The politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted (Gravity’s Rainbow)

It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted… secretly, it was being dictated instead by the needs of technology… by a conspiracy between human beings and techniques, by something that needed the energy-burst of war, crying, “Money be damned, the very life… Continue reading The politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted (Gravity’s Rainbow)

The Great Serpent holding its own tail in its mouth (Gravity’s Rainbow)

Kekulé dreams the Great Serpent holding its own tail in its mouth, the dreaming Serpent which surrounds the World. But the meanness, the cynicism with which this dream is to be used. The Serpent that announces, “The World is a closed thing, cyclical, resonant, eternally-returning,” is to be delivered into a system whose only aim… Continue reading The Great Serpent holding its own tail in its mouth (Gravity’s Rainbow)

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)

Riff on the end/beginning of Gravity’s Rainbow

Well: “A screaming comes across the sky. It has happened before [—]” □ □ □ □ □ □ □ So. Okay. So I finished Gravity’s Rainbow on Friday night, and reread the opening section (and more than the opening section) on Saturday morning, resisting a compulsion to immediately return to the beginning. □ □ □ □ □ □ □ So: Okay: Right? The ending of Gravity’s Rainbow cycles back to the… Continue reading Riff on the end/beginning of Gravity’s Rainbow

A scattered riff on Thomas Pynchon’s novel Gravity’s Rainbow

I’m safe here at my office, away from Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow. I almost certainly would not dare to write about it were it proximal. If the book were here with me, its text would infect me, and I’d replicate it in chunks here for you, dear reader, to sort out (or not sort out)… Continue reading A scattered riff on Thomas Pynchon’s novel Gravity’s Rainbow

There is a theory going around that the U.S.A. was and still is a gigantic Masonic plot under the ultimate control of the group known as the Illuminati (Gravity’s Rainbow)

There is a theory going around that the U.S.A. was and still is a gigantic Masonic plot under the ultimate control of the group known as the Illuminati. It is difficult to look for long at the strange single eye crowning the pyramid which is found on every dollar bill and not begin to believe the… Continue reading There is a theory going around that the U.S.A. was and still is a gigantic Masonic plot under the ultimate control of the group known as the Illuminati (Gravity’s Rainbow)

Anti-paranoia (Gravity’s Rainbow)

Rain drips, soaking into the floor, and Slothrop perceives that he is losing his mind. If there is something comforting—religious, if you want—about paranoia, there is still also anti-paranoia, where nothing is connected to anything, a condition not many of us can bear for long. Well right now Slothrop feels himself sliding onto the anti-paranoid… Continue reading Anti-paranoia (Gravity’s Rainbow)

The extinction of the dodo (Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow)

He left the dodoes to rot, he couldn’t endure to eat their flesh. Usually, he hunted alone. But often, after months of it, the isolation would begin to change him, change his very perceptions—the jagged mountains in full daylight flaring as he watched into freak saffrons, streaming indigos, the sky his glass house, all the… Continue reading The extinction of the dodo (Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow)

Selections from One-Star Amazon Reviews of Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow

[Ed. note: The following citations come from one-star Amazon reviews of Thomas Pynchon’s novel Gravity’s Rainbow. Yes, I’ve done this a few times before (see also: George Orwell’s 1984, Melville’s Moby-Dick, Joyce’s Ulysses and Markson’s Wittgenstein’s Mistress) and to be clear, I think some of the one-star reviews of Gravity’s Rainbow make some interesting points–although most of the reviewers seem to be upset over the… Continue reading Selections from One-Star Amazon Reviews of Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow