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GRAVITY´S RAINBOW IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER - READ HERE

 
WAR IS BUYING AND SELLING
07/27/2005 04:28 PM
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GRAVITY´S RAINBOW IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER - READ HERE
FROM THOMAS PYNCHON´S GRAVITY´S RAINBOW

Don´t forget the real business of the war is buying and selling. The murdering and the violence are self-policing, and can be entrusted to non-professionals. . . . The true war is a celebration of markets . . .

Taking and not giving back, demanding that "productivity" and "earnings" keep on increasing with time, the System removing from the rest of the World those vast quantities of energy to keep its own tiny desperate fraction showing a profit: and not only most of humanity—most of the World, animal, vegetable and mineral, is laid waste in the process. The System may or may not understand that it´s only buying time.

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 of [insert name of Nation] is at stake," but meaning, most likely, dawn is nearly here, I need my night´s blood, my funding, funding, ahh more, more.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:13 AM
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In 1973, Thomas Pynchon´s Gravity´s Rainbow landed on my brain and exploded there like, well, a V-2 rocket. It was precisely the book I needed at the time, which tells you something about my mental and spiritual condition. Hey, it was the ´70s. The country was low in the water and so was I. Tar-black humor, crushing difficulty, rampant paranoia, accelerating entropy, jaw-dropping perversity, apocalyptic terror, history as a conspiracy of the conjoined forces of technology, death, and sinister Control—it was all good. I preferred having my spirit crushed by a great American novel to the everyday humiliations of my first year of postcollegiate life and the cultural and political demoralizations of the era.
Anders (BBM)
12/08/2005 10:13 AM
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Bump.

I am looking fwd to reading it.
The Roman
12/08/2005 10:13 AM
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Yeah wars are all about money and power.

Unfortunatly most still think that this is a woo woo theory.

keep sending your son´s die in Iraq and afghanistan you do a good job in foraging these beasts.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:13 AM
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"Gravity´s Rainbow" is definitely the most bizarre and challenging book I´ve ever read. One can´t just sit down and read it; it demands the most concentration you´ll ever have to muster to read a work of fiction (if you´re going to try it, by all means get Steven Weisenburger´s companion book). Pynchon´s writing is at times like a prose-poem told through a wandering camera lens; indeed, that´s one facet of what the novel´s about--the mediation of our consciousness by photography and cinema. At other times it seems like a mad sloppy party between an "underground" history book and a Warner Bros. cartoon, or a pornographic physics textbook (a la Burroughs). Stylistically, Pynchon is the most brilliant digresser you´ll ever encounter. His technique of using ellipses and multiple clauses and constantly interrupting himself succeeds in capturing the multiple dimensions of whatever he is trying to describe. And all of it is couched in an American voice which directly winks at the reader, as if the cogs are showing, yet it is a very serious book (all benzene-ring jokes aside)...This book seems "pre-deconstructed", which is sure to confound literary critics in their quest for any final interpretation (another of Pynchon´s apparent goals--although all his works have created a cottage industry of scholarship).

Poor Tyrone Slothrop! Thirty years after being rented to a chemist for experiments as a baby, it´s discovered that wherever he makes a bird in wartime London, a V-2 rocket hits that spot minutes later--a weapon which happens to contain the same material the evil Laszlo Jampf used in his Pavlovian experiments on him. And even now, while a lieutenant in the US Army, he still has to suffer truth-serum and post-hypnotic suggestion sessions by his psychological "handlers". And battle hypnotized octopi. And Dutch women. And deal with the long fingers of the I.G. Farben-G.E. nexus whose fingerprints he finds at every turn in his quest to discover the mysterious cargo of the V-00000 rocket...Every character in the book--except Slothrop himself--seems to know what happened to him as the famous Pavlovian Infant Tyrone, and that he may be the center of an ongoing experiment. Which makes "Gravity´s Rainbow" a tragedy and a farce at the same time. Slothrop´s is the epic journey of self-discovery. He is seeking solace in symmetry, or a reality beyond Their control, beyond Their systems but where can you find that in war-torn Europe? Something strange about this epic World War II novel is that the death camps and Nazi ideology are hardly mentioned in Pynchon´s 760 pages. He´s trying to get at something which, I take it, he finds even uglier: a matrix of supposedly "neutral" technologies and the attitudes constituted by them which are the grounds for the possibility of the "banality of evil". "Gravity´s Rainbow" explores the collision between mythology and technology. Our imaginations are compelled to re-assemble the pieces of the scientifically parceled world, and Pynchon´s take is that it goes into default setting: paranoia and skepticism towards absolutely everything. "We have no home," hence his running theme of the preterite and those "who are passed over" and the many refugees and diasporas presented in the novel. A key to the whole thing is that the book´s narrative structure completely fragments on August 6, 1945, when hell was unleashed on Hiroshima by the U.S. government and its mil-indus-com subsidiaries. After this, Slothrop becomes a specter of the Quest, the person who lives on in our memory only as readers, when the book turns into vignettes which parody of how media "remember" the events of history.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:13 AM
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The Illustrated Complete Summary of Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow. Dr Larry Daw’s summary, illustrated with a wealth of original images created with Adbobe Photoshop.



[link to www.themodernword.com]
Bear
12/08/2005 10:13 AM
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God I read that book in the 70´s too, what a read!
kris / nli
12/08/2005 10:13 AM
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Re: GRAVITY´S RAINBOW IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER - READ HERE
good thread

the entire article original
poster was quoting ("...like a V2 rocket...")
and companion pieces by various writers
on the legend of pynchon
can be found in the summer 2005 issue
of bookforum

practically the whole magazine is
devoted to pynchon and why, or why not,
he has relevance today

see online at

[link to www.bookforum.com]
kris
12/08/2005 10:13 AM
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just a bump

the amazing thing of anyone
starting a thread on tom pynchon
here is worth signing in for.book
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:13 AM
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Re: GRAVITY´S RAINBOW IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER - READ HERE
I started the thread after finishing the book. Hadn´t read it since ´82. It is an astounding book. Perhaps the greatest American novel. I love Dostoevsky, but Pynchon reached even deeper - and with humor - into the psyche. Plus, it´s got sex scenes that might even shock Web porn addicts.
Wiley Coyote
12/08/2005 10:13 AM
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Re: GRAVITY´S RAINBOW IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER - READ HERE
Yes..."a screaming across the sky"...time to re-read this book.

Thanks, op.

And I would also recommend the Weisenburger companion book.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:13 AM
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Re: GRAVITY´S RAINBOW IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER - READ HERE
s
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:13 AM
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Re: GRAVITY´S RAINBOW IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER - READ HERE
I have never heard of this book. Why do you say it is so important?
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:13 AM
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Re: GRAVITY´S RAINBOW IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER - READ HERE
keeping this bumped

this book will leave you Shell-shocked, if you have not make the implication strings before

if you have, you´ll have to deal with yourself throughout

timely, it is

journey on

as mentioned above, concentration drifts throughout the narrative, challenges abound
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:13 AM
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Re: GRAVITY´S RAINBOW IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER - READ HERE
one word, 9214

PLASTICS
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:13 AM
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Re: GRAVITY´S RAINBOW IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER - READ HERE
read it once, read it again and again. make notes.
brilliant beyond measure.
reality changing
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:13 AM
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Re: GRAVITY´S RAINBOW IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER - READ HERE
Sloth or entropy

is an anagram of

Tyrone Slothrop
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:13 AM
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Re: GRAVITY´S RAINBOW IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER - READ HERE
Timothy Leary:

The Bible of the 21st Century, written in 1973 by Thomas Pynchon, is called GRAVITY´S RAINBOW.

It takes place in 1945, when the fall of the German Empire leaves Europe a lawless zone in which the major powers struggle for control of the future.

The spoils of this high-tech war are not land or raw materials but scientists and scientific information.

Everyone knows that the next war will be won not by the bravest, not by the strongest, but by the smartest.

