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Arrative and penetrating analysis of the impact of technology on society make it an intellectual tour de for. I don t know why exactly you folks out there read or why you feel compelled to then seek out a community in which you might share your thoughts impressions reactions etc about the books you ve read But me myself I read for many reasons among them the opportunity to transcend the narrow window of my own point of view the chance to learn by a leap however minimally over the subjective walls of my own stupid existence also and especially to inhabit for a few moments the warm pulse of aesthetic bliss and recognition that waves over me whenever a certain sentence or passage hits just so at a basic level to increase my appreciation and understanding of Life and those artists and thinkers out there striving to contribute to the meaning of human experience those attempting to bring some beauty or order into the entropic universe and make a little sense out of this mess of a reality we re stuck in for the duration And if they can t find order or beauty at least to make the muck sing out in some delightful way There is also that moment where something unnameable but now somehow named clicks into place while reading and something akin to deja vu blooms inside the This is the proper expression of the thing I ve always had in mind but have never been able to express so rightly The closest thing I get to what is typically described as a feeling of spirituality I who sincerely believe I do not experience spirituality in any degree are these moments when I come upon this expression of something intensely meaningful and resonant with me and my personal experiences outside of myself encountering something that seems of me but not by me these are elusive moments rare but when they occur I feel struck by something close to what Nabokov wrote about his experience of Love When that slow motion silent explosion of love takes place in me unfolding its melting fringes and overwhelming me with the sense of something much vaster much enduring and powerful than the accumulation of matter or energy in any imaginable cosmos then my mind cannot but pinch itself to see if it is really awake I have to make a rapid inventory of the universe just as a man in a dream tries to condone the absurdity of his position by making sure he is dreaming I have to have all space and all time participate in my emotion in my mortal love so that the edge of its mortality is taken off thus helping me to fight the utter degradation ridicule and horror of having developed an infinity of sensation and thought within a finite existence Which is why of course I then tend to seek out a community with which to share my emotion my experience to know that others too might be aware that such experiences are not only possible but are out there for us somewhere waiting to be found hidden among the vast mundane plowing of life and the comforting idea that others have generously spent many of their precious hours alive in creating works of art that contain their own such revelations because they understand the importance of keeping this type of transmission alive through history that this type of uncovering and finding is an essential component of being human CUE SONG Take a look It s in a book A reading rainbow So here I am putting it out there to this broad community of Good Readers wanting to tell you Gravity s Rainbow for me was one such experience one such finding a book I ve been waiting for all my reading life And with it and my readings of Mason Dixon and Against The Day I am certain of my notion that Pynchon is the peak of American postmodernism alongside the works of William Gaddis that these two have set the goal for what the encyclopedic novel might accomplish on this side of the Atlantic in this American English I consider having the opportunity to read both Gravity s Rainbow and Gaddis J R in the same year a great privilegeBut Pynchon s book itself is practically impossible to review impossible to summarize or condense worthless to categorize or constrain by exegesis because of all it contains the enormity of what it holds within its pages the hundreds of characters and mad proliferation of ideas and allusions all those words hundreds of thousands of words that somehow leave so much unsaid but unsaid in perfect ways left to drift into audience dreams because it projects countless tentacles wrapping its world and reaching out into space time some of which return full of Story and the Known to feed the octopus body center of narrative and some which purposefully throw Story and the Known out into the careening forces of the expanding universe to be forever unresolved and scattered to cosmic coldness and star distances because of the density of the fragmentation of the world it has created but which is no fragmented than any human consciousness encountering existence on any given day So allow me only to give you a small cenotaph or a monument an obelisk to the impossible review of Gravity s Rainbow Like a great movie all of its themes are present in each scene and yet the individual occurrences and set pieces here seem infinitely varied and inexhaustible It is the macro microcosm unity of the mandala I believe at a certain level it contains the elemental forces of existence the things that make Time rotate Jackson but that are only allowed to be seen by Pynchon writing around them he knows that naming would fix them and so render them invisible These are parallax visions The explosionimplosion the ascentdescent of a rocket or the archangels or a human destiny the fatal arc of gravity s pull on an accelerating object as if it ever had a choice of the path it would take the dialectic the synthesis of opposites the white and the black the yin the yang and the Tarot tower with a king in mid fall the parabola path of ejaculate soaring from penis head to trembling body or mouth or the journey of the whip to flesh and a memory of feeling anything as clearly as we feel pain or the need to inflict pain the cuticle of the fingernail inscribed by its own half moon the body has its own parabolas Faust retold in tar dark comedy Rossini s Tancredi performed in the deepest depths of an LSD trip an orchestral kazoo piece titled What Is The Nature of Control and the freedom of the individual within the extrinsic objective needs of the Conspiracy the wave that dips below the zero but is not extinguished and re emerges over London mouthing a millionhuman scream the manymirror worlds that were born alongside ours in the forge of the Big Bang but went into dimensional retreat that can now only be accessed by occult practices the scuttling amid the transportation networks of the necropoli where ghosts take luxurious elevators through their ruined places the poles of the Earth and the Heavens aligning right there a Brocken Spectre fingering a destroyed city s maw the procession of the conjured and the vanished and the parallel worlds and possible universes we rub up against each time we peel a banana the voices of the dead in constant song which is the Music of the Spheres listen for them in the silence of the Shadow of the Sun if it ever finds you and all the bending light sent in Morse code to us by Them from the pinpoint stars which Those In The Know know are powerful film projectors enumerating to us the Lies We Must Believe So That We Play Out Our Part In Their Game and all the chemical formulations of all Their hallucinogens and all their lost dogs and all Time unfolding at once Everybody now in an encyclopedia of human culture accommodating all things lowbrow to high a schizophrenic Moby Dick of the nuclear age Our Great Paranoid Epic Slothrop s Progress Through The Military Industrial Raketen Stadt subtitled The Kenosha Kid and The Dear Ol Death Drive where we find Orpheus s lyre unstrung and discarded but still plucked by the dry wind or a lost harmonica found years later in the cold flow of a distant river and the bluegreen water notes it mournfully plays the water through the individual soundholes making of the river a sound rainbow the Rainbow Promise ages old taken back by the one who swore it I tell ya it makes one helluva good movie complete with a Looney Tunes shortA and of course that the act of sex and the act of death are one yes at first this might seem simple but it is really a complicated notion one which might reuire infinite time and depths for us poor humans to come to terms with if we ever do but luckily film reels run in circlesnext up cutting room floor tidbits from the poet laureate of the L neburg Heath and his critically acclaimed Sonics to Orifice relevant previews of poems to come Tree arising O pure ascendanceOrpheus Sings Towering tree within the earEverywhere stillness yet in this abeyanceseeds of change and new beginnings nearHail the force sublimeuniting we who live in signsThe clock s steps only mimethe ticking of a truer timeDevoid of actual perceptionantenna to antenna we positby main force of intuitionwhat emptiness transmitsDo you hear the futureadrone and athrob SirExtolling its powercomes a messengerLook at the machinehow it turns and destroysvengefully twisting us like toysAnd though you fade from earthly sightdeclare to the silent earth I flowTo the rushing water say I am

