«How had it ever happened here?», Thomas Pynchon’s protagonist Oedipa Maas asks towards the end of his second novel
The Crying of Lot 49. This question is taken up in this book to explore Pynchon’s novels in the light of constructivist theory. It begins with a detailed reading of
The Crying of Lot 49, which is carried into readings of Pynchon’s other novels (
V., Gravity’s Rainbow, Vineland, Mason & Dixon, Against The Day, and
Inherent Vice). All are shown to critically deal with the social construction of reality as a central theme, and a development of this theme is traced throughout Pynchon’s novels.