Against the Day Weblog

December 31, 2006

Meta-text again?

Filed under: Excerpts,General — basileios @ 10:40 am

“Who could have foreseen, any more than the actress who falls in love with her leading man, that the fiction might prove after all more desirable – strangely, more durable – than anything the civilian world had to offer…”

page 701

Linking this with the preface to the book I feel he is talking about the book-writing process and the fictional world here the way he has viewed it through his career. If Orson Welles faced personality problems after doing Citizen Kane can anyone guess what writing Gravitys Rainbow (and Against the Day) has done to Pynchon as a feedback?


December 22, 2006


Filed under: Excerpts — basileios @ 10:32 am

…arrived just in time, rising before them like a lime sorbet after a steady diet of roasted ducks and assorted goose products.”

page 662


December 20, 2006

Which book is that after all?

Filed under: Excerpts — basileios @ 7:47 am

“Through God’s blind mercy, as he told it to _______ a few days later, on their way over to T______’s studio in C________, after escapes from destruction and war in places he could no longer remember clearly, he had found asylum in V____, only to happen one day upon visions of T_____’s and recognize the futuristic vehicle which had born him to safety from the devastated City so long ago, and the subterranean counter-City it took him through, and the chill, comfortless faith in science and rationality that had kept all his fellow refugees then so steady in their flight, and his own desolate certainty of having failed his remit, one of those mascottes who had brought only bad luck to those who trusted him, destined to end up in cheap rooms down at the ends of suburban streets, eventually indifferent to their own fates, legends of balefulness, banned from accompanying all but the most disreputable and suicidal of voyagers. But lately …. he was beginning to feel less comfortable as one of the lost”

page 585

I removed the names of this passage intentionally. If I saw this out of context I wouldnt be able to place it in time or inside his novels. It could equally well be part of V., of Gravity’s Rainbow and Mason & Dixon.

November 27, 2006

Filed under: Excerpts — basileios @ 1:38 pm

‘Later, after closing day, as autumn deepened over the corrupted praire, as the ill-famed Hawk, miles aloft, invisibly rehearsed its Arctic repertoir of swift descent, merciless assault, rapture of souls – the abandoned structures of the Fair would come to house the jobless and hungry who had always been there, even at the height of the season of miracle just concluded.’

Page 55

Master Listmaker

Filed under: Excerpts — basileios @ 10:18 am

One of the ‘bad reviews’ on Against the Day was accusing Pynchon of being ‘just’ a list maker. So be it. I d like to see a better list than this:

‘Unemployed men from out of town, exhausted, unbathed, flatulent, sullen … collegians having a look in at possibilities for hell-raising… Women in surprising numbers, bearing the marks of their trades, scars from the blades of th meatpicking floors, squints from the needlework carried past the borderlands of sleep in clockless bad light, women in head=scarves, crocheted fascinators, extravagantly flowered hats, no hats at all, women just looking to put their feet up after too many hours of lifting, fetching, walking the jobless avenues, bearing the insults of the day…’

(page 49)

Incidentally the description reminds me of the Peasants revolt in medieval England.

Lew Basnight

Filed under: Dramatis Personae,Excerpts,Notes — basileios @ 9:40 am

‘He understood that things were exactly what they were. It seemed more than he could bear’

Is that somehow a profanity reference? (i.e. Benny Profane). And Lew appears to be a central character – for the early stages of the book at least – in a similar (yet opposite in essence) fashion to Pirate Prentice: The man who lives other people’s fantasies.

November 23, 2006

Chums of Chance and the Evil Halfwit

Filed under: Excerpts — basileios @ 8:28 pm

‘during a confidential assignment to our nations Capital’

I am on page 5, I know next to nothing on what this book is about, but I must say that the Evil Halfwit does bring to mind a certain man…

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