review â eBook or Kindle ePUB Ó Thomas Pynchon

Gravity's Rainbow

Winner of the 1973 National Book Award Gravity's Rainbow is a postmodern epic a work as exhaustively signifi. What is the real nature of control From the first sentence of Pynchon s National Book Award winning novel Gravity s Rainbow the Reader is transplanted into a threatening world where death strikes first the cause second It is a world of frightening realism and comic absurdity all fueled through drug induced hallucinations paranoid ramblings and psychological investigations that is not all that unlike our own reality once you remove yourself to view it from afar as if it were some painting in a gallery This is the Zone and Pynchon is your field guide through the wasteland of paranoids preterits and pornographers The novel is stylistically staggering and so carefully researched that the line between fact and fiction blurs and is not always easy to deduce It is carefully plotted out with extreme precision aligning the events with actual weather detail from the days played out and in keeping with a metaphoric representation of the zodiac signs through the passing months While this novel can be demanding it is also extremely rewarding for those who make it through this wild rocket ride of literature A first time Reader should be cautioned that Part 1 of this mammoth text is exceedingly difficult Pynchon seemingly takes great joy in pummeling the Reader with a labyrinthine structure of characters and plot lines each accruing through dramatic left turns in the narrative The effect is pure disorientation obfuscation and outright frustration It feels just like spinning plates It is in a sense Pynchon s boot camp for the real war awaiting across minefields of prose it is where he must break you down and reconstruct you as he sees fit While the Reader must keep their head down and gut through soaking up as much of the swirling stories as they can Pynchon lays out the groundwork for the larger themes to come Many of the ideas expressed early on won t seem particularly meaningful but by the end of the novel the Reader will realize it was all right there in their faces from the start As characters will come and go like ghosts with only minimal dimension and reference to them the Reader will begin to realize that the coming tribulations are not there for the growth of the characters but for the Reader themselves The Reader must come out the other side changed in order for the novel to be a success They must let go of their notions of story and plot for Pynchon views even the smallest plot structure as comfort they must let go give in and submit to Pynchon He demands it and he will fire off heady diatribes against your intellect with philosophy theology conspiracies and actual rocket science The novel takes off running once the gun sounds the start of Part 2 when dropped from foggy London town the Reader finds themselves in the Zone Early on is a discussion of Pointsman and Mexico Pointsman being crafted as the ultimate embodiment of Pavlov s cause and effect conditioning and Mexico being considered as the Antipointsman The young statistician is devoted to number and method not table rapping or wishful thinking But in the domain of zero to one not something to something Pointsman can only possess the zero and the one He cannot like Mexico survive anyplace in between to Mexico belongs the domain between zero and one the middle Pointsman has excluded from his persuasion the probabilities Much of this novel deals with these two major perspectives Pynchon often establishes structure the Pointsman method merely to deconstruct it and show the faults that lie within By showing two specific points in this instance excluding those inbetween points Pynchon is able to demonstrate moments of symmetry which he will then reverse Normally a rocket would be heard before it explodes in a ball of death but with the V2 now we have the death before sound reversals also play a large key to the novel from the count down before a launch to hypnotic imagery of English explorers sailing backwards to home These two specific points are also expressed as binary differences such as black and white life and death good and evil preterition and the chosen few These binaries are clear cut sides direct opposites of forces in keeping with the theory of entropy which rules the novel sides that we clamor to reach in order to have a firm ground to stand on and a cut and dry vision of who is friend and who is foe But Mexico and Pynchon rejects these binaries Mexico acknowledges the space between zero and one which is a wild lawless no man s land recall the McCarthy esk western vision of Slothrops where there is one of everything a endlessly compounding one that creates an asymptote never actually reaching 1 where everything and anything is possible It is a place dream than reality and the hallucinogenic nature of Pynchon s spiraling prose and plots do well to express the ambiguities inherent in such a Zone However the novel never fully subscribes to one theory and can be interpreted as a cautionary tale for those who wander into