By Steven C. Weisenburger
Including a few 20 percentage to the unique content material, it is a thoroughly up-to-date version of Steven Weisenburger's fundamental consultant to Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow. Weisenburger takes the reader web page through web page, frequently line via line, during the welter of old references, medical info, cultural fragments, anthropological examine, jokes, and puns round which Pynchon wove his tale. Weisenburger absolutely annotates Pynchon's use of languages starting from Russian and Hebrew to such subdialects of English as Nineteen Forties road speak, drug lingo, and armed forces slang in addition to the extra vague terminology of black magic, Rosicrucianism, and Pavlovian psychology.
The Companion additionally unearths the underlying association of Gravity's Rainbow--how the book's myriad references shape styles of that means and constitution that experience eluded either admirers and critics of the novel.
The Companion is keyed to the pages of the primary American variations of Gravity's Rainbow: Viking/Penguin (1973), Bantam (1974), and the unique, repaginated Penguin paperback (2000) honoring the radical as one among twenty "Great Books of the 20 th Century."
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Additional resources for A Gravity's Rainbow Companion: Sources and Contexts for Pynchon's Novel (Revised 2nd Edition)
The East End includes not only London’s “Bloody Tower” and the docks but also the densely populated boroughs of Shoreditch, Whitechapel, and Stepney. East End is London’s haven for the preterite: diaspora Jews moved in during the late nineteenth century, and the Salvation Army was instituted there in 1865. In Rohmer’s Fu-Manchu novels, it is a warren of opium dens and “the Yellow Peril”—a criminal underground of inscrutable Asians. 37 in Hampstead Heath The Adenoid has circled counterclockwise, moving north and west into this upper-class borough.
Soldiers—don’t ﬁght for slavery, ﬁght for liberty. 12–14 Novi Pazar . . this obscure sanjak Before World War I, Novi Pazar existed as a small sanjak or principality sandwiched between Serbia and Montenegro in a mountainous region with few passes. The 1878 Treaty of Berlin empowered Austria-Hungary to garrison the area, while specifying that civil administration was to remain in Turkish hands. In 1908 Austria-Hungary announced plans to run a rail line through the pass at Novi Pazar. It would have been com- 26 Beyond the Zero mercially insigniﬁcant but militarily critical in providing a crucial land bridge to Macedonia and Bulgaria, thereby completing the encirclement of Serbia.
In the 1935 book he approached language as “a natural psychological and biological phenomenon to be investigated in the spirit of the ex- 39 act sciences” (v). Examining everyday speech, he found patterns of abbreviation—the linguistic trace of his “Principle of Least Effort”—to be important in unlocking the dynamics of language. Much of his work relies on various statistical and probabilistic tests applied to recorded samples of ordinary discourse, and the text is chock-full of “word-frequency graphs” plotting on double-logarithmic charts the frequency of occurrence of a word, with abscissas indicating the number of words in the sample and ordinates the number of occurrences of the word.