The cumulative effect of Pynchon's performance is one of aching nostalgia for the expansiveness of the novel form in its 19th-century glory days.Novels were expansive only in the Victorian era you see. Tristram Shandy was actually written in 1880. Tom Jones a year later. And Don Quixote really was written by Pierre Menard.
Sarcasm aside, if Keates is right about the origin of that effect, then it rather supports my suspicions about the essential conservativism of much "cult" fiction. We need to face up to it: a terminal loss of confidence can't be masked even with 543 sheets of paper.