Against the Day Weblog

December 30, 2006

Pynchon and the Balkans (Whole or Sum of Parts II)

Filed under: Notes,Sources — basileios @ 4:30 pm

About a month ago I talked about how I always felt that Pynchon’s works have to be viewed as a whole and not as individual books, totally separated from one another. Lo and behold here is the man himself talking about the Balkans.

“Best procedure when considering the Balkans” instructed Renfrew “is not to look at components singly – one begins to run about the room screaming after a while – but all together, everything in a single timeless snapshot, the way master chess players are said to regard the board”.

page 689

Another interesting point about this paragraph is the mention of global snapshots for master chess players, something which is not always understood easily by people who think that master chess players work like computers by calculating many moves and possibilities in advance. The truth appears to be that master chess players evaluate patterns on the chessboard and judge their next moves based on the future emerging patterns. The global snapshot picture is absolutely correct here.

I think I remember reading a detailed analysis of this in Steven Pinker’s How the Mind Works. Could this be the original source for Pynchon as well?


December 13, 2006

A great reference

Filed under: Sources — basileios @ 9:46 am

Thanks to his comment I discovered a great blog by Dr. Stevens Amidon on another Against the Day reading. The approach is different, but I am certainly going to be a frequent visitor there.

November 21, 2006

PynchonWiki launches

Filed under: Sources — basileios @ 10:56 pm

The Wiki for Against the Day has been launched in The dedicated wiki will work in the same mass intelligence (or mass paranoia as we are talking about Pynchon) principle as Wikipedia. It promises to grow into a very helpful online tool for reading Against the Day. I must say i will definitely be visiting the site a lot over the next month.

November 20, 2006

Random House Against the Day Website

Filed under: Sources — basileios @ 8:19 am

Random House, the UK publishers of Against the Day, have launched a rather cool website for Against the Day. When you visit make sure you take part in the competition by naming three Against the Day characters… Pig Bodine is bound to be one 😉

November 11, 2006

Against the Day Squidoo Lens

Filed under: Sources — basileios @ 2:07 pm

I have also started an Against the Day Squidoo Lens which I hope will give me some extra options in the (like the Google Maps setup).

Against the Day Wiki

Filed under: Sources — basileios @ 1:26 pm

The fortunate ones that are already reading Against the Day have started creating a Wiki about Against the Day. Although it is currently not available to the public (no point in spoiling the plot…) it will open up within a few days after the launch of Against the Day. It promises to be one of the main sources of information about Against the Day.

Against the Day Wiki.

Blog at