Poolside Reading

Density compounding the entropy of intelligence as a screaming comes across E@L's particular sky... the sudden storm of a Phuket afternoon, stochastic distributions of rain-drops evaporating into an ozone aroma of hot pebble-mix mist - every paragraph has more ideas, more assumption of fore-knowledge, more WWII in-jokes, more psychiatry, psychology, chemistry and physics, more literature than most other novels in their ENTIRETY.

Having heard Bruce Sterling and Norman Spinrad arguing over the success of the ending of Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow E@L has had to forego your dismissal of him as a half-read dilettante (like White's Solid Mandala character who never finished Proust) and book-snob wanker, and admit that he has had trouble getting past, firstly sexy Katje (as Death) dropping a load into Colonel Pudding's eager mouth, and then the episode where Tyrone Slothrop turns mysteriously into his own penis as he screws the 12 y.o. submissive vamp, Bianca... well, E@L better figure out if there IS an exit from this maelstrom .

He needs to finish this. He is not alone. His days, like yours, are numbered. This is a task that must be overcome. Unfortunately he forgot to pack his everfaithful companion with him...

Thinking who the fuck is Pynchon? The closest approximation in this age is Neal Stephenson, whose encylopaediac Baroque Cycle comes closest in terms of arrogance, ego and brilliance... but still falls short in... something... the poetry of paranoia, maybe?

An example of his style: here's Pynchon on Colonies and Colonists (read "expats")-

-- wait, wait a minute there, yes it's Karl Marx, that sly old racist skipping away with his teeth together and his eyebrows up trying to make believe it's nothing but Cheap Labor and Overseas Markets... Oh no. Colonies are much, much more. Colonies are the outhouses of the European soul, where a fellow can let his pants down and relax, enjoy the smell of his own shit. Where he can fall on the slender prey roaring as loud as he feels like, and guzzle her blood with open joy. Eh? Where he can wallow and rut and let himself go into a softness, a receptive darkness of limbs, of hair as woolly as the hair on his own forbidden genitals. Where the poppy, and cannabis and coca grow full and green, and not to the colors and style of death, as do ergot and agaric, the blight and native fungus native to Europe. Christian Europe was always death, Karl [Marx], death and repression. Out and down in the colonies, life can be indulged, life and sensuality in all its forms, with no harm done to the Metropolis, nothing to soil those catherdrals, white marble statues, noble thoughts... No word ever gets back. The silences down there are vast enough to absorb all behaviours, no matter how dirty, how animal it gets... Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow, Jonathan Cape 1973, p 317.

There's my novel in a nutshell really. 2/3 of a Pynchon paragraph...



Posted by: expat@large on Dec 29, 05 | 5:32 pm | Profile


I could never even get thru the thinner The Screeching of Lot 411 I think FedEx bought up all the remaining copies.

Posted by: Tom on Dec 29, 05 | 11:15 pm

That's funny...

...and tacit lies the gold once-knotted horn...

Lot49 I can breeze through compared to this.

In GR, you read for an hour through complicated and nefarious plot-twists, time and space leaps, Russian alphabet history, the chemical formulae for various plastics (the presumably dire Imoplex G), weird sex and weirder drugs... and you realize you've only gone 8 or 9 pages...

Posted by: expat@large on Dec 30, 05 | 4:10 pm

Well, maybe I'll pick it up again. Perhaps I'm old enough to enjoy it.

Posted by: Tom on Dec 30, 05 | 6:06 pm


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