this territory Plot laws and binaries are structures that keep our minds at ease and provide comfort and safety so when we enter into the infinite freedom of the decimal we open ourselves to forces that may scatter us kill us and rub us out into oblivion Pynchon himself will try to scatter and thwart the Reader in conseuence of stepping into his Zone He acknowledges you are in his territory and will speak as he chooses often with what seems an intention of belittling your own intelligence He only occasionally makes concessions to the reader when he realizes at least a slight bridge must be made in setting a scene such as saying you will want cause and effect All right which considering the rejection of such an idea in this novel serves to mock the reader for scrambling to grasp the reassuring ledge of the pool in this deep end he has thrown us To swallow this novel on a first read a reader must attack it somewhat like middle school mathematical story problems find the important information in the bloated paragraph divide and conuer There is a plethora of information to choose from as he will offer a vast variety of the same symbols and metaphors the S for example shows up as the SS the shape of the bomb factory tunnels people spooning the symbol for entropy etc There is a deathlife metaphor on practically every page Yet Pynchon seems hell bent on keeping you on your toes and disoriented He will allow the Reader to slide into a groove of strong forward velocity and then deliver a scene so grotesuely funny or vilely disgusting to shock the readers mind and scatter their thoughts and perceptions from decoding this vast network of ideas and then tries to evade us in a web of looping plots obtuse anecdotes and countless characters some of which come and go with hundreds of pages between mention The maze of a plot that must be navigated is acknowledged as being similar to the course of events Slothrop encounters on the way which he compares to the MBTA by riding each branch the proper distance knowing when to transfer keeping some state of minimum grace though it might often look like he s headed the wrong way this network of all plots may yet carry him to freedom There must be a sense of trust that eventually if you keep gutting through there will be a conclusion to satisfy a journey of such magnitude There is a constant paranoia overwhelming each printed word a paranoia that the Reader must assimilate by proxy in order to fully appreciate the madness at hand Yet paranoia itself must be a sort of comfort as well While there is a fear of the Invisible Hand at play pushing us through psychological nods in the right way it is still a comfort that we are part of Their greater plan For the preterits this They is the only sense of God they will ever feel as they are looked over by God himself This whole novel is the interaction of such Preterits from the fetishists to the colony of escaped concentration camp members and the Reader must become a member of these second sheep as they must lose their selves along with Slothrop The Reader is dragged through the mud and muck of a smattering of various theories and to keep their sanity they attempt to assign meaning to these elusive threads flashing about them in order to keep going But perhaps this is just what Pynchon wants us to do assigning Him the role of the They and the Reader will begin to feel paranoid that this is all in jest that Pynchon is simply pulling the world over their eyes and will begin to uestion even their own powers of deduction We have learned that all that is comforting must be released not yet knowing at these points in the novel that there is only a void awaiting with total freedom and even the paranoid ponderings are only a comfort for us in Pynchon s world 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 part of his cycle feels the whole city around him going back roofless vulnerable uncentered as he is and only pasteboard images now of the Listening Enemy left between him and the wet sky First note the reversals in this then swoon at the powerful prose in the second half Now assign meaning to this uote but Slap no Pynchon says there is no meaning But then feel yourself become transparent and weightless fading into oblivion with no reference to the world around you This is the ultimate dilemma we are faced with in the Zone It is no surprise the Reader is made to feel so paranoid in a novel rife with corporate conspiracy much of which is highly researched and forms an impressive historical fiction aspect to this novel If those rambling through the Zone are the preterits moved by the They than these corporations are one of the highest tangible link to They we can see They decide who lives and dies who is rich and who is denied wealth what we want to consume and how consumers need to feel a sense of sin and exist in a realm where the War is simply a shuffling of power This war was never political at all the politics was all theater all just to keep the people distractedsecretly it was being dictated instead by the needs of technologyby a conspiracy between human beings and techniues Throughout