Mapping Inherent Vice

Gordita Beach

Inherent Vice takes place in the fictional town of Gordita Beach, California, which Pynchon modeled after the real town of Manhattan Beach, located in the South Bay area of Los Angeles county, where the author lived from 1969-70. This map shows where some key locations from the book can be found in the actual geography of the South Bay.

I found the map here, where there is also some text related to Pynchon and the South Bay, including the full text of a Daily Breeze article on the subject that has since been taken offline. Similarly, Wired Magazine ran a piece called “The Unofficial Thomas Pynchon Guide to Los Angeles,” with more maps, links, and the ability to add your own annotations.

Another interesting article on the subject, which predates Inherent Vice, can be found here. And for the true Pynchon diehard, check out the real estate listing for the actual duplex where the author lived (photos included).


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