Against the Day Weblog

January 22, 2007

Aviation

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.?

January 20, 2007

Repetition

Filed under: Questions — basileios @ 7:47 am
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There appears to be some repetition in page 796 with imagery that appeared a few pages earlier. This is not the usual Pynchon. Is this bad editing?

January 15, 2007

Guns in Against the Day

Filed under: Questions — basileios @ 7:22 pm
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Mauser on page 765.

I must say that I am not 100% sure on the reason of the detailed and analytical reference to guns and firearms through out Against the Day. Sure, they do represent the elements that will shape the things to come, they do take a great part in the love of many Americans, but I do feel I am missing a point here after so many different firearm brands that are mentioned through out the book.

December 20, 2006

So where is the Unabomber?

Filed under: General,Questions — basileios @ 8:14 am

UnabomberWell lets take these one by one:

  • Theodore Kaczynski was an anarchist… bomber.
  • Theodore Kaczynski was a mathematician – with heavy duty work in complex analysis.
  • Thomas Pynchon was once accused of being the Unabomber
  • Theodore Kaczynski was arrested round the time Pynchon was writing Against the Day
  • Theodore Kaczynski was arrested due to information given by his own family

Sounds as if there are quite a few coincidences going on here. Are there more?

December 13, 2006

Chums of Chance and books… again

Filed under: Notes,Questions — basileios @ 9:45 am

This appears to be too much for being a coincidence. The Chums of Chance are dealing with a books again. This time with H.G. Wells and the Time Machine. I can’t claim I can understand the significance of any of the Chums of Chance episodes but they do seem as textual references that require more thinking and reading. They are probably the episodes in which Pynchon is talking to us and to his heroes at the same time. I don’t know what this can reveal, but I am mystied with the possibilities.

November 30, 2006

Chums of Chance in the Bowels of the Earth

Filed under: Questions — basileios @ 10:42 am

Well, I am not really sure I understand the essence of presence of this adventure, which is practically unfinished.

Mechanical analogies

Filed under: Notes,Questions — basileios @ 9:07 am
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“Water falls, electricity flows – one flow becomes another, and thence into light. So is altitude transformed, continuously, to light’ (page 99)

Electricity (and heat) as a fluid were a concept which was around for more than a hundred years (I believe Benjamin Franklin was one of the main introducers of this). The key aspect in this passage though is the understanding of the light and electricity through the mechanical analogy of the water flowing and transforming into an other type of fluid. This was a key element in the scientific community of the time and ‘understanding truth’ was inconceivable without the building of such a mechanical analogy.

However, what is also crucial is the fact that experiments like the Michelson & Morley described earlier in the book and eventually the the theory of relativity destroyed this approach into smithereens. Another aspect of change embedded in the book?

Another interesting point is the paragraph on a connexion between spirituality and science that is brought in the previous page 98. I am rather sceptic at the moment on this spirituality attitude Pynchon is keeping with Against the Day. I ‘d very much like to see where this is going.

November 28, 2006

Hong Kong Mystery Effect

Filed under: Questions — basileios @ 8:53 am
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Anybody knows what this is?

(page 68)

November 27, 2006

Americans

Filed under: Notes,Questions — basileios @ 11:25 am
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‘But here was this hall full of Americans, no question, even the foreign-born if you thought about where they had come from and what they must’ve been hoping to find over here and so forth, American in their prayers anyway,…’

page 50.

It was a always a bit of a mystery to me the essence of an ‘American’ in such a diverse in its origins nation as the USA. Some years back I came to the conclusion that its the ‘common beliefs’ (to a flag, country and future) that constitute ‘the American’ and not heritage of any kind, language, history, look or political belief. In 1893, the time this passage refers to, the American nation had just over 100 years of existence as a separate entity and although I do find this passage slightly surprising for this timeframe (but maybe because I am not American) it somehow feels like a key statement for the American psyche.

November 23, 2006

So who’s narrating this?

Filed under: Questions — basileios @ 10:53 am
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Its difficult to tell most of the time in Pynchon’s work about the narrator (Mason and Dixon being an exception). But there is something quite interesting happeninging in Against the Day. Page 3 has the phrase: ‘Darby, as my faithful readers will remember….’ and throws a curve ball to the reader.

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