I used to envision Thomas Pynchon, perched on a comfortable stool at the bar in a small town cafe, adjusting his thick framed black glasses, reading the newspaper with a conspicuous pair of weathered scissors, waiting for the freshly baked afternoon apple pie.
It's the outlandish and the absurd, both the chance historical encounters, and the almost predetermined genealogies, that Pynchon knows how to weave and identify, with such rigor, precision and care. The latest news concerning Mona Lisa, primarily that a researcher at the Prado museum in Spain claims that the museum's copy of the masterpiece was painted by an individual in the presence of Leonardo da Vinci and the original Mona Lisa, fits the Thomas Pynchon research-for-his-next-novel scene to perfection. The New York Times has a stunning visual interactive media feature, well worth exploring in detail.
Mona Lisa's smile seems all the more relevant.