Download e-book for kindle: A Gravity's Rainbow Companion: Sources and Contexts for by Steven C. Weisenburger

By Steven C. Weisenburger

Including a few 20 percentage to the unique content material, this can be a thoroughly up-to-date version of Steven Weisenburger's integral consultant to Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow. Weisenburger takes the reader web page by way of web page, usually line through line, in the course of the welter of old references, clinical info, cultural fragments, anthropological examine, jokes, and puns round which Pynchon wove his tale. Weisenburger absolutely annotates Pynchon's use of languages starting from Russian and Hebrew to such subdialects of English as Forties highway speak, drug lingo, and armed forces slang in addition to the extra vague terminology of black magic, Rosicrucianism, and Pavlovian psychology.

The Companion additionally finds 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 central American versions of Gravity's Rainbow: Viking/Penguin (1973), Bantam (1974), and the certain, repaginated Penguin paperback (2000) honoring the unconventional as one in every of twenty "Great Books of the 20th Century."

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

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8 a “sensitive flame” So called because such a flame appears to serve as a check against hoaxes (the idea being that the flame would detect actual—as opposed to spiritual—motion in the room). In his 1972 study of Victorian spiritualism Ronald Pearsall (42– 43) summarizes the “rules” for a séance: “The people who composed the circles should be of opposite temperaments, ‘as positive and negative,’ not marked by any repulsive disease, not obviously struggling under mental handicap. The number of persons should not be less than three, nor more than twelve, eight being the ideal number.

In the late 1960s, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee activists were referred to as narodniks. 10 Iasi . . men of the League During the 1930s Romania found itself caught between Germany and Russia, with their crumbling Nazi-Soviet Pact. Corneliu Codreanu organized his League of the Archangel Michael and its military wing, the Iron Guard, a Fascist brotherhood based in the city of Iasi. Iron Guardsmen wore green shirts and carried little bags of Romanian soil—symbolizing their love of the fatherland—tied to thongs around their necks.

The nine or ten generations tumbling back Note the play of opposites, constant and variable. This is also the first of many instances of hysteron proteron: a trope of backward motion, regression, and reversals of cause and effect. Also, in a similar way Thomas Ruggles Pynchon Jr. is “nine or ten generations” removed from his ancestors, John Pynchon (1626 –1702) of Springfield, Massachusetts, and William Pynchon (1590 –1662), founder of Springfield and Roxbury. William was a patentee and treasurer of the Massachusetts Bay Company and author of theological treatises ruled heretical by Puritan divines.

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