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 necessary advisor to Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow. Weisenburger takes the reader web page by way of web page, frequently line via line, throughout the welter of historic references, medical 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 Nineteen Forties road speak, drug lingo, and armed forces 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 central American versions of Gravity's Rainbow: Viking/Penguin (1973), Bantam (1974), and the designated, repaginated Penguin paperback (2000) honoring the unconventional as considered one of 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 (Revised 2nd Edition)
Having become disillusioned with the former, Gwyon turns his sermons into lessons about the latter: Like Pliny, retiring to his Laurentine villa when Saturnalia approached, the Reverend Gwyon avoided the bleak festivities of his congregation whenever they occurred, by retiring to his study. But his disinterest was no longer a dark mantle of preoccupation. A sort of hazardous assurance had taken its place. . No soberly tolerated feast day came round, but that Reverend Gwyon managed to herald its grim observation by allusion to some pagan ceremony which sounded uncomfortably like having a good time.
Hoc est meum corpus—hocus-pocus. Through ecclesiastical fiat, substance becomes accident, and, conversely, accident becomes substance. Distraught by her husband’s elusiveness, Esther does not realize that transubstantiation renders the accidental substantial, thereby reconciling appearance and reality. Gaddis’s artful rewriting of the word extends the incarnational process by revealing the heterodox implications of orthodox theology. If the divine is incarnate, the real can be found in space and time.
Archaeological evidence suggests that some early Christian basilicas were built above subterranean caverns where the followers of Mithra secretly met. An early exchange between Gwyon and Aunt May establishes the relation between Christianity and Mithraism as the prototype for the tension between Protestantism and paganism running through the novel. Disgusted by an image in one of the books Gwyon has brought back from Spain, Aunt May leaves little doubt about her attitude toward what she regards as aberrant religious practices.
A Gravity's Rainbow Companion: Sources and Contexts for Pynchon's Novel (Revised 2nd Edition) by Steven C. Weisenburger