—Sly and the Family Stone’s 1969 hit ‘I Want to Take You Higher’ features prominently in the first half of the trailer—and fast-cut montage technique—fifteen separate shots in the first twenty seconds—work to catch the viewer’s attention. This promotional intent is slyly acknowledged toward the end of the trailer in a shot of an armed Sportello, played by Joaquin Phoenix, asking ‘Did I get you?’ (‘Inherent Vice – Official’). It also acknowledges its adaptive status with a prominent intertitle proclaiming ‘from the novel by Thomas Pynchon’ written in the distinctive neon-tubing version of Dresher Grotesk typeface used on the novel’s first edition cover (Andersen 230). In comparison, the trailer for Anderson’s only other adaptation, There Will Be Blood (2007), very discreetly acknowledges the fact that it is ‘based on Oil! by Upton Sinclair’ (‘There Will’) (Figure 2). Less traditionally, the trailer acts as a sort of primer for viewers of the film unacquainted with the novel by outlining key plot developments through voice-over narration (‘Inherent Vice – Official’). As one viewer commented on YouTube, ‘i think i would have followed the movie more easily if i had watched this trailer beforehand’ (McCarthy). Finally, the movie trailer, like the book trailer, appeals to viewers’ nostalgia, both visually in terms of costume, sets, and a mise-en-scène generally evocative of the late 1960s, but also through the soundtrack, particularly in the second half of the trailer which is set to Sam Cooke’s nostalgic 1960 hit ‘Wonderful World’. Figure 2. Open in new tabDownload slide Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood and Inherent Vice’s movie trailers: the relative prominence of adaptive intertexts, illustrated. Source: Movieclips Classic Trailers, “There Will Be Blood (2007) Official Trailer—Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano Movie HD,” YouTube and Warner Bros. Pictures, “Inherent Vice—Official Trailer [HD],” YouTube. Figure 2. Open in new tabDownload slide Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood and Inherent Vice’s movie trailers: the relative prominence of adaptive intertexts, illustrated. Source: Movieclips Classic Trailers, “There Will Be Blood (2007) Official Trailer—Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano Movie HD,” YouTube and Warner Bros. Pictures, “Inherent Vice—Official Trailer [HD],” YouTube. INHERENT VICES: DEFINING NOSTALGIAS While Inherent Vice’s book and movie trailers both activate nostalgic energies, the way this nostalgia is articulated is quite different. If the book trailer, as discussed earlier, openly acknowledges the gap between the present and the past (‘What year is this again?’), and allows nostalgia to circulate in this space, the movie trailer offers a more direct nostalgia, sensory rather than intellectual, felt rather than thought. In the case of the book trailer, we have a text that openly acknowledges itself as a contemporary cultural product engaging with the past; in the film trailer, we have a contemporary cultural product aimed at re-creating a sense of the past through a range of cinematographic tools. The difference between these two approaches corresponds closely to the most influential contemporary intervention in nostalgia theory, Svetlana Boym’s distinction between restorative and reflective nostalgia.6 This binary is developed at length in Boym’s seminal The Future of Nostalgia, but she has usefully summarized the contrasting concepts: Restorative nostalgia stresses nóstos (home) and attempts a transhistorical reconstruction of the lost home. Reflective nostalgia thrives in álgos, the longing itself, and delays the homecoming—wistfully, ironically, desperately. [. . .]. Restorative nostalgia does not think of itself as nostalgia, but rather as truth and tradition. Reflective nostalgia dwells on the ambivalences of human longing and belonging and does not shy away from the contradictions of modernity. Restorative nostalgia protects the absolute truth, while reflective nostalgia calls it into doubt. (‘Nostalgia’) Restorative nostalgia, in other words, postulates a simplified version of the past to which it attaches itself. This is the nostalgia both of cultural products that derive their emotional impact from the representation of a version of the past which bears little resemblance to the complexities and ambiguities of historical reality, and of political movements such as Trump’s American populism, Orbán’s Hungarian nativism, and Erdoğan’s neo-Ottomanism. This nostalgia represents a ‘kind of magical thinking about history’ (Lilla xx). Reflective nostalgia is a less obvious phenomenon, both in terms of its appearance in cultural products and in its political manifestations. One thing that can be said, however, is that it is always aware of itself as nostalgia, and aware of the gap between the present in which it occurs and the past towards which it gestures. It can be thought of as an ironized nostalgia capable of negotiating the ‘gap between the real and the ideal without doing violence to either’ (Lilla 133). The association of Pynchon’s Inherent Vice with reflective nostalgia and Anderson’s with restorative nostalgia seems to hold not just for the trailers, but for the works themselves. Pynchon’s novel, for example, while insistent on its historical setting, contains a number of anachronisms that indicate an awareness of its evocation of the past, such as the presence of ARPAnet, a proto-internet established by the US Department of Defence in 1969. It is highly improbable that repoman Fritz Drybeam would be so closely involved in the very early development of the network, and these references thus point readers not towards the past, but towards a future (our present) when ‘everybody is going to wake up to find they’re under surveillance they can’t escape’ (Inherent 365). This is the sort of thing that justifies descriptions of Pynchon’s work as bi-temporal, building meaning out of the gap between the time of setting and the time of reading (Grausam 44). Anderson’s film, on the other hand, can be associated with traditions like British heritage cinema and television and Austro-German Heimatfilm that ‘emotionalize time and space by constructing