Pomona College

In The Crying of Lot 49, Thomas Pynchon portrays Southern California as a digital circuit board, including in his assessed terrain San Narciso, or "the mirror city" in the valley to the east.

Those of us who were locked in the San Narciso valley during the time of this page's creation appropriated his designation for the area for further authenticity, but wish to give credit to the parent organization behind this effort, Pomona College.

Like the fictional San Narciso, Claremont California is a suburb to the east of Los Angeles inhabited largely by the residents of small colleges and retirement homes. Claremont is in fact the easternmost town in the County of Angels, and it faces, across the San Bernardino County line, the town of Montclair. Claremont facing Montclair? San Narciso...

Pynchon's best friend and the dedicatee of Gravity's Rainbow, Richard Farina, married Mimi Baez in a memorable ceremony at which Time Magazine tried unsuccessfully to photograph our author. Mimi and Joan Baez's parents lived in Claremont at the time.

For these and other reasons too (San Narciso has "its own freeway" -- cf. I-60, the Pomona Freeway), we figure that Pynchon knows our little town, and so we enjoy pretending that we are set inside The Crying of Lot 49.

To see Pomona's award-winning website, visit http://www.pomona.edu/.

-- The Management

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