Tuesday, February 5, 2019
PARADISE FLUBBED: Pynchon & the New World Essay -- essays papers
PARADISE FLUBBED Pynchon & the New World When, in Gravitys Rainbow, A screaming comes across the sky, it is the sound of a V-2 rocket arcing up and everywhere the English Channel.But the rockets vapour trail (which Pirate Prentice sees from kneedeep in the primordial mulch of his bananararium) points throw extinct on over the Atlantic, on toward America, the New World, Tyrone Slothrops yearned-for, perhaps illusory home. The rockets data track ends a fraction of an inch above the readers head, the rocket suspended, poised ... A tableau representing the possibile if not quite realized Apocalypse.In his first novel, V., Pynchon explored the final stage-worshipping mania, the will-to-the-inorganic hubris, the sheer Gotterdamerng gaga-ness of a Dying Europe.And the final scene from Gravitys Rainbow seems to (almost) complete that arc, to represent Europes death rattle a last gasp (and grasp)--as if the Old World, having given parentage to the New, now wished to take that Other in a last dangerous embrace. Dont bother, says Vineland.Well do it ourselves, eventually.Not by introducing some new evil into this New Eden, notwithstanding simply by retro-fitting America with the same brutal mannerisms, the same oppressive conceits, the same mania for Tidying Up that destroyed Europe--all of these urges which Pynchon sees as (in Fredric Jamesons terms) necessary preconditions for the wax to imperialist hegemony and colonialist cruelty, and the inevitable descent into fascist insanity. The whiteness of decay that looms over V. is for Pynchon inextricably connected with Americas Puritanical beginnings, both genealogical and esthetic.The Crying of rush 49 ends, in fact, with what Edward Mendelson calls a penultimate Pentecostal moment the bo... ...nd thusly it might be suggested that capital A fiction challenges kind of than satisfies, disappoints (that word implying how a good deal of our thinking is shaped by our lifelong desire to escape gravitys wagging f inger) rather than reassures.The minimalist Triumvirate rules beneath a banner stolen from Holiday InnNo Surprises.While what we read with greater effort offers, we sense, greater reward.To push beyond, further, aside to disregard through the jungle despite the fact that the pathway is perfectly clear, asphalted, guard-railed, signposted, edge-trimmed, icon-d, OSHA-inspected, patrolled, mapped, hygienize .... Pynchons fiction lives, and occasionally (all too seldom) communicates from Out There, out in the jungle, out where the distance between Sign and Signifier is a gap long enough to break your neck, should you leap into it.Out on the Frontier, still, always.