In print, anyway, Pynchon has been more than generous and forthcoming with his life and coming of age in letters. Just read his very candid, self-deprecating introduction to Slow Learner: “I wasn’t the only writer then who felt the need to stretch, to step out.” I know more personal details about Pynchon from that essay than I do about most writers who do make appearances. Photographs and biographical details often don’t tell us anything. But the words, however: “What is most appealing about young folks, after all, is the changes, not the still photograph of finished character but the movie, the soul in flux.”
He’s been there, on your bookshelf, all along.