Against the Day Weblog

January 9, 2007


Filed under: Personal — basileios @ 2:45 pm

My dad suffered a broken leg last week and had to undergo hip replacement surgery. As a result I was on hospital/nursing duty for about 20 hours per day and my Against the Day reading suffered also from a break. I will be back home tomorrow resuming reading where we left off.



  1. Hope to see you back online soon, you’ve had some great insights. After finishing Against The Day a few weeks ago, I moved onto a second reading of Ulysses and am now on Finnegans Wake. I’m seeing Pynchon all over The Wake in this reading … chums of chance and iceland spur are jumping out of the text. Also, all of Joyce’s references to absolute zero are more pronounced. There’s no question that The Wake has had a major influence on Pynchon. I wonder if Joyce’s obsession with Vico is also shared by Pynchon … whether the great chaos of our times is in fact Vico’s riccorso. And if that’s the case, it makes for an interesting interpretation of the book … chaos and entropy are inevitable, but the form that chaos takes could have gone one of two ways. When governments found a way to use the chaos to their advantage, the hope of a people-empowered anarchy was thwarted.

    In other words, yes there is a tide of history driving us, but don’t misinterpret it as Marxist because Marx was just extrapolating (more like mis-extrapolating) Vico too. The tide is towards greater entropy, greater chaos, all ending with Vico and Joyce (and perhaps Pynchon) in a thunderclap that drives us back into a new theocratic age or to our annihilation. Stanley Kubrick was also a disciple of Joyce, but took a far more optimistic path, believing that technology could help man transcend his fate. Pynchon like Joyce sees the dual nature of man as a barrier to uncovering our fate. History can turn on whether Shem or Shaun wins the battle of the day … and similarly Against The Day turns on the whims and actions of the Traverse boys.

    Comment by Dan Conley — January 15, 2007 @ 3:45 am | Reply

  2. trying to get back………

    I was thinking once that only Kubrick would be able to direct a fiulm version of Gravitys Rainbow.

    Do not misunderstood the word Marxian that I used for describing the Pynchonian view on history. I used neo-Marxian in the sense that it has the principle of the impersonality and the ‘masses’ implied by the Marxian approach, but it is far more bleak in nature than the actual Marxian approach. Marx’s philosophy of praxis intended to change the future for the benefit of the common man. Pynchon’s view (and remember I haven’t finished the book yet) is one in which the ultimate forces of history take its course without heroes, antiheroes, or the common man being able to change the routes of this course.

    Comment by basileios — January 15, 2007 @ 10:25 am | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: