@odd You’re very welcome!
And don’t worry about feeling like you haven’t read as much or as “well” as you’d like, or whatever. I feel that way, too — and I’ve been reading voraciously my whole life. I still come across supposedly classic/famous writers I’ve never heard of, or have barely heard of and know nothing about.
I am an anti-snob when it comes to literature and reading. We read what we read, and we are where we are. Are you curious and open to new experiences and perspectives? Then you’re more cultured than those detestable snobs who use literature or art as a way of making other people feel inferior.
Oh, and one of the reasons I referenced so many TV shows and movies is that Pynchon is actually very cinematic in how he writes. Reading him really can feel like watching the weirdest, trippiest TV show ever. Movies, TV shows, and pop culture play a surprisingly important role in a lot of his books.
Don’t believe anyone who tells you Pynchon is stuffy or forbiddingly erudite. He’s not. He’s stuffed full of junk culture — Brady Bunch and Godzilla references — and characters often break into song like they’re in a screwball musical comedy… There’s really nobody like him.
And it’s totally okay if you try him and can’t stand him. If that happens, don’t worry. Only the snobs will try to make you feel bad about it. Life is short, go read something else. Or maybe there’s something good on TV. Whatever!