a cultural memory’ (Voigts-Virchow 128). Here, the heritage object is not the stately home of the British tradition, or the rural landscape of the German, but the ‘innocent’ objects and spaces of America’s mid-twentieth-century past. The film opens, for example, with a static shot of a beach scene framed by weathered clapboard and stucco houses, illuminated in golden afternoon light, and briefly overlaid with a hand-written intertitle identifying time and place; we hear sounds of surf and sea-birds as two soft-focus children enter the frame and run towards the beach (Figure 3). The voice-over tells us that (in the opening words of the novel) ‘she [Sportello’s ex-girlfriend Shasta Fay Hepworth] came along the alley and up the back steps the way she always used to’, with the first cut (to the narrator’s face) coinciding with the phrase ‘used to’. The editing thus intertwines image, sound, text, and voice into a highly evocative, nostalgic representation of a lost golden age of youthful innocence. Figure 3. Open in new tabDownload slide A nostalgic image of small-town, old-time America sets the tone in Anderson’s Inherent Vice. Source: Inherent Vice. Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, Warner Bros. Pictures, 2014. Figure 3. Open in new tabDownload slide A nostalgic image of small-town, old-time America sets the tone in Anderson’s Inherent Vice. Source: Inherent Vice. Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, Warner Bros. Pictures, 2014. It would be relatively easy to accept this reading of the two texts in relation to reflective and restorative nostalgia. The association of Hollywood with restorative nostalgia is a well-established trope of cultural criticism; Boym, for instance, links particular Hollywood cinematic practices (from the ‘Disney-style recreation of small-town life’ to hyper-realistic CGI dinosaurs) to a restorative version of American nostalgia (Future 34), while Fredric Jameson points to George Lucas’s 1973 American Graffiti as an inaugural nostalgia film (7–8). Indeed, Jameson’s argument that a film like Lawrence Kasdan’s 1981 Body Heat relies on its vision of small-town America to allow it access to nostalgic energies despite its contemporary setting is directly relevant to the way Anderson’s Inherent Vice represents an America stripped, as Jameson writes of Body Heat, of ‘the signals and references which we might associate with the contemporary world, with consumer society’ (9). Yet limiting our reading of the relationship of novel and film to the binary pair of reflective versus restorative would be a mistake. Thomas Leitch has complicated Boym’s ‘anodyne portrayal of Hollywood nostalgia as restorative’, concluding that while it may offer audiences a feeling of belonging, it should be seen as separate from both the restorative nostalgia of British heritage cinema and the reflective nostalgia of American literature (‘There’s No’ 4–6). More specifically, we could look to Anderson’s refusal of any number of easily accessible 60s visual stereotypes, such as tie-dye t-shirts or beaded headbands, as a complication of the film’s apparent restorative nostalgia. As Anderson claims, ‘you can do something that is entirely accurate to the period, ripped straight from a photograph [. . .] and then you are standing on set thinking this is absolutely preposterous’ (Oscars). This approach is the opposite of the ‘accurate (though very selective) reproductions’ of the past that critics like Sarah Cardwell associate with heritage film and television’s ‘ideologically reactionary force’ (119). In effect, reading Pynchon’s novel and Anderson’s film as oppositional halves of a reflective-restorative pair would be a reassertion of the traditional but unilluminating comparison between a valorized literary source text and a denigrated film adaptation, another way to imply ‘that cinema has somehow done a disservice to literature’ (Stam 3). It is certainly an approach that would fail to do justice to the complexity and richness of the relationship between Pynchon and Anderson’s work. Yet there is, as any reader of the novel and viewer of the film will attest, something very different about what the two works do with nostalgia. If the reflective-restorative binary is an incomplete description of this difference, we must look elsewhere. INHERENT VICE(S)’S NOSTALGIA(S): SHIFTING THE BINARY Nostalgia is a portmanteau word developed by Johannes Hofer in 1688 from the Greek Nosos, ‘return to the native land’, and Algos, ‘suffering or grief’, to describe a constellation of medical symptoms experienced by Swiss living, working, or travelling away from home (Hofer 381).7 The condition eventually lost its diagnostic credibility, and became associated instead with imagination and artistic production (Sullivan 585). The term has since entered into daily use, retaining as it has done so, however, some of the negative connotations of its medical origins (Marcus 12). Another essential transformation involves the replacement of geographical with temporal distance. Hofer refers to a Bernese student in Basel who nearly died of the condition before returning to his home, a modest hundred kilometres away; indeed, his symptoms were alleviated by travelling ‘scarcely some few miles’ in the right direction (382). The contemporary nostalgic has a more difficult task, for the lost homeland is not a place but a time. Marcel Proust dedicated the seven volumes of À la recherche du temps perdu to bridging the nostalgic gap, but as the Proustian narrator confesses, the success of this work relies on chance: ‘It is a labour in vain to attempt to recapture it: all the efforts of our intellect must prove futile’ (52). Famously, for Proust the experience of childhood is accessible through involuntary memory based on physical sensation, but this sort of nostalgia, however successful, is always highly personal. We may share a madeleine, but we will not share the same memories. This tradition thus sees nostalgia as an individual, rather than social condition. Today, however, while we of course continue to experience nostalgia on a personal level, and use these experiences in our cultural production, we are also sensitive to its social and political