Gravity’s Rainbow annotations (so far)

I’ll be adding to these and then doing more the next time (?!) I read Gravity’s Rainbow. Pages 82-83: The White Visitation, etc. Page 103: Black Markets, King Kong, etc. Pages 148-49: Preterite/Elect, Lurianic Kabbalah, Uncanny X-Men, etc. Page 203: Rainbows, Fuck-yous, Plastic Man, etc. Pages 204-05: Paper, mise en abyme, a silkenness of girls, etc. Page… Continue reading Gravity’s Rainbow annotations (so far)

A place must be made for innocence | Gravity’s Rainbow, annotations and illustrations for page 419

In a corporate State 1, a place must be made for innocence, and its many uses 2. In developing an official version of innocence, the culture of childhood has proven invaluable 3 . Games, fairy-tales, legends from history, all the paraphernalia of make-believe 4 can be adapted and even embodied in a physical place, such as at Zwölfkinder 5. Over the… Continue reading A place must be made for innocence | Gravity’s Rainbow, annotations and illustrations for page 419

Gravity’s Rainbow — Annotations and illustrations for pages 82-83

Overhead, on the molded plaster ceiling, Methodist versions of Christ’s kingdom swarm: lions cuddle with lambs, fruit spills lushly and without pause into the arms and about the feet of gentlemen and ladies, swains and milkmaids. No one’s expression is quite right. The wee creatures leer, the fiercer beasts have a drugged or sedated look,… Continue reading Gravity’s Rainbow — Annotations and illustrations for pages 82-83

Gravity’s Rainbow — annotations and illustrations for page 539 | There is a terrible possibility now, in the World

I 1 think that there is a terrible possibility now, in the World 2. We may not brush it away, we must look at it. It is possible that They 3 will not die. That it is now within the state of Their art to go on forever 4—though we, of course, will keep dying as we always have.… Continue reading Gravity’s Rainbow — annotations and illustrations for page 539 | There is a terrible possibility now, in the World

The Great Serpent holding its own tail in its mouth | Gravity’s Rainbow, annotations and illustrations for page 412-13

Kekulé 1 dreams 2 the Great Serpent holding its own tail in its mouth, the dreaming Serpent which surrounds the World 3. But the meanness, the cynicism with which this dream is to be used 4. The Serpent that announces, “The World is a closed thing, cyclical, resonant, eternally-returning,” 5 is to be delivered into a system 6 whose… Continue reading The Great Serpent holding its own tail in its mouth | Gravity’s Rainbow, annotations and illustrations for page 412-13

No knightly hero | Gravity’s Rainbow, annotations and illustrations for page 364

Toward dusk, the black birds descend, millions 1  of them, to sit in the branches of trees nearby. The trees grow heavy with black birds, branches like dendrites of the Nervous System 2  fattening, deep in twittering nerve-dusk, in preparation for some important message… . 3 Later in Berlin, down in the cellar among fever-dreams with shit leaking out of… Continue reading No knightly hero | Gravity’s Rainbow, annotations and illustrations for page 364

Gravity’s Rainbow, annotations and illustrations for page 299 | Some of us love to be taken under mountains, and not always with horny expectations

There is that not-so-rare personality disorder known as Tannhäuserism 1 . Some of us love to be taken under mountains, and not always with horny expectations 2 .—Venus, Frau Holda, her sexual delights—no, many come, actually, for the gnomes 3 , the critters smaller than you, for the sepulchral way time stretches along your hooded strolls down here, quietly… Continue reading Gravity’s Rainbow, annotations and illustrations for page 299 | Some of us love to be taken under mountains, and not always with horny expectations

Gravity’s Rainbow, annotations and illustrations for pages 257-58

The War has been reconfiguring time and space into its own image 1. The track runs in different networks now. What appears to be destruction is really the shaping of railroad spaces to other purposes, intentions he can only, riding through it for the first time, begin to feel the leading edges of… .2 He checks… Continue reading Gravity’s Rainbow, annotations and illustrations for pages 257-58

Gravity’s Rainbow — annotations and illustrations for pages 204-05

He 1 gets back to the Casino just as big globular raindrops, thick as honey, begin to splat into giant asterisks 2 on the pavement, inviting him to look down at the bottom of the text 3 of the day 4, where footnotes will explain all 5. He isn’t about to look. Nobody ever said a day has to be… Continue reading Gravity’s Rainbow — annotations and illustrations for pages 204-05

Gravity’s Rainbow — annotations and illustrations for pages 203-04

Outside, he 1 heads down toward the quay, among funseekers, swooping white birds, an incessant splat of seagull shit 2. As I walk along the Bwa-deboolong 3 with an independent air… Saluting everybody in uniform 4, getting it to a reflex 5, don’t ask for extra trouble, try for invisible 6.… bringing his arm each time a bit more… Continue reading Gravity’s Rainbow — annotations and illustrations for pages 203-04

Gravity’s Rainbow — annotations and illustrations for page 203

Why here? 1 Why should the rainbow edges 2 of what is almost on him be rippling most intense here in this amply coded room? say why should walking in here be almost the same as entering the Forbidden 3  itself—here are the same long rooms, rooms of old paralysis and evil distillery, of condensations and residues… Continue reading Gravity’s Rainbow — annotations and illustrations for page 203

Gravity’s Rainbow — annotations and illustrations for pages 148-49 | Our history is an aggregate of last moments

—(Quietly) 1 It’s been a prevalent notion 2. Fallen sparks 3. Fragments of vessels broken at the Creation 4. And someday, somehow, before the end, a gathering back to home. A messenger from the Kingdom, arriving at the last moment 5. But I tell you there is no such message, no such home 6—only the millions of last moments… no more.… Continue reading Gravity’s Rainbow — annotations and illustrations for pages 148-49 | Our history is an aggregate of last moments

Gravity’s Rainbow — annotations and illustrations for page 105 | The real business of the War is buying and selling

Don’t forget the real business of the War is buying and selling 1. The murdering and the violence are self-policing, and can be entrusted to non-professionals. The mass nature of wartime death is useful in many ways 2. It serves as spectacle, as diversion from the real movements of the War. It provides raw material to… Continue reading Gravity’s Rainbow — annotations and illustrations for page 105 | The real business of the War is buying and selling

A first riff on rereading Gravity’s Rainbow (and some thoughts on Weisenburger’s Companion)

I enjoy rereading more than reading. Returning to Moby-Dick, 2666, Ulysses, or Blood Meridian reveals so much more: More depth, more art, more structure, more precision, more humor, more pain, more more. Thomas Pynchon’s novel Gravity’s Rainbow is all more. Rereading Gravity’s Rainbow is like reading it for the first time, or, rather, more precisely, that is how I am experiencing it now—with… Continue reading A first riff on rereading Gravity’s Rainbow (and some thoughts on Weisenburger’s Companion)

Blog about reading Middlemarch (and wishing I was rereading Middlemarch)

There should be a word in some language (perhaps not yet invented—word or language) to describe the feeling of Having pushed far enough into a very long novel (a novel that one has cracked into more than once) to the point that one now feels one can finally finish it. I have felt this specific feeling a… Continue reading Blog about reading Middlemarch (and wishing I was rereading Middlemarch)

Pynchon in Public Day, 2018

What the hell is Pynchon in Public Day? My (incomplete) annotations of Gravity’s Rainbow An argument for three possible starting points for reading Thomas Pynchon In which I read Playboy for the Thomas Pynchon article   List of Possible Descriptors for Against the Day Captain Geoffrey “Pirate” Prentice’s bodacious banana breakfast for a bunch of hung over army officers… Continue reading Pynchon in Public Day, 2018