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Has anyone here read Gravity's Rainbow?

  1. Feb 13, 2013 #1
    Read it first over the summer last year. Doing it again with a 400 page companion reader to point out all of the allusions.

    The amount of information contained in this book is mind boggling. I could probably read it 10 times and only retain a fraction of what Pynchon recorded.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 13, 2013 #2
    Also thinking about getting a GR tattoo. Trying to figure out what I want.
  4. Feb 19, 2013 #3
    I gave up about half way through because it seemed to me like the literary version of shredding. Some guy with a great deal of technique and nothing to say. If you like that sort of game, fine. I thought the same of the more recent "Infinite Jest," so maybe you would like that too.
  5. Feb 20, 2013 #4


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    Hey now! Pynchon and DFW have a lot to say. It just takes more effort to get the meaning out of their works, not because their writing is particularly difficult or anything, but because of the complexity and intricacies of the ideas. I get that their writing is not for everyone, and to each his own in that regard, but that they have nothing to say is way too extreme.
  6. Feb 21, 2013 #5
    Pynchon intentionally uses stream of consciousness in various parts of his writing. It is utilized quite often in GR. He also has an immense vocabulary and an almost encyclopedic understanding of historical events. When you put all of that together, you get some extremely difficult literature. I find the companion reader highly informative. Reading it a second time has also allowed me to overcome questions about basic plot sequences.

    But none of what he writes is in anyway "meaningless."
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
  7. Feb 21, 2013 #6
    Also, one of the main themes in GR is paranoia;a symptom of mental illnesses like schizophrenia. A lot of the stream writing is suppose to induce the sense that you are going crazy. So he uses "pressured speech" and word salad techniques to get you there.
  8. Feb 21, 2013 #7
    One last thing, if you think Pynchon is long winded and convoluted, don't ever read anything by James Joyce. Good lord. That man might actually have been crazy.
  9. Feb 24, 2013 #8

    Yeah, I tried that too and couldn't do it. Except for Dubliners, which I think is great.
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