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.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Additional Discussion of pp. 57-80

A continuation of that House of Seven Babblers post... Here's a place for Chumps to discuss the above section (pp. 57-80) as it may relate to other Pynchon novels.


At Sunday, January 07, 2007 10:28:00 PM, Blogger Civic Center said...

The gentlest and most sentimental moments that I can remember from Pynchon's novel "Vineland" were all padre/figlia (father/daughter) situations. Those moments seem to be recurring in "Against The Day," and they remind me of Verdi, who wrote all the great padre/figlia duets in an operatic career where the men have most of the important roles, which can also be said of Pynchon.

At Monday, January 08, 2007 6:37:00 AM, Blogger Will Divide said...

Indeed, Vineland is all about the search for the Absent Mother, and even M&D has several tender observations of the parent/child relationship.

Balanced against the need for freedom are the bonds which accrue naturally through love; a VERY difficult choice presented to parents in the recent novels, with hard aftermaths to accomodate.

At Monday, January 08, 2007 10:00:00 AM, Blogger Robert Z. said...

That line abt Columbus, OH being the asshole of the country also appears somewhere in M&D, except there I think it's Philadelphia (or maybe Pittsburgh?) Can't remember exactly, and I haven't had a minute to check, since it would end up being an hour of trawling thru M&D... Anyone else remember this? I just read M&D this autumn, so seeing the same insult in ATD jumped out at me.

At Monday, January 08, 2007 3:32:00 PM, Blogger E said...

I just a did a full text search of M&D at Amazon, and neither Pittsburg(h) nor Columbus is mentioned. Perhaps it was Philly?

At Monday, January 08, 2007 4:27:00 PM, Blogger Robert Z. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At Monday, January 08, 2007 4:57:00 PM, Blogger Robert Z. said...

Ahh! Amazon full text search! It was "Lancaster-town" (p 640)

Now my curiosity is whether the use of the same insult in both books is a coincidence, or a Kute Korrespondence...

At Monday, January 08, 2007 9:34:00 PM, Blogger H. Rumbold, Master Barber said...

Anyone up for including Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle and his other works in this series of threads? The parallels are well worth delving into if folks are familiar with his work or want to be. Disclaimer: trilogy each roughly the size of AtD. And linked site wants to pop up a window you may have to permit.

H. Rumbold, Master Barber

At Thursday, January 11, 2007 6:20:00 AM, Blogger Will Divide said...

I think the rift between Magic & Science we're discussing in this section is pretty neatly set up in the two figures of Mason & Dixon. That novel opens some 150 years before ATD in the enlightenment, when the juice of science was first being extracted from the supernatural. Consequently, the roles of scientist and wizzard are shown to be still fairly close together.

Though an astronomer, a man of precise, and mirthless, observations, Mason also casts horoscopes. And though Dixon is a champion surveyor and map maker, he is also observed flying over lei lines in the remote English countryside.

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