A N D L U C H E R M A N J O H N M. K R A F F T hen Thomas Pynchon sent the rewritten version of his first novel, V., to J. B. Lippincott editor Corlies ("Cork") Smith in the spring of 1962, he explained in his April 19 cover letter that the text was "short . . . chapter 9, i.e., Mondaugen's SW African adventure."1 He felt the chapter needed to be redone "from the ground up." Pynchon was only half-finished with the revision at that point, so he asked Smith for "a week or two more to screw around in." If that extension was impossible, then Smith could remove the paragraphs at the end of chapter 8 that led in to the South-West Africa adventure (V. 22728), a passage in which the narrator introduces German engineer Kurt Mondaugen and describes him as telling his story, "over an abominable imitation of Munich beer" (228), to Herbert Stencil in the Rusty Spoon, a Manhattan bar. On April 26, 1962, Smith encouraged Pynchon "[b]y all means" to "go ahead and screw around with Mondaugen's Southwest Africa adventure" but pleaded for delivery by May 10
Contemporary Literature – University of Wisconsin Press
Published: Sep 25, 2006
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