The Bad Guys, the intelligence-espionage agencies of the superpowers, ruthlessly scour the continent for atomic secrets, rocket equipment, chemical patents, and, above all, pyschological methods for brainwashing, mind reading, pyschodiagnosis, and behavior modifications.

At the same time there emerges the Counterforce, a loosely related network of Good Guys, rowdy agents, independant thinkers, high-tech mystics who deal themselves into the action, each one in pursuit of their own private visions.

In the book, a band of black African troops just demobilized from the army seek to control their own V-2 rocket.

Roger Mexico, a statistical psychologist, harasses the Fat Men in the control towers to win back his girlfriend.

Major Tchitcherine, a Soviet intelligence agent and hashish connoisseur, conducts a mystical search for his African brother.

Tyrone Slothrop, unwilling subject of a bizarre CIA psychological experiment, flees across the zones, chased by Ollie Norths and protected by an underground netword of Cyberpunks.

Best of all, GRAVITY´S RAINBOW is an authoritative text on how to understand and neutralize the Cybervillians, the secret police of all nations.

With brilliant parody and farcical satire, Pynchon exposes the weirdo psychology, the kinky sociology, the ruthless inhumanism of all the national espionage combines.

Thomas Pynchon brilliantly demonstrates . . . the motivating force behind the seemingly irrational convulsions of the 20th century. . . . A book which serves well as an initiatory primer for Outer Space Migration. . . . (Dr. Timothy Leary)
kris
12/08/2005 10:13 AM
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keep this on the front

bump
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:13 AM
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Literary Titan Thomas Pynchon Breaks 40-Year Silence – on The Simpsons!


After Marge finishes her novel back at home, she finds a publisher who decides that it needs some glowing reviews by famous novelists. Enter Thomas Pynchon, cartoon character. Wearing a paper bag over his head, he stands next to a flashing sign, reading, “Thomas Pynchon’s house,” pointing. . . at his house, presumably.

On the phone with Marge’s publisher, he says “Here’s your quote. Thomas Pynchon loved this book. Almost as much as he loves cameras,” a reference indicating, with sly sarcasm, that Marge’s book, well, sucks.

He hangs up the phone, dons a waffle-board sign reading “Thomas Pynchon” (with a big red arrow pointing up at his head), and yells at passing motorists, “Hey, over here, have your picture taken with a reclusive author! Today only, we’ll throw in a free autograph. But, wait! There’s more!”
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:13 AM
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Re: GRAVITY´S RAINBOW IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER - READ HERE
Thomas Pynchon appears pretty sprightly for an old guy of 60. He wears a red baseball cap with some swirling Asian calligraphy on it. He has a white mustache. His former barn door smile is apparently long fixed, but the construction of his upper palate is still askew. He sports plain wire-frame glasses. Gray hair -- a little unkempt, needs barbering. Gray jacket. Gray shirt. He´s just a guy. A monstrous voice boomed in my head: "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain."
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:13 AM
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Re: GRAVITY´S RAINBOW IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER - READ HERE
The most brilliant epigraph in the history of literature (I´m making a sweeping claim not out of omniscience but wild enthusiasm) comes at the beginning of Gravity´s Rainbow:

"Nature does not know extinction; all it knows is transformation. Everything science has taught me, and continues to teach me, strengthens my belief in the continuity of our spiritual existence after death.—Wernher Von Braun."

When I first read those words, as a college freshman, I took them at face value—as scientific proof (very much in vogue at the time) of the reality of the spiritual realm. I had no idea that Von Braun, developer of the V-2, was Hitler´s chief rocket scientist. Still less did I know of his salvation at the hands of American troops, as Berlin fell, or of his subsequent rehabilitation in the United States, where he became Nixon´s chief rocket scientist and a member of the nasa team that put the first man on the moon (no wonder Von Braun believed in life after death).

Let´s appreciate everything this epigraph accomplishes: It stems from, and summons, the historical period Pynchon writes about; it simultaneously inspires and lampoons religious sentiment; and, with savage irony, it comes out of the mouth of someone personifying the novel´s central theme—that the Powers That Be operate behind the scenes, owing allegiance to no nation or ideology.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:13 AM
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Re: GRAVITY´S RAINBOW IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER - READ HERE
I don´t think anyone has gotten closer than Thomas Pynchon to summoning the real audacity and insanity and scope of the American mind, as reflected in the American landscape.