role, as is the case with critiques of the nostalgic politics and policies of post-2008 right-wing populism. We have become all too aware that, as Mark Lilla writes, nostalgia is a hugely powerful political tool: ‘Hopes can be disappointed. Nostalgia is irrefutable’ (xiv). In Boym’s taxonomy, this type of communal nostalgia would be classified as restorative, and it tends to be viewed as a reactionary, regressive response to changing social and economic realities. However, nostalgic thinking in its public form can have a revolutionary impact as well, or, to put it less dramatically, it can be mobilized as part of a critique of the present dispensation. As Paolo Magagnoli writes, nostalgia is ‘not always the expression of conservative politics but may in fact be seen to respond to a diversity of desires and political needs: in other words, along with the conservative, reactionary nostalgia, there can be a critical progressive one [. . .]’ (9). This critical form of public nostalgia is a key characteristic of Pynchon’s Inherent Vice. Sportello certainly experiences nostalgia on a personal level, both for his time with ex-girlfriend Shasta and more generally for a ‘childhood’ he ‘never much felt he wanted to escape from’ (Pynchon, Inherent 125). But the novel as a whole is more concerned with the systematic cultural changes that have left the past looking ever more attractive. It explores not, or not primarily, what Pynchon characterizes in Against the Day as ‘the flaccid swoon of yielding to memory’, but a less solipsistic form of remembering (853). In its ‘post-Mansonical’ setting, America is waking up from the ‘great collective dream’ of 1960s counter-culture, haunted by the eruption of violence into what is remembered as—and the novel is very aware of the fact that this is a memory, not a reality—a sort of paradise lost (Pynchon, Inherent 176).8 Gone are the days when hippies could cruise ‘straightworld neighbourhoods picking out strange houses at random, asking to use the bathroom, going in and shooting up’ (38). The ‘end of a certain kind of innocence’ has transformed the average American’s ‘real desire sometimes to help’ into the sort of paranoid terror that defines ‘every gathering of three or more civilians [. . .] as a potential cult’ (38, 179). This is a novel set at a moment of what David Lowenthal describes as a typically nostalgic ‘fin-de-siècle sense of change’, and signs of a degraded present separating a threatened future from a remembered past abound (11). As a private detective, Sportello is associated with the ‘old-time hardboiled dick era’ in opposition to the ‘Glass house wave of the future’—the LAPD headquarters that sits incongruously amidst ‘the old-time good intentions of that downtown architecture’ (33, 137). This is a representative structure of what police detective Bigfoot Bjornsen calls ‘Reality’, or the emerging paradigm of America as a neo-liberal security state, with its ‘exploitative system of privatization, deregulation, militarization, and free-market fundamentalism’ (33; Carswell 7). In this America, the police hire Adrian Prussia as an under-the-table hitman to handle problems intractable to conventional policing such as ‘politicals––black and Chicano activists, antiwar protestors, campus bombers, and other assorted pinko fucks’ (323). Prussia’s hit (involving prolonged sexual torture) on a blackmailer who has had the temerity to threaten Ronald Reagan’s tenure as Governor of California and his political career in general is central to the novel’s critique: ‘the future of America belongs’ to Reagan quite literally, and, in the history proposed by the novel, this ownership is built on state terror (Inherent 321). The novel contrasts this with Sportello’s nostalgia for a previous cultural paradigm: ‘Once there were all these great old PIs––Phillip Marlowe, Sam Spade, the shamus of shamuses Johnny Staccato, always smarter and more professional than the cops [. . .]. but nowadays it’s all you see anymore is cops, the tube is saturated with fuckin cop shows’ (97).9 These cops, who are presented by mainstream media as ‘no more threat to nobody’s freedom than some dad in a sitcom’ are the very people ushering in the new ‘reality’ (97). A key scene in this contrast between a nostalgically idealized past and a debased present occurs when Sportello receives a postcard from Hepworth, asking if he remembers ‘that day with the Ouija board?’ (163). This is a reference to an unsuccessful attempt to get otherworldly dope-buying advice which lead Shasta and Doc, ‘at a point late in their time together’, not to a well-stocked drug dealer but to ‘an empty lot with a gigantic excavation in it’ that looks at first like ‘a great wet temple entrance, into someplace else’ (164–66). This indeterminate elsewhere operates in explicit contrast to the ‘real’ Los Angeles, a city that is in its totality a ‘public and anonymous confession of the deadly sin of greed’ (166). Rather than mourn the spirits’ cruel prank, Sportello and Shasta experience a moment of united bliss, forgetting ‘how it was all going to develop anyhow’ and making-out ‘frantically, like kids at the drive-in’ (166). If the narrative stopped here, this would be an instance of personal nostalgia, the painful yet irresistible remembrance of things past. However, after receiving Shasta’s postcard, Sportello revisits the site, only to find that things have changed. Instead of a hole in the ground—and an avenue of escape—he finds a ‘strangely futuristic building’, the headquarters of the Golden Fang (166–67). This could be read in the context of one of the novel’s sub-themes as a reflection on the ‘long, sad history of Los Angeles land use: Mexican families bounced out of Chavez Ravine to build Dodger Stadium, American Indians swept out of Bunker Hill for the Music Center [. . .]’ (17). But the Golden Fang has a special status in the novel. A vertically integrated drug cartel that produces, imports, and distributes heroin, while also investing in rehabilitation facilities and working closely with the government’s anti-leftist activities, it is the central node of the narrative’s sprawling network of corruption, ranging all the way from racist prison gangs to California’s social elite. It is, as Jones has pointed out, in its ubiquity, ruthlessness, and contempt for the weak, a clear textual analogue for global capitalism, or, in Rob Wilson’s terms, ‘a Pynchonesque metonym for the totality of global-capitalist circulation’ (220). Thus, the novel’s primary site of personal nostalgia—the remembered location of Sportello and Shasta’s last good days—is transformed into its primary site of political critique, its most focused representation of ‘the faithless money-driven world’ that Sportello sees emerging from the shadows of counter-culture California to ‘reassert control over all the lives it felt entitled to touch, fondle, and molest [. . .]’ (130). The nostalgic site is a gateway to somewhere else, an escape from what is and what will be. Magagnoli has argued that nostalgia’s social critique emerges out of ‘discontent towards the society one lives in’ (1). But if the imagined gateway to elsewhere, to difference, to the place where in Magagnoli’s terms the problems of the present ‘are transcended or resolved’ is closed, we are left with no escape from reality, a term that as we have seen is heavily loaded in the world of Inherent Vice (1). The novel’s conclusion does, however, present an alternative, albeit in a tenuous form. Sportello’s investigation has ended, and as he drives south on the Santa Monica Freeway, he hits a bank of fog, in which he and the other drivers on the road form a temporary community: ‘He crept along till he finally found another car to settle in behind. After a while in his rearview mirror he saw somebody else fall in behind him. He was in a convoy of unknown size, each car keeping the one ahead in taillight range, like a caravan in a desert of perception, gathered awhile for safety in getting across a patch of blindness. It was one of the few things he’d ever seen anybody in this town, except hippies, do for free’. (368) This moment of unity between strangers can be seen as an example of what Joanna Freer has described as a central idea in Pynchon’s late work, communitas, a social ideal of collaboration and cooperation which contrasts with the overwhelming self-interested isolation of mainstream American society (144). It is a vision of a world less bleakly and hopelessly invested in the self (Hock 216). The novel ends as Sportello drives on, ‘waiting for the fog to burn away, and for something else this time, somehow, to be there instead’ (369). These two scenes lie at the heart of the nostalgic critique of Pynchon’s novel, offering a memory of a different past and a different way of being that inspire hope for a better future. Both scenes appear in Anderson’s Inherent Vice, but in ways that decisively shift their nostalgic register from the social and political towards the personal. In a major interview about his film, Anderson has described his interpretation of Pynchon’s novel: ‘Amidst all these crazy jokes and everything else you gotta…well, there’s that, but what’s the real thing? And the real thing in the book is his love for Shasta, his kind of pining obsession about an ex-old lady who got away, who maybe is not the one you want to be with but you can’t help but think of her all the time’ (Vice). This reading of the novel as a love story, an elegy for a lost relationship, and as an exercise in personal nostalgia is clear in the adaptive choices Anderson makes in the presentation of the narrative’s two central nostalgic scenes.10 In the case of the Ouija board-excavation-Golden Fang scene, the difference is in part attributable to the production processes of cinema: shooting for the scene took place in Pomona because, according to location manager Larry Ring, ‘there are sections of it that are just dead’ and thus look right for an evocation of 1970 Hollywood (Rocchi). The location, however, appropriate in terms of period ambiance, has an empty lot in place of a ‘giant excavation’, and while the production team can be excused for not having dug one, the novel’s link between a nostalgic, sacred hole leading to a utopian ‘elsewhere’ and the threatening tower of the present is thus unavailable to viewers of the film, alongside any other associations that the hole-to-tower transformation may evoke (e.g., a whole set of gendered binaries). In place of these connections, Anderson’s interpretation of the scene focuses visually on the remembered happiness of Sportello and Shasta (played by Katherine Waterston) (Figure 4). Nor does the film’s voice-over narration, which is frequently used to explicate points that might otherwise be missed or cause confusion, refer to the site as a gateway to elsewhere, focusing instead on the romantic nostalgia of the scene. What is represented here, then, is a highly personal form of nostalgia, focusing on the absent beloved. This is accentuated by the scene’s extra-diegetic music, Neil Young’s ‘Journey through the Past’ (‘When the winter rains come pouring / on that new home of mine / will you think of me and wonder if I’m fine? / Will your restless heart come back to mine / on a journey through the past?’). Thus, when Sportello returns in the narrative present to Sunset Boulevard and finds the Golden Fang building instead of the empty lot, the contrast made is not so much between a potential alterity and present reality (as in the novel), but between the remembered presence of Shasta Fey, and her current (and for Sportello deeply troubling) absence. Figure 4. Open in new tabDownload slide The nostalgic memory of Shasta Fay Hepworth (Katherine Waterston) and Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix): Can a hole to elsewhere be missing? And can love fill that hole? Source: Inherent Vice. Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, Warner Bros. Pictures, 2014. Figure 4. Open in new tabDownload slide The nostalgic memory of Shasta Fay Hepworth (Katherine Waterston) and Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix): Can a hole to elsewhere be missing? And can love fill that hole? Source: Inherent Vice. Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, Warner Bros. Pictures, 2014. The same transformation takes place in the final scene of the movie—but on this occasion the difference is not limited to emphasis or accent, for Anderson has made a major change in his source material. This alone should be enough to alert us to the fact that something important is going on: adaptations are, as Linda Hutcheon has argued ‘haunted at all times by their adapted texts’, and this is a moment at which the ghost of Pynchon’s novel moans with particular energy (6). In addition, Anderson, as was discussed earlier, has consistently emphasized his fidelity to the novel (‘I was just responding to what he wrote’) and while the adaptive process has led to any number of negotiations, compromises, additions, omissions, and transformations, in general the film is remarkably ‘faithful’—to use that provocative term—to the novel (Vice). This is true on a large scale, in terms of plot, character, and dialogue, and also on a level almost invisible even to attentive viewers and readers. For instance, early in the narrative Sportello joins a group of friends for pizza. While no overt reference is made to the fact in the film, in the novel the pizza toppings are, as any reader of Pynchon would expect, bizarre and unappetizing. And, sure enough, a close look at Anderson’s scene reveals marshmallows on the pizza. Clearly, a major change from the novel to the film should be a point of major hermeneutic interest, and that is certainly the case here (Figure 5). Figure 5. Open in new tabDownload slide Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) and Sortilège (Joanna Newsome) and a discreet marshmallow pizza: an instance of extreme adaptive fidelity. Source: Inherent Vice. Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, Warner Bros. Pictures, 2014. Figure 5. Open in new tabDownload slide Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) and Sortilège (Joanna Newsome) and a discreet marshmallow pizza: an instance of extreme adaptive fidelity. Source: Inherent Vice. Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, Warner Bros. Pictures, 2014. In the novel, the reader last encounters Shasta during a post-coital walk on the beach, as Sportello follows ‘the prints of her bare feet already collapsing into rain and shadow, as if in a fool’s attempt to find his way back into a past that despite them both had gone on into the future it did’ (314). She may be, as Sportello tells his inquisitive mother, ‘living back at the beach now’ but the whole weight of the narrative suggests that this is a temporary situation, and that no happy reunion is possible (352). Yet Anderson’s film ends not with Pynchon’s ephemeral community of fog-bound drivers, and the hope for a different future, but with what Hampton describes as a ‘newly minted revamp of a warhorse ending’ as ‘Doc and Shasta drive off into a stylized artificial sunset, framed in the car like Bogie and Bacall [. . .]’ (32). Shasta compares this moment of intimacy directly to the night of the Ouija board: ‘Remember that day, Ouija board sent us off into that big storm? This feels the same way tonight. Just us. Together. Almost like being underwater. A world. Everything…gone someplace else’ (Inherent) (Figure 6). Here, the someplace else of the nostalgic alternative to the world as it is comes not from a political or social alternative, a vision of community, or a group of strangers gathered together outside the norms of capitalist behaviour, but from the recreation of the couple, and the separation of that couple from the world around them. Figure 6. Open in new tabDownload slide Shasta Fay Hepworth (Katherine Waterston) and Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix): A community of two? Source: Inherent Vice. Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, Warner Bros. Pictures, 2014. Figure 6. Open in new tabDownload slide Shasta Fay Hepworth (Katherine Waterston) and Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix): A community of two? Source: Inherent Vice. Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, Warner Bros. Pictures, 2014. This reunion is not represented in Anderson’s film as entirely comfortable or comforting: there is a an odd claustrophobic isolation to the scene, and the score here is not a nostalgic hit, as when Neil Young plays over the scene of Sportello and Shasta’s remembered moment of happiness in the rain, but an intense classical composition of haunting strings reminiscent of Shostakovich (from Jonny Greenwood’s ‘Shasta Fay Hepworth’).11 The dialogue, echoing Shasta’ earlier rejection of Sportello (‘This don’t mean we’re back together’), leaves the permanence of their new relationship an open question. But this line is delivered by Phoenix with a wry smile, and as the movie ends, the bleak and unsettling ‘Shasta Fay Hepworth’ gives way to the film’s final nostalgic hit, Chuck Jackson’s upbeat recording of ‘Any Day Now’, which plays over the closing credits. Ultimately, in Anderson’s Inherent Vice, the nostalgically evoked past is not just remembered, but literally regained, as Sportello recaptures lost time and gets a second chance with Shasta. As Pynchon writes in his 2013 Bleeding Edge, in a very different context, ‘Proust Schmoust’ (251). CONCLUSION Samuel Thomas’ 2007 study Pynchon and the Political was published before Inherent Vice, but his summary of the new developments apparent in Pynchon’s Against the Day, a work demonstrating an ‘ever-deepening understanding of the “real”’ price of capitalism, an ever-more unflinching and sophisticated engagement with violence, with legitimacy, and with the reformulation of the political sphere’, could be applied to all of the author’s late work, including Inherent Vice (156). In this novel, the political sphere includes, quite clearly, the nostalgic as part of a utopian impulse, as recently defined by China Miéville: it ‘isn’t hope, still less optimism: it is need, and it is desire’ for ‘betterness tout court’ (6). Utopia is alterity, and the past, evoked by nostalgia, can thus be harnessed to a political critique of the present. Yet nostalgia is also a personal emotion, and it is this difference that seems to most powerfully shape the relationship between Pynchon’s Inherent Vice and Anderson’s adaptation of it. While the restorative/reflective binary has shaped much recent academic discussion of nostalgia—for example, it is referred to