Against the Day Weblog

November 24, 2006

First Impressions

Filed under: General,Notes — basileios @ 7:16 am

Well, this is no Gravity’s Rainbow, thats for sure. After reading the first 25 or so pages the whole setup seems less dense than the bombardment of images synapsed by the first pages of Gravity’s Rainbow. Actually Against the Day reminds me of Vineland more than any other book of Pynchons.

However, there is something rather strange that I noticed in the first chapter. i somehow don’t think it is just a weird coincidence that elements of all the previous books appear within pages 3 to 18. For example there is a small fight (like the bigger fight in the bar in the beginning of V.), there is mention of aeronautical almanacs (designed and first created by Maskelyn of Mason & Dixon fame), there is broken glass (like the broken window by Zoyd Wheeler) and there is mention of the going up-coming down process (in analogy with Gravitys Rainbow, – and guess what? Miles Blundell stutters like Slothrop) and finally in page 18 Penelope ‘Penny’ Black (get it?) appears.

And it somehow felt that the five members of the Chums of Chance each represented a previous Pynchon book (in the loose sense). I was expecting a 6th person to enter, and lo and behold in page 25 we are informed of an extra passenger. Well, isn’t this a bit weird? Is it all a coincidence?

Apart from that the book reads like a Boy’s Book of Adventures and it seems that Pynchon is toying with us in a mockery of the whole book writing and reading process (and this is no screaming against the sky. This is an object full of air exhaling, farting through the sky). The dog that reads the book by Henry James is 100% original Pynchon.

More, more, more….


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