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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Christina Simon: Los Angeles, California, United States I'm the mom of two kids who attended The Willows School in Culver City and Viewpoint School in Calabasas. My daughter is a graduate of Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism ('23) and my son is a sophomore at UPenn/Wharton ('26). I live in Coldwater Canyon with my husband, Barry, and our dogs. Contact me at

One thought to “Thomas Pynchon’s Fictional Otto Kugelblitz School in NYC”

  1. I can’t wait to read this book. What could be better than a good novel that mocks the very thing I want for my kid?

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