Against the Day Weblog

November 22, 2006

Waiting for Against the Day

Filed under: General — basileios @ 7:27 am

I don’t have Against the Day yet. DHL ‘promises’ delivery by the end of the day (the package is somewhere in the sky between Brussels and Athens at the moment). What am I really expecting from this book? I hardly believe that it can take the very special place that Gravity’s Rainbow has for me. Over the past 15 years I have built a special relationship with Gravity’s Rainbow that I cannot compare it with an experience I have had with any other books. It has been with me through highs and lows, has travelled with me 20.000 km away to Bora Bora when I went there on my honeymoon, through 52 solid hours of flight (a screaming against the sky), and read repeatedly during guard services on the top of the mountains of Lemnos as I was doing my military service. Gravity’s Rainbow is not ‘just a book’, its all the things that I have lived through it and all the moments in my life that it has helped me digest. In this respect it was a breakthrough, a revolution that shaped all my reading habits from that moment onwards (how could I enjoy any other book, when I compare it to Gravitys Rainbow?) and also my writing style (sadly I do write as well). And I do understand that no matter how good Against the Day may be, and how impressive a book, the same is not going to happen through reading it. Or at least the chances of it happening are very few.

This unfortunately makes Against the Day a priori not as good as Gravity’s Rainbow. Its tragic to admit that in a sense something similar might have happened with some of the reviewers that have criticized Agains the Day for being a Pynchon ‘jumping the shark’.

This however does not imply that I will not enjoy the book. I have already said that I consider Pynchon’s work a whole which is a lot bigger than the sum of its parts. Against the Day is bound to represent an integral part of the ‘Pynchon experience’ and this is the way I will be handling the first and its (mandatory) subsequent readings.

The DHL plane has landed in Athens. Now everybody-


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