I still remember the shock of pleasure I got reading Pynchon at finally seeing the America I knew—strange shops and boulevards, built over former strange shops and former boulevards, all laid out there in valleys and dead-end forests, heaped on top of Indian cemeteries, peopled with nut jobs and hustlers and moral purists—actually present in a novel, and present not only in substance but in structure and language that both used and evoked the unruly, muscular complexity of the world itself.

In Pynchon, anything is fair game—if it is in the world, it can go in the book, which seems to say that since the world is capable of producing an infinity of forms, the novel must be capable of accommodating an infinite number of forms. All aesthetic concerns (style, form, structure) answer this purpose: Let in the world.

This is why Pynchon is our biggest writer, the gold standard of that overused word inclusiveness: No dogma or tidy aesthetic rule or literary fashion is allowed to prefilter the beautiful data streaming in. Everything is included. No inclination of the mind is too small or large or frightening. The result is gorgeous madness, which does what great literature has always done—reminds us that there is a world out there that is bigger than us and worthy of our utmost humility and attention.

I have often felt that we read to gain some idea of what God would say about us if someone were to ask Him what we´re like. Pynchon says, through the vast loving catalogue he has made, that we are Excellent but need to be watched closely. He says there is no higher form of worship than the loving (i.e., madly attentive) observation of that-which-is, a form of prayer of which Pynchon´s work is our highest example.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:13 AM
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Gravity´s Rainbow received the National Book Award for fiction in 1974.

At the award ceremony, to the audience´s perplexity, the professional bafflegab artist Professor Irwin Corey accepted the award for, or maybe as, Pynchon, and launched into a semicoherent leg-pulling speech that began, "However . . . accept this financial stipulation—ah, stipend in behalf of, uh, Richard Python for the great contribution and to quote from some of the missiles which he has contributed. . . ."

And it being the ´70s, there was also a streaker. That sublime stunt may have been on the minds (and I use the term in its loosest possible sense) of the idiots on the Pulitzer Prize advisory panel when they decided to ignore the unanimous recommendation of the fiction jury—consisting of (for God´s sake) Benjamin DeMott, Elizabeth Hardwick, and Alfred Kazin—that Gravity´s Rainbow get the prize, and instead awarded it to . . . nobody. It was decades before anybody could trust the Pulitzer Prize again as anything other than a dish for dullards.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:13 AM
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It is no more valid to judge Gravity´s Rainbow on the accuracy of its predictions than it is to rate Orwell on how close he came to describing the real 1984, but from the perspective of the present there are a number of startlingly proleptic moments in there. A German engineer in the Zone foresees the mass commodification of guilt: "Extermination camps will be turned into tourist attractions, foreigners with cameras will come piling through in droves." This is exceptional, as is Pynchon´s drilling down into the history of such German concerns as IG Farben and their scummy wartime activities—and the disturbing connections they had to American business. Even more exceptional is the book´s prefiguring of a digital world and an information-based economy. Here, after all, is a book obsessed with the human tendency to reduce all phenomena to "the zero and the one." Uh-huh. In Zurich, a Russian black marketeer complains to a Slothrop in search of information, "Is it any wonder the world´s gone insane, with information come to be the only real medium of exchange?" and predicts, "Someday it´ll all be done by machine. Information machines. You are the wave of the future." Quite true—the hypersurveillance of Slothrop´s precognitive erections and all else anticipates our lives today, every keystroke noted by spyware, every transaction transmitted to a data bank. Slothrop´s ego decay and psychic dispersal can easily be regarded as all our eventual fates in the real kingdom of the zero and the one.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:13 AM
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Shit, money, and the World, the three American truths, powering the American mobility, claimed the Slothrops, clasped them for good to the country´s fate. But they did not prosper... about all they did was persist
(page 28)





GLP