By Steven C. Weisenburger
Including a few 20 percentage to the unique content material, it is a thoroughly up to date variation of Steven Weisenburger's essential advisor to Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow. Weisenburger takes the reader web page via web page, frequently line via line, throughout the welter of old references, clinical facts, 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 highway speak, drug lingo, and army slang in addition to the extra imprecise 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 that means and constitution that experience eluded either admirers and critics of the novel.
The Companion is keyed to the pages of the critical American variations of Gravity's Rainbow: Viking/Penguin (1973), Bantam (1974), and the unique, repaginated Penguin paperback (2000) honoring the radical as one in all twenty "Great Books of the 20 th Century."
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Additional resources for A "Gravity's Rainbow" Companion: Sources and Contexts for Pynchon's Novel
H e seem s n ever to h a v e ob serv ed th a t a d h ere n ce to faith as th e ren o u n cem en t o f reason to its ow n ex e rcise is itself o n e ratio n al a ct am o n g oth ers. O n the o th e r h an d , he n ever seem s to ask h im se lf if reason u ltim ately w o u ld n ’t be ju st o n e form o f p ath o s a m o n g o t h ers. T h e se are so m e co n sid era tio n s th a t w ould be re le v a n t to a study o f G id e ’s n o tio n o f reason . W h ile a th o u gh t, o rien ted a cc o rd in g to d o gm a, will seek in life the sign s th a t th is th ou gh t refers to im ages giv en to it by do gm a, G id e form s a sp ecifically ico n o cla stic p sych ology by p reten d in g to do so m e th in g else, only to th en d escrib e an d co m p reh e n d the m ost d isco n ccrtin g m o tiv e s o f th e soul acc o rd in g to th e m ost so b er g o o d sen se.
T h ere is certainly som eth in g sin ister about this affair; at least this is how it appears in the relation s betw een Du B os and G id e , but it only appears so— p er haps it was sinister for Du Bos. T o ju dge by the disagreeable rem arks m ade by G id e in petto, this affair was only a com edy for G id e , or (if on e takes accou n t o f the illness that, during this period, befell both G id e and Du Bos in the course o f the elaboration o f the Dialogue) som e labored im broglio th at he turned into com edy.
T h e form that his reflection affected for years, a form that co u ld n ’t be m ore path ological, that extraordinary prolixity th at creates so m any subjects to indefinitely retain and m an ipulate— as m any subjects as words— a profusion o f entia rationis, can only veil the true crisis th at he underw ent w hile in co n ta ct w ith G id e ; certainly he evokes this crisis in places, but he does n ot establish its co n n ectio n w ith his concern for co n vertin g G id e. M ad am e V an R ysselberghe’s statem en t to G ide, reported by him in his ow n Journal: H e is gaining his salvation upon your back/' gives only on e side o f the inextricable situation w ithin w hich Du Bos had en closed him self.
A "Gravity's Rainbow" Companion: Sources and Contexts for Pynchon's Novel by Steven C. Weisenburger