the course of Gravity s Rainbow we have endless looks into mans thirst for technology which in itself is a thirst for death based on the nature of the technology even when it is also a life giving force such as is the case of Pokler who had no life until the Rocket and how this goes beyond the War itself Even the White Visitation simply uses the War as a reason for funding Mans role in technology is at the heart of every idea in this book Entropy is a measuring stick which this novel employs in a book that sets out to dissolve all rules having a rule that is upheld highlights its importance and all events and ideas serve to counterbalance each other in keeping with the conservation of energy with the preterits being the heat burned off As a uick aside if I may many of these preterits Mexico and Jessica s romance or the concentration camp members their liberation was a banishment for example are directly tied to the war and a become casualty of peace the budding romance there are some tearjerker lines Pynchon really shows his soft side with them being the waste heat in a chemical reaction They Rockets being the focal point of the book are both life and death images as well as phallic metaphors while many of the phalluses are rocket metaphors Film plays another large role with much of the book containing constant allusion to pop culture similar to a uentin Tarantino film and Der Springer believes he can reshape reality through film This struggle of life and death is something that must be embraced as two parts of a whole in this novel much like man and machine become one with Gottfried and the 00000 Rocket Life and death are found strung together all throughout the novel yet as critic Harold Bloom points out in his essays on Rainbow in Pynchon s book so focused on the idea of Death the Reader never actually experiences or witnesses one not one in all of the 800 pages Many deaths are spoken of some ambiguous like Tantivity s and others referred to plainly such as Pudding s note that shit is spoken of as a metaphor for death shit is the presence of death and he is made to ingest it during for him not us a sexual peak as another way life and death bind together in the novel but the camera of the prose if you will always cuts right before the Reader must be an active participant in the death Like Gottfried again we know he dies but because the com link is only one way we never can know the precise moment Even Peter s clubbing to the head cuts before the club can land In this way the novel is shown actually as a celebration of life all the moments moving from 1life to 0death but never getting to the zero We are forever in the Zone for better or for worse But with the final words of the novel nay the final two words he pulls us from oblivion back to the whole We escape death by existing in the moments between 1 and 0 and ironically in a book bent on annihilating structure and group alignment he calls us all back into one large group humanity Gravity s Rainbow is a massive novel that takes uite a bit of decoding and deboning in order to devour But this is precisely what Pynchon wants and reuires of us This is a book that or less reuires a second reading just to grasp all that it has to say the first is just a test of survival The agglomeration of ideas are too much to chew and savor on one trip and there is so much ambiguity present that like Joyce s Ulysses he intends to scholars to dissect and analyze this novel for years and years to come In the novel the Zone members gather to become Kabbalists of the Rocket to be scholar magicians of the Zone with somewhere in it a Text to be picked to pieces annotated explicated and masturbated till it s all sueezed limp of its last drop This book is Pynchon s Rocket our Torahour darkness which he cast forth into the 1970 s literary scene as a harbinger of destruction to all preconceived notions of literature Pynchon in this way is not all that unlike the Rocket launchers hidden far away out of sight in his reclusiveness avoiding photographic surveillance sending his Rocket into a brave new world We the Readers are Gottfried strapped inside with fire beneath our feet as Pynchon as Blicero hurls us forth into the irreversible futureNow everybody 0000100001 Each bird has his branch now and each one is the Zone roll credits I would also HIGHLY recommend the A Gravity s Rainbow Companion Sources and Contexts for Pynchon s Novel to any readers of this novel It was a huge help especially with the pop culture allusions Just be wary that it does occasionally give away plot elements and devices sometimes long before they appear in the novel and will practically double your time reading the actual book because there is so much informationAlso I have to thank Stephen M s wonderful group read for inspiring me to read the book while doubling as a support group to get us all through this tome The discussions and links there are extremely helpful and insightfulLast but certainly not least I d like to direct you to the amazing reviews of my reading buddies on this strange ride Steve Ian Jenn MarkShan Sean Pauita and many to come

