If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.

— Thomas Pynchon

The most simplistic Thomas Pynchon quotes that are life-changing and eye-opening

If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers.


There is no real direction here, neither lines of power nor cooperation.

Decisions are never really made – at best they manage to emerge, from a chaos of peeves, whims, hallucinations and all around assholery.


All the animals, the plants, the minerals, even other kinds of men, are being broken and reassembled every day, to preserve an elite few, who are the loudest to theorize on freedom, but the least free of all.


You go from dream to dream inside me.

You have passage to my last shabby corner, and there, among the debris, you’ve found life. I’m no longer sure which of all the words, images, dreams or ghosts are ‘yours’ and which are ‘mine.’ It’s past sorting out.


Murphy's Law, that brash proletarian restatement of Godel's Theorem.


Every weirdo in the world is on my wavelength.


Everybody gets told to write about what they know.

The trouble with many of us is that at the earlier stages of life we think we know everything- or to put it more usefully, we are often unaware of the scope and structure of our ignorance.


The Lord's angel, Gebrail, dictated the Koran to Mohammed the Lord's Prophet.

What a joke if all that holy book were only twenty-three years of listening to the desert. A desert which has no voice.


It all comes down, as it must, to the desires of individual men.

Oh, and women too of course, bless their empty little heads.


What’s this? What are the antagonists doing here – infiltrating their own audience? Well, they’re not really. It’s somebody else’s audience at the moment, and these nightly spectacles are an appreciable part of the darkside hours of life of the rocket capital. The chances for any paradox here, really, are less than you think.


Oh, this beer here is cold, cold and hop-bitter, no point coming up for air, gulp, till it's all--hahhhh.


Behind the hieroglyphic streets there would either be a transcendent meaning, or only the earth.


About Thomas Pynchon

Quotes 104 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Writer
Birthday October 16

It takes, unhappily, no more than a desk and writing supplies to turn any room into a confessional.


What goes around may come around, but it never ends up exactly the same place, you ever notice? Like a record on a turntable, all it takes is one groove's difference and the universe can be on into a whole 'nother song.


They're in love. Fuck the war.


Not me, paranoia's the garlic in life's kitchen, right, you can never have too much.


Real flight and dreams of flight go together.

Both are part of the same movement. Not A before B, but all together.


Losing faith is a complicated business and takes time.

There are no epiphanies, no "moments of truth." It takes much thought and concentration in the later phases, which thenselves come about through an accumulation of small accidents: examples of general injustice, misfortune falling upon the godly, prayers of one's own unanswered.


The reality is in this head. Mine. I'm the projector at the planetarium, all the closed little universe visible in the circle of that stage is coming out of my mouth, eyes, and sometimes other orifices also.


In recent weeks, in true messianic style, it has come clear to her that her real identity is literally, the force of gravity. I am Gravity, I am That against which the Rocket must struggle, to which prehistoric wastes submit and are transmuted to the very substance of History.


If there is something comforting - religious, if you want - about paranoia, there is still also anti-paranoia, where nothing is connected to anything, a condition not many of us can bear for long.


Some of us are afraid of dying; others of human loneliness. Profane was afraid of land or seascapes like this, where nothing else lived but himself.


My belief is that "recluse" is a code word generated by journalists.

.. meaning, "doesn't like to talk to reporters."


There is nothing so loathsome as a sentimental surrealist.


Hey, over here! Have your picture taken with a reclusive author! Today only, we'll throw in a free autograph! But wait, there's more!


She thougt of sunrise over the library slope at Cornell University that nobody out on it had seen because the slope faces west.


Our history is an aggregate of last moments


Liebig himself seems to have occupied the role of a gate, or sorting-demon, such as his younger contemporary Clerk Maxwell once proposed, helping to concentrate energy into one favored room of the Creation at the expense of everything else.


I mean what they and their hired psychiatrists call delusional systems.

Needless to say, ‘delusions’ are always officially defined. We do not have to worry about questions of real or unreal. They only talk out of expediency. It’s the system that matters. How the data arrange themselves inside it. Some are consistent, others fall apart.


Through the machineries of greed, pettiness, and the abuse of power, love occurs.


But as with Maxwell's Demon, so now. Either she could not communicate, or he did not exist.


What North Europe thinks of as its history is actually quite provincial and of limited interest. Different sorts of Christian killing each other, and that's about it.


The general public has long been divided into two parts;

those who think that science can do anything and those who are afraid it will.


All investigations of Time, however sophisticated or abstract, have at their true base the human fear of mortality.


So generation after generation of men in love with pain and passivity serve out their time in the Zone, silent, redolent of faded sperm, terrified of dying, desperately addicted to the comforts others sell them, however useless, ugly or shallow, willing to have life defined for them by men whose only talent is for death.


To have humanism we must first be convinced of our humanity.

As we move further into decadence this becomes more difficult.


I dream that I have found us both again, With spring so many strangers' lives away, And we, so free, Out walking by the sea, With someone else's paper words to say.... They took us at the gates of green return, Too lost by then to stop, and ask them why- Do children meet again? Does any trace remain, Along the superhighways of July?


For every kind of vampire, there is a kind of cross


But a few choosing to venture deeper into the painful corridors of their affliction, found after a while that they could now grind and polish ever more exotic surfaces, hyperboloidial and even stranger, eventually including what we must term ‘imaginary’ shapes (which some preferred to term invisible).


The anarchist is dressed all in black.

In the dark you can only see his eyes. It dates from the 1930's. Porky Pig is a little boy. The children told me that he has a nephew now, Cicero. Do you remember, during the war, when Porky worked in a defense plant? He and Bugs Bunny. That was a good one too.


If America was a person, and it sat down, Lancaster town would be plunged into a Darkness unbreathable.


I came," she said, "hoping you could talk me out of a fantasy.

" Cherish it!" cried Hilarious, fiercely. "What else do any of you have? Hold it tightly by it's little tentacle, don't let the Freudians coax it away or the pharmacists poison it out of you. Whatever it is, hold it dear, for when you lose it you go over by that much to the others. You begin to cease to be.


Perhaps its familiarity rendered it temporarily invisible to you.


Idle dreaming is often of the essence of what we do.


They plot, they plot, sleeping or afoot they never let up.


My mother is the war,' declares Roger Mexico, leaning over to open the door.


What, I should only trust good people? Man, good people get bought and sold every day. Might as well trust somebody evil once in a while, it makes no more or less sense.


Explosion without an objective', declared Miles Blundell, 'is politics in its purest form'.


Right and left; the hothouse and the street. The Right can only live and work hermetically, in the hothouse of the past, while outside the Left prosecute their affairs in the streets manipulated by mob violence. And cannot live but in the dreamscape of the future.