Download A Gravity's Rainbow Companion: Sources and Contexts for by Steven C. Weisenburger PDF

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 integral advisor to Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow. Weisenburger takes the reader web page by way of web page, frequently line through line, during the welter of old references, clinical info, cultural fragments, anthropological examine, 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 armed forces slang in addition to the extra vague 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 vital American variants 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 20 th Century."

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

Sample text

A sort of bow shape” The reference is not to George Kingsley Zipf ’s 1949 book, Human Behavior and the Principle of Least Effort. Instead, the text for this complex, arresting reference is his 1935 study, The Psycho-Biology of Language. Zipf was a professor of philology and linguistics at Harvard during the time of Slothrop’s fictional attendance there. In the 1935 book he approached language as “a natural psychological and biological phenomenon to be investigated in the spirit of the ex- 39 act sciences” (v).

22 No Slothrop ever made it into the Social Register or the Somerset Club In print since 1887, the Social Register (now published by Forbes Media) bills itself as “the definitive listing of America’s most prominent families, serving as an exclusive and trusted medium for learning about and communicating with their peers. ” The Register’s information on “club memberships” might include many a listed family’s affiliation with the exclusive Somerset Club, established in 1872 at 42 Beacon Street, Boston, a Greek Revival mansion overlooking Boston Common that has served as the inner sanctum for generations of Cabots, Lodges, Lowells, and their fellows.

19 –20). Note that Pirate’s rainbow is imagined: to observe it under these circumstances one would have to be perched high over the North Sea. 3 miles. ” This is the first of many typographical errors in the Bantam edition. 18–19 the operations room at Stanmore Thirteen miles northwest of London; home of the Special Operations Executive. ” episode 2 T he time is later the same morning; the scene, still Pirate’s maisonette, then greater London. 28 –29) before superiors call him away to retrieve a message come down by rocket.

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