This article addresses Thomas Pynchon's examination in Vineland of utopian desire that gives rise to the flawed and contingent solidarity of those victimized and hurt by American history. The Reaganite media appropriations of representations of the 1960s cultural and political revolution and mediated history of the political betrayals that contributed to the failure of political communities in the 1960s and 1970s are coupled in Pynchon's novel with an aesthetic reflection about the relationship between mimesis and fidelity. The utopian promise in Vineland is presented as inseparable from violent irruptions of past traumas into the present. In invoking a spectralized traumatic history of America, Pynchon inscribes the novel in the tradition of cryptomimetic writing. In conclusion it is demonstrated that, according to the writer, contingent and imperfect utopian solidarity with the living and the dead is the only, precarious, mainstay against fascist appropriations of the narrative of America.

You do not currently have access to this content.