The Chumps of Choice

A Congenial Spot for the Discussion of Against the Day, by Thomas Ruggles Pynchon, Cornell '59, and Any Other Damned Thing That Comes Into Our Heads. Warning: Grad Students and Willie-Wavers will be mocked.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Additional Discusion, pp. 712-723


The Pyncher certainly does have a thing about S&M, doesn't he? It was all over Gravity's Rainbow, Katje Borgesius and all, completely absent from Mason & Dixon, and now here it is, back with a whipcrack.

What's up with that? On the M side it's all about the willing surrender of power over one's body to another, and the concordant acquisition of said power on the S half of the equation. And given that Pynchon concerns himself at rather great degree with power relationships -- political, physical, religious, economic -- I suppose it's not a great stretch to see rather obvious metaphorical uses for it.

No great insights from me on the question. Just thought I'd hang it up and see if anybody knouts it.

4 Comments:

At Tuesday, June 26, 2007 12:10:00 PM, Blogger sfmike said...

I've noticed the same thing about the S/M. Also sharing many of those same obsessions is the great sci-fi writer/semiotician Samuel R. Delaney. The latter, by the way, wrote one of my favorite sci-fi stories of all time back in the 1970s, and its long, fabulous title is bizarrely apropos to our current Pynchon adventure: "Time Considered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Stones."

 
At Thursday, June 28, 2007 9:10:00 AM, Blogger Blowing Shit Up With Gas said...

Hey Chumps-

I'm still lagging behind after several things keeping me from AtD. But, I'm up around p650 now, so I'll be ready when it's my at-bat again soon.

In the mean time... Remember the "Lightarians" mentioned early on (e.g., "fricaseed light," "light a la mode," etc.)? Well, turns out there is a guy like that. I just saw this on Fark.

From the article:

------------------------

"I call it light nutrition," he explains. "But one can also talk of ethereal, Prana, Chi or cosmic energy ... it's all the same thing."

It's also known as Breatharianism, or the belief that the elements contained in air - nitrogen, carbon dioxide, oxygen and hydrogen - can sustain a body.

------------------------

 
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