Style and Technique

(Comprehensive Guide to Short Stories, Critical Edition)

From a technical point of view, this story is not very interesting. The only device worth remarking is the use of a double plot line in the stories of Meatball and Callisto—stories that, as suggested above, are meant to unite (or at least come into contact) at the level of theme. In every sense, “Entropy” is a youthful production, an apprentice piece by a precocious but still technically immature writer. The rich range of different registers (from the snappy slang of postwar urban America, to the lyricism of post-Symbolist fictions such as William Faulkner’s, to the almost forbiddingly technical language of scientific manuals, to the humorous song parodies) that characterize Pynchon’s mature fictions is confined here almost exclusively to a single voice, interrupted only occasionally by the dialogue of characters such as Meatball and Saul. In short, “Entropy” is a production of a writer who has yet to master his craft; it is of interest chiefly as a prelude to what is to come.