Against the Day Weblog

January 30, 2007

He’s an optimist after all…

Filed under: General — basileios @ 2:20 pm

‘Somebody will get that Deuce Kindred someday, and Mr. Vibe too, it wouldn’t surprise me. People that bad have a way of bringing it to themselves sooner or later.”

page 980

Like chickens coming home to roost maybe?

I talked about what appears to me the most important aspect of Against the Day, the power of history over human society but it appears that Pynchon is more of an optimist than I thought. Or naive?


January 29, 2007

Sons and daughters

Filed under: General — basileios @ 12:34 pm

‘Her love for Ljubica being impenetrable and indivisible as a prime number, other loves must be accordingly re-evaluated’

page 973

Would this sentence be possibly written by Pynchon if he did not have a son? There are quite a few personal (i would call them) feelings in Against the Day and not surprisingly some parts of Pynchon were changed by family life.

FN motorcycles

Filed under: Notes — basileios @ 12:30 pm

(on page 951).

I had an FN rifle when I was in the Greek army, but had no idea the company used to do motorcycles as well. These are beauties…

January 24, 2007

Anarchism and WWI

Filed under: Notes — basileios @ 8:41 am

‘”Well?” Yashmeen said, “why not let them have their war? Why would any self respecting Anarchist care about any of these governments, with their miserable incestuous stew of kings and Caesars?”‘

page 938

This is, unfortunately, a rather ironic statement. World War I seems to be the catalyst that basically destroyed the Anarchist mode of thinking and turn the tide towards the competing ideas of Communism. Another play on history by Pynchon maybe?


Filed under: Notes — basileios @ 8:33 am

“Frank respected this – who at some point hadn’t come to hate the railroad? It penetrated, itr broke apart cities and wild herds and watersheds, it created economic panics and armies of jobless men and women, and generations of hard, bleak city-dwellers with no principles who ruled with unchecked power, it took away everything indiscriminately, to be sold, to be slaughtered, to be led beyond the reach of love.”

page 930

Railroads appear in quite a few instances in Against the Day as symbols of modernity, as elements of evil. The railway network appears similar to the border in Mason & Dixon as an unnatural violation of nature which has an impact in all human society.

Too bad that I like traveling by train….

January 22, 2007

Bela Blasko

Filed under: Uncategorized — basileios @ 8:57 am

Bela Lugosi enters the stage.

page 913


Filed under: Questions — basileios @ 8:55 am

“Right now, for engineers, it seems to be a seller’s market. Aviation in particular.”

Wasn’t that somewhere in V.?

Future anguish

Filed under: Uncategorized — basileios @ 8:52 am

“Years later they would be unable to agree on how they found themselves on the Szechenyi-Ter tramline, fleeing into the heart of the city”

page 910

The future of the heroes present manifests itself once again (with its multitude of possibilities about its past.) The whole of Against the Day seems to me in structure like the last part of Gravity’s Rainbow.


Filed under: Uncategorized — basileios @ 8:47 am

…all the world in a single city.

page 839.

Some claim more or less the same today.

All Lines Singled Up

Filed under: Notes — basileios @ 8:45 am

The phrase reappears in page 821. This feels like a ‘double start’ for the book here (even though it is not a beginning of a part or something).

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