Thomas Pynchon Ó 3 free download

Cant to the second half of the 20th century as Joyce's Ulysses was to the first Its sprawling encyclopedic n. I know history is rarely kind to harsh criticisms about super nebulous or difficult authors but dig this This book is horrible After reading The Crying of Lot 49 Slow Learner and now this I m convinced that Thomas Pynchon is a hack and the reason we don t hear from him is because he has nothing to say and knows that if we gave him a microphone and fifteen minutes he d be found out90% of the people who pick up this novel won t finish it and 90% of those who do won t like it But 100% of them will pretend they do because Pynchon has the rare reputation of being one of those authors you have to read We re all convinced Pynchon is the possessor of some private hidden genius that buried somewhere between the rambling nonsensical plot and the long winded super cerebral jargon riddled diatribes on the Rocket and the sexual implications of its trajectory and its relation to the symphonic form is a message of some importBut for all the hype someone please point to a passage in this novel that overreaches or couldn t be approximated by the efforts of anyone else who lived a super reclusive hermetic lifestyle owned a library card and was given nearly a decade the length of time between the publication of this novel and the author s previous one and around 900 pages to do it inSeriously though don t read this book Aside from the small flutter of accomplishment I feel at actually finishing it I ve found it to be little than a super frustrating and ultimately hateful reading experience


10 thoughts on “Gravity's Rainbow

  1. says:

    Advice for a first time reader of Gravity's Rainbow Gravity's Rainbow is a book you either love or hate and if you hate it it's probably because you couldn't finish the damn thing Though by no means impenetrable the novel is daunting enough to merit a list of tips for those wishing to tackle it for the first time Below is my advice on how new readers can get over the hump Trust me it's a small hump and the masterpiece

  2. says:

    THIS BOOK IS ABOUT A MAN IN WW2 HE GETS ERECTIONS

  3. says:

    ‘ What is the real nature of control?’ From the first sentence of Pynchon’s National Book Award winning novel Gravity’s Rainbow the Reader is transplanted into a threatening world where death strikes first the cause second It is a world of frightening realism and comic absurdity all fueled through drug induced hallucinations paranoid ramblings and psychological investigations that is not all that unlike our ow

  4. says:

    It took three months but I finally pinned this sucker down to the count of ten Three months is kinda perfect if you think about it though That's my typical honeymoon period in most relationships the enthusiastic I can still than tolerate you

  5. says:

    August 2020 Rereading this now in my Pulitzer uest Wow as amazingly confusing as the first time aroundThis is of course th

  6. says:

    I know history is rarely kind to harsh criticisms about super nebulous or difficult authors but dig this This book is horr

  7. says:

    I don’t know why exactly you folks out there read or why you feel compelled to then seek out a community in which you might share your thoug

  8. says:

    ITS ABOUT A SECRET ROCKET PROJECT IN WW II BUT I THINK SOME OF IT IS A DREAM BECAUSE IT DOESNT MAKE SENSE THE AUTHOR IS VER

  9. says:

    You know that very brief moment after you wake up in the morning? That moment when you're not sleeping but you're not yet awake You

  10. says:

    Prologue A screaming comes across the sky It has happened before but there is nothing to compare it to nowGenesisIn the beginning was the earth and above the earth was the sky The earth consisted of land and water The sky consisted of air the moon the sun and the stars in the heavensThe land consisted of rock Water was everywhere but still