in thirteen of the fifteen essays included a recent special journal issue on contemporary nostalgia—it seems clear that other ways of thinking about the phenomenon are required to do justice to the individual parts of a greater adaptive text (Salmose). While Péter Kristóf Makai’s description of Boym’s distinction as facile is perhaps extreme, there are certainly grounds for treating the concept with caution (5). Boym herself acknowledges that the two poles of the magnet of nostalgia are ‘not absolute binaries, and one can surely make a more refined mapping of the gray areas on the outskirts of imaginary homelands’ (‘Nostalgia’). One way of doing this is to reconsider nostalgia as both a personal emotion and a social force. We may wish to view nostalgia as neither a binary system, nor as a sliding scale ranging from reflective on the one hand to restorative on the other, but as a Cartesian grid on which manifestations of nostalgia are mapped both in terms of Boym’s categories and in relation to their degree of communality, from the solipsism of individual, private nostalgia, to larger-scale, collective manifestations of social nostalgia. It would then be possible to map Pynchon’s Inherent Vice within a quadrant describing a reflective, communal nostalgia, while Anderson’ Inherent Vice with its major focus on a restorative form of personal nostalgia would clearly be positioned elsewhere on this diagram. Any such mapping runs the risk of reductiveness, of neglecting the polysemous complexity of both novel and film in favour of schematic clarity. But it would also allow for a more nuanced way of thinking about not just the relationship between the multiple texts that make up and surround Inherent Vice, but more generally about the many ways adaptive works can mobilize different types of nostalgia for different purposes. References @PhilipHensher . “Walked out of Inherent Vice. Understood so little of plot or dialogue, I worried I ‘d had a stroke.” Twitter 1 Feb. 2015 : 1:47 p.m. https://twitter.com/PhilipHensher/status/562004382104166400. Accessed 18 Oct. 2019. WorldCat Andersen , Tore Rye . “Pynchon’s Twenty-First-Century Paratexts.” The New Pynchon Studies . Ed. Joanna Freer . Cambridge: Cambridge UP , 2019 : 226-240. Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Anspach , Carolyn Kiser. “ Introduction: ‘Medical Dissertation on Nostalgia by Johannes Hofer, 1688’.” Bulletin of the Institute of the History of Medicine 2 . 6 ( 1934 ): 376 – 78 . WorldCat Backman , Jennifer . “From Hard Boiled to Over Easy: Reimagining the Noir Detective in Inherent Vice and Bleeding Edge.” Thomas Pynchon, Sex, and Gender . Eds. Ali Chetwynd and Joanna Freer . Athens, GA: U of Georgia P , 2018 : 19 – 35 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Birke , Dorothee , and Birte Christ . “ Paratext and Digitized Narrative: Mapping the Field.” Narrative 21 . 1 ( 2013 ): 65 – 87 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS WorldCat Bortolotti , Gary R. , and Linda Hutcheon . “ On the Origin of Adaptations: Rethinking Fidelity Discourse and ‘Success’—Biologically.” New Literary History 38 . 3 ( 2007 ): 443 – 58 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS WorldCat Boym , Svetlana. The Future of Nostalgia . New York: Basic Books , 2001 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC ———. “ Nostalgia.” Atlas of Transformation . http://monumenttotransformation.org/atlas-of-transformation/html/n/nostalgia/nostalgia-svetlana-boym.html. Accessed 4 Apr. 2019 . Cardwell , Sarah. Adaptation Revisited: Television and the Classic Novel . Manchester: Manchester UP , 2002 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Carew , Anthony . “Paul Thomas Anderson.” Screen Education no. 91 ( 2018 ): 80 – 93 . WorldCat Carswell , Sean. Occupy Pynchon: Politics after Gravity’s Rainbow . Athens, GA: U of Georgia P , 2017 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Chetwynd , Ali. “ Inherent Obligation: The Distinctive Difficulties in and of Recent Pynchon.” English Studies 95 . 8 ( 2014) : 923 – 48 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS WorldCat Davila , Denise . “Not So Innocent: Book Trailers as Promotional Text and Anticipatory Stories.” ALAN Review 38 . 1 ( 2010 ): 32 – 42 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS WorldCat Dean , Jodi , and Mark Fisher . “ We Can’t Afford to Be Realists: A Conversation with Mark Fisher and Jodi Dean.” Reading Capitalist Realism . Ed. Alison Shonkwiler . Iowa City, IA: U of Iowa P , 2014 : 26 – 38 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Fiske , John. Understanding Popular Culture . 2nd ed. New York: Routledge , 2010 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Freer , Joanna. Thomas Pynchon and American Counterculture . Cambridge: Cambridge UP , 2014 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Geier , Thom. “ Thomas Pynchon speaks! Author lends his voice to ‘Inherent Vice’ trailer.” Entertainment Weekly 11 Aug. 2009 . https://ew.com/article/2009/08/11/thomas-pynchon-speaks-inherent-vice-trailer/. Accessed 22 Mar. 2019. WorldCat Grausam , Daniel. On Endings: American Postmodern Fiction and The Cold War . Charlottesville, VA: U of Virginia P , 2011 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Greenwood , Jonny . “Shasta Fay Hepworth.” Inherent Vice (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) . Nonesuch Records , 2014 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Hampton , Howard . “Everybody Must Get Stoned: The Rainy Day Men (and Women) of Inherent Vice. ” Film Comment 50 . 6 ( 2014 ): 28 – 32 . WorldCat Hock , Stephen. “ Maybe He’d Have to Just Keep Driving, or Pynchon on the Freeway.” Iowa City, IA: Pynchon’s California . Eds. Scott McClintock and John Miller . U of Iowa P , 2014 : 201 – 19 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Hofer , Johannes . “Medical Dissertation on Nostalgia.” Trans. Carolyn Kiser Anspach . Bulletin of the Institute of the History of Medicine 2 . 6 ( 1934 ): 379 – 91 . WorldCat Hutcheon , Linda , and Siobhan O’Flynn . A Theory of Adaptation . 