Christopher Leise, assistant professor of English, has co-edited and written the introduction to a book titled “Pynchon’s ‘Against the Day:’ A Corrupted Pilgrim’s Guide.” Co-published by the University of Delaware Press and Rowan & Littlefield, the book is a collection of 11 essays “by established and emerging voices in the field of Pynchon criticism, each addressing a significant aspect of the novel’s manifold interests,” according to the book jacket synopsis.
Thomas Pynchon’s “Against the Day,” a rich volume of 1,083 pages, was originally published in 2006. Leise, however, “found the initial critical reception of Pynchon's novel to have largely missed the point.” He and co-editor Jeremy Severs thus began, in early 2007, the process of compiling and publishing a collection of more prominent criticisms.
Even without any major setbacks, the project is only just coming to completion. “These things move slowly but I think we were fortunate throughout the whole process,” said Leise.
When asked about his intended audience Leise answered, “We hope we have arranged a serious scholarly collection, but one that might also intrigue Pynchon's substantial cult of followers outside academe.”
The subject matter certainly reflects Leise’s professional interests, he specializes in 20th century and contemporary American fiction, American Puritanism and American Indian literatures from pre-contact to the present. He currently teaches “Introduction to Fiction,” “The American Short Story” and “American Literature, 1920 to the Present.”
As for subsequent literary projects, Leise said, “I'm working on two other projects: one is an examination of the representation of Puritanism in contemporary American fiction; the other is a collection of primary sources by Iroquois writers about the Iroquois experience from pre-Contact to the present.”
-Troy Cameron ’14