Download PDF by Steven C. Weisenburger: A Gravity's Rainbow Companion: Sources and Contexts for

By Steven C. Weisenburger

Including a few 20 percentage to the unique content material, it is a thoroughly up to date version of Steven Weisenburger's quintessential consultant to Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow. Weisenburger takes the reader web page through web page, usually line via line, in the course of the welter of ancient references, medical info, cultural fragments, anthropological learn, jokes, and puns round which Pynchon wove his tale. Weisenburger totally annotates Pynchon's use of languages starting from Russian and Hebrew to such subdialects of English as Forties road speak, drug lingo, and armed forces slang in addition to the extra vague terminology of black magic, Rosicrucianism, and Pavlovian psychology.

The Companion additionally unearths the underlying association of Gravity's Rainbow--how the book's myriad references shape styles of which means and constitution that experience eluded either admirers and critics of the novel.

The Companion is keyed to the pages of the valuable American variations of Gravity's Rainbow: Viking/Penguin (1973), Bantam (1974), and the particular, repaginated Penguin paperback (2000) honoring the unconventional as one in all twenty "Great Books of the 20th Century."

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Extra resources for A Gravity's Rainbow Companion: Sources and Contexts for Pynchon's Novel (Revised 2nd Edition)

Example text

The word Plato has rather a boring sound. For some reason or other “Plato” always suggests to me a man with a large head and a noble face who never stops talking and from whom it is impossible to escape. Who’s (this) afraid of The Magic Flute? It’s a lovely book,19 I implore you to read it, but rather unluckily it’s based on an opera by Mozart. I say “unluckily” not because the opera is bad, it is Mozart’s best, but because many readers of the book won’t have heard of the opera, and so won’t catch on the allusions.

Forster was always thinking of those who did not know. He worries that simply by having this one-way conversation he pushes the Alec Scudders in his audience still further into the shadows. ” We can be sure that Eliot, in the next booth over, never asked that. But isn’t there a point where empathy becomes equivocation? Can’t you hear Henry Wilcox, fuming: “Good God, man, it’s not what I think that matters! ” Henry would want a few strong opinions, the better to repeat them to his wife and pass them off as his own.

Neither intellectuals nor philistines, they are the kind to “know what they like” and have the “courage of their convictions,” though their convictions are not entirely their own and their courage mostly fear. They are capable of cruelty born of laziness, but also of an unexpected spiritual greatness born of love. The right book at the right moment might change everything for them (Forster only gave the credence of certainty to Love). It’s worth thinking of these cautious English souls, with their various potential for greatness and shabbiness, love and spite, as Forster’s radio audience: it makes his approach comprehensible.

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