Top Eleven Meanings for Oedipa Maas in The Crying of Lot 49

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Critics of Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49 have suggested dozens of meanings for the name of the novel’s central character, Oedipa Maas. The first name certainly invites interpretations, but her last name also invites interpretations and seems to hint at many of the novel’s themes.


Oedipa Maas. Who names a kid that?

Names in Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49

A story in the New Yorker in the mid-1990s once captured my attention. It suggested Thomas Pynchon sometimes concealed his name and identity in public. Who can blame him?

In “Godzilla Meets Indie Rock,” the members of the rock band Lotion suggest that Pynchon initially protected his identity from them by introducing himself only as Tom. As their relationship developed and he took them out to eat, the band members noticed he always paid for their lunches with cash. Continue reading “Oedipa Maas. Who names a kid that?”