2nd ed. New York: Routledge , 2013 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Inherent Vice . Dir. Paul Thomas Anderson . Warner Bros. Pictures , 2014 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Warner Bros. Pictures . “Inherent Vice—Official Trailer [HD].” YouTube 29 Sep. 2014 . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZfs22E7JmI&t=19s. Accessed 27 Mar. 2019. WorldCat Penguin Books USA . “Inherent Vice, Thomas Pynchon—9781594202247.” YouTube 4 August 2009 . www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=162&v=RjWKPdDk0_U. Accessed 4 Jan. 2019. WorldCat Jameson , Fredric . “Postmodernism and Consumer Society.” The Cultural Turn: Selected Writings on the Postmodern , 1983–1988 , London: Verso ( 1998 ): 1 – 20 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Jones , Thomas . “Call It Capitalism.” London Review of Books 31 . 17 (10 Sep. 2009 ): 9-10. www.lrb.co.uk/v31/n17/thomas-jones/call-it-capitalism. Accessed 4 Jan. 2019. WorldCat Kakutani , Michiko. “ Another Doorway to the Paranoid Pynchon Dimension.” New York Times 3 Aug. 2009 . www.nytimes.com/2009/08/04/books/04kaku.html?pagewanted=all. Accessed 4 Jan. 2019 . WorldCat Kernan , Lisa. Coming Attractions: Reading American Movie Trailers , Austin, TX: U of Texas P , 2004 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Klecker , Cornelia . “The Other Kind of Film Frames: A Research Report on Paratexts in Film. ” Word & Image 31 . 4 ( 2015 ): 402 – 13 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS WorldCat Kindley , Evan. “ The One That Got Away: On Inherent Vice.” Avidly: A Channel of the Los Angles Review of Books 12 Jan. 2015 . http://avidly.lareviewofbooks.org/2015/01/12/the-one-that-got-away-on-inherent- vice/. Accessed 3 May 2019. Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Leitch , Thomas. “ There’s No Nostalgia Like Hollywood Nostalgia.” Humanities 7 . 4 ( 2018 ): 1 – 13 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS WorldCat Levey , Nick. “ Mindless Pleasures: Playlists, Unemployment, and Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice.” Journal of Modern Literature 39 . 3 ( 2016 ): 41 – 56 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS WorldCat Lilla , Mark. The Shipwrecked Mind: On Political Reaction . New York : New York Review Books , 2016 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Lowenthal , David. The Past Is a Foreign Country – Revisited . Cambridge: Cambridge UP , 2015 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Magagnoli , Paolo. Documents of Utopia: The Politics of Experimental Documentary . New York: Wallflower P , 2015 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Makai , Péter Kristóf. “ Video Games as Objects and Vehicles of Nostalgia.” Humanities 7 . 4 ( 2018 ): 1 – 14 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS WorldCat Marcus , Laura . “Nostalgia, Memory, and Autobiography.” Once Upon a Time: Nostalgic Narratives in Transition . Eds. Niklas Salmose and Eric Sandberg . Växjö, Sweden: Trolltrumma Academia , 2018 : 12 – 25 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC McCarthy , Matt . “Inherent Vice—Official Trailer [HD].” YouTube circa 7 Mar. 2019 . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZfs22E7JmI&t=19s. Accessed 27 Mar. 2019. WorldCat Menand , Louis. “ Soft-Boiled: Pynchon’s Stoned Detective.” The New Yorker 3 Aug. 2009 . https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2009/08/03/soft-boiled. Accessed 4 July 2019. WorldCat Miéville , China . Introduction . Utopia , by Thomas Moore, London: Verso , 2016 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Murray , Simone. The Adaptation Industry: The Cultural Economy of Contemporary Literary Adaptation . New York: Routledge , 2012 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC ———. The Digital Literary Sphere: Reading, Writing, and Selling Books in the Internet Era . Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins UP , 2018 . WorldCat COPAC O’Brien , Geoffrey. “ Pynchon’s Blue Shadow.” The New York Review of Books 3 Jan. 2015 . https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2015/01/03/pynchon- blue-shadow-inherent-vice/. Accessed 4 July 2019. Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Oscars . “ Academy Conversations: Inherent Vice.” YouTube 19 Dec. 2014 . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M95Yz1DwAOI. Accessed 27 Mar. 2019 . WorldCat Proust , Marcel. Swann’s Way . Trans. C. K. Scott Moncrieff and Terrence Kilmartin , rev. D. J. Enright. London: Vintage , 1996 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Pynchon , Thomas. Against the Day . London: Vintage , 2007 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC ———. Inherent Vice . New York: Penguin , 2009 . WorldCat COPAC Rocchi , James. “ Inherent Vice’s L.A. Locations: The Ultimate Guide.” LA Weekly 10 Dec. 2014 . https://www.laweekly.com/arts/inherent-vices-la-locations-the-ultimate-guide-5276577. Accessed 15 Apr. 2019. WorldCat Rose , Steve. “ Inherent Vice Walkouts: How to Make a Film Your Audience Will Be Dying to Leave.” The Guardian 3 Feb. 2015 . https://www.theguardian.com/film/shortcuts/2015/feb/03/inherent-vice-walk-outs-paul-thomas-anderson-movie. Accessed 15 Apr. 2019 . WorldCat Sabo , Lee Weston . “Peace Out and Fuck You: Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice.” Bright Lights Film Journal 20 Jan. 2015 . https://brightlightsfilm.com/peace- fuck-paul-thomas-andersons-i. Accessed 5 July 2019 . WorldCat Salmose , Niklas , ed. “ Contemporary Nostalgia.” A Special Issue of Humanities 8 . 1 ( 2018 ). https://www.mdpi.com/journal/humanities/special_issues/Contemporary_Nostalgia#published. Accessed 4 Apr. 2018 . WorldCat Sandberg , Eric . “Popular Culture.” Thomas Pynchon in Context . Ed. Inger H. Dalsgaard . Cambridge: Cambridge UP , 2019 : 138 – 45 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC ———. “ ‘Remembering Is the Essence of What I Am’: Thomas Pynchon and the Politics of Nostalgia.” Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction 60 . 