Thomas Pynchon’s Fictional Otto Kugelblitz School in NYC

Pynchon 2

I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a huge Thomas Pynchon fan. But, his latest book, Bleeding Edge, has captured my attention, thanks to my husband Barry, who is obsessed with this reclusive author. I read the first 35 pages and when he’s finished, its all mine!


Bleeding Edge is set in NYC 2001. Reading the following description of an Upper Westside private school aloud, we laughed way too hard. It reminded us of a few L.A. private elementary schools we toured.


“The Otto Kugelblitz School occupies three adjoining brownstones between Amsterdam and Columbus…the school is named for an early psychoanalyst who was expelled from Frued’s inner circle…”


Pynchon goes on to write that the school was founded by some of the therapist’s patients who cut him in on the profits.


“…Creation of a curriculum in which each grade level would be regarded as a different kind of mental condition and managed accordingly. A loony bin with homework, basically.”


The principal, Bruce Winterslow…in a white suit and panama hat, is working the crowd, all of whom he knows by name and thumbnail bio, patting shoulders, genially attentive, schmoozing or threatening as the need arises.” – Bleeding Edge


I think Pynchon might have a kid at an NYC private school or he has some really good sources. Hmmm.

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“When my husband and I applied to kindergarten for my daughter, the schools seemed somewhat mysterious, like hidden gems. Neither of us attended private school, and most of these schools aren’t exactly an open book. Terms like “visiting day” and “parent interview” weren’t part of our daily vocabulary. That would soon change!”- Christina Simon, co-author, “Beyond The Brochure” on “Mommy Poppins”


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