5 ( 2019 ): 475 – 86 . WorldCat Sicinski , Michael. “ Gravity’s Grayscale: Alex Ross Perry’s Cinema of Deaffirmation.” Cinema Scope no. 48 (Fall 2011 ). http://cinema-scope.com/cinema-scope-magazine/interviews-gravitys-grayscale-alex-ross-perrys-cinema-of-deaffirmation/. Accessed 19 Apr. 2019. Simonetti , Paolo. “ A Mystery’s Redemption: Thomas Pynchon and the ‘Inherent Vice’ of Detective Fiction.” Thomas Pynchon & the (De)Vices of Global (Post)Modernity . Ed. Zofia Kolbuszewska. Lublin: Wydawnictwo KUL , 2012 : 287 – 96 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Solomon , Eric. “ Argument by Anachronism: The Presence of the 1930s in Vineland.” The Vineland Papers: Critical Takes on Pynchon’s Novel . Eds. Geoffrey Green , Donald J. Greiner, and Larry McCaffery . Normal, IL: Dalkey Archive P , 1994 : 161 – 66 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Stam , Robert , and Alessandra Raengo . “ Introduction: The Theory and Practice of Adaptation.” Companion to Literature and Film . Eds. Robert Stam and Alessandra Raengo. Malden, MA: Blackwell , 2005 : 1 – 52 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Sullivan , Erin. “ Historical Keyword: Nostalgia.” The Lancet 376 . 9741 ( 2010 ): 585 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS WorldCat Movieclips Classic Trailers . “There Will Be Blood (2007) Official Trailer—Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano Movie HD.” YouTube 9 May 2014 . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeSLPELpMeM. Accessed 27 Mar. 2019. Thomas , Samuel. Pynchon and the Political. Studies in Major Literary Authors. New York : Routledge , 2007 . COPAC Vice . “Director Paul Thomas Anderson Talks ‘Inherent Vice’.” Vice Meets Season 1, Episode 26. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPB6GXG7Wa8&feature=youtu.be&t=66. Accessed 2 May 2019. WorldCat Voigts-Virchow , Eckart. “ Heritage and Literature on Screen: Heimat and Heritage.” The Cambridge Companion to Literature on Screen . Eds. Deborah Cartmell and Imelda Whelehan . Cambridge: Cambridge UP , 2007 : 123 – 37 . Google Preview WorldCat COPAC Wilson , Rob. “ On the Pacific Edge of Catastrophe, or Redemption: California Dreaming in Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice.” Boundary 2 37 . 2 (2010) : 217 – 25 . WorldCat Footnotes 1 There are exceptions to this rule. Paolo Simonetti reads Inherent Vice as a novel unifying the high-culture, postmodern, metaphysical detective story and the popular version of the form (290–91). Ali Chetwynd sees it, like many of Pynchon’s late novels, as emphasizing a sense of shared obligation (945). Nick Levey contrasts it with Pynchon’s ‘information-packed, academic-titillating’ works (54). I have considered it elsewhere as a text that excorporates (or appropriates and repurposes—the term is John Fiske’s) aspects of popular culture (‘Popular Culture’), and alongside Bleeding Edge (2013) as a novel engaged with the politics of nostalgia (‘Remembering’). 2 Alex Ross Perry’s debut film Impolex (2009) has been described as ‘a highly unconventional riff on’, rather than an adaptation of, Pynchon’s 1973 masterpiece Gravity’s Rainbow (Sicinski). But its subject matter (an American soldier scouring post-War Germany for V2 Rockets), any number of visual references (a pig costume, a banana, etc.), and its title (a version of the novel’s Imipolex G) make the connection between the two works clear. 3 Murray points out the connections between prize culture and adaptation, with high-status prizes like the Booker acting as powerful drivers of ‘cross-media commercial impact’ (Adaptation 104). Inherent Vice won no literary prizes, but Pynchon is one of the handful of contemporary writers whose name acts as its own prize, as it were, conferring prestige on more recent works by association with his existing oeuvre. 4 Murray points out that the required budget for a book trailer of up to $10,000 means that only a publishing house’s lead authors are likely to have one, and the practice remains exceptional (Digital 64). None of the winners of the Booker Prize from 2014 to 2019 have official book trailers. 5 Andersen has also discussed the ‘complex enunciative situation’ of the book trailer, including its complex temporality. His focus, however, is on the way this ‘creates an effect of intimacy between the author and his main character’ (235). 6 The difference here is relative, not absolute. It would, for example, be relatively easy to identify elements of the book trailer that are aligned with, or could be aligned with, restorative nostalgia. Nonetheless when the two trailers are viewed as wholes the distinction is valid. 7 Hofer’s dissertation was republished in 1710 with the term ‘nostalgia’ replaced throughout by ‘Pothopatridalgia’ (Anspach 376). While one is grateful for nostalgia’s triumph in this battle of nomenclature, both terms are made up of similar roots: the less familiar term links the Greek potho, or warm desire, to the Latin fatherland, patria. Hofer also offers as alternatives ‘nosomania’ and ‘philopatridomania’ (381). 8 A key passage here is Sportello’s emerging awareness that the 60s may always have been compromised: ‘Was it possible, at every gathering––concert, peace rally, love-in, be-in, freak-in, here, up north, back East, wherever––those dark crews have been busy all along, reclaiming the music, the resistance to power, the sexual desire from epic to everyday, all they could sweep up, for the ancient forces of greed and fear?’ (130) 9 Pynchon’s most recent novel, Bleeding Edge (2013), also laments this cultural shift: ‘What happened to private eyes, lovable criminals? lost in all that post-sixties propaganda, Orwell’s boot on the face, endless prosecution and enforcement, cop cop cop’ (418). Similarly, Pynchon’s Vineland nostalgically views a past era—in this case the 1930s—as a time of ‘struggle and idealism’ (while putting forward a darker view of the 60s than Inherent Vice (Solomon 163). 10 Evan Kindley has offered a widely circulated reading of the film as ‘a personal film about lost love, which may or may not contain an encrypted portrait of Anderson’s ex-girlfriend Fiona Apple’, a biographical interpretation beyond the scope of this paper. 11 I am grateful to the anonymous peer reviewer who alerted me to the peculiar aspects of this scene. © The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/open_access/funder_policies/chorus/standard_publication_model)

Journal

AdaptationOxford University Press

Published: Apr 1, 2004

References