By Steven C. Weisenburger
Including a few 20 percentage to the unique content material, it is a thoroughly up-to-date version of Steven Weisenburger's necessary consultant to Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow. Weisenburger takes the reader web page via web page, usually line by way of line, in the course of the welter of old references, medical info, cultural fragments, anthropological examine, jokes, and puns round which Pynchon wove his tale. Weisenburger absolutely annotates Pynchon's use of languages starting from Russian and Hebrew to such subdialects of English as Forties highway speak, drug lingo, and army slang in addition to the extra vague terminology of black magic, Rosicrucianism, and Pavlovian psychology.
The Companion additionally unearths the underlying association of Gravity's Rainbow--how the book's myriad references shape styles of that means and constitution that experience eluded either admirers and critics of the novel.
The Companion is keyed to the pages of the significant American versions of Gravity's Rainbow: Viking/Penguin (1973), Bantam (1974), and the distinctive, repaginated Penguin paperback (2000) honoring the radical as one in every of twenty "Great Books of the 20th Century."
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Additional resources for A Gravity's Rainbow Companion: Sources and Contexts for Pynchon's Novel (Revised 2nd Edition)
Iron Guardsmen wore green shirts and carried little bags of Romanian soil—symbolizing their love of the fatherland—tied to thongs around their necks. Under Codreanu, Romania maintained an alliance with Hitler through August 1944, when Britain and France assisted the deposed young king, Michael, in a successful coup. Still, the political situation remained unstable and was a frequent topic of discussion in the Times of London throughout the fall and winter of 1944–45. The Russians had been fomenting an under- 23 ground struggle, and in March 1945 a Communist faction directed by the Russian commissar Andrei Vyshinski seized control.
Through the Blitz, the Windmill was the one theater that never closed, its performers often sleeping overnight during the worst bomber, V-1, and V-2 attacks. 23–24 the Frick Frack Club in Soho London’s Soho district, now known as the hub of London ﬁlmmaking, once was home to clubs of low repute and numerous secondhand shops; the Frick Frack Club is unknown, but the phrase “frick and frack” was war-era slang for any two persons or objects related or nearly identical to each other. The phrase itself derived from a Swiss ice-skating duo known for their comical routines; they appear in the 1944 ﬁlm Lady, Let’s Dance (Monogram Pictures), in which war refugee Belita (an actual dancer, as herself) plays a waitress picked by a producer (James Ellison) to be a lead dancer when his show’s prima donna walks off.
Mother Nalline would have had to mail him Thayer’s slippery elm throat lozenges because the Henry Thayer Company (formerly of Cambridge, now of Concord, Massachusetts) marketed the product only in New England. ” Incidentally, “Nalline” is itself the proprietary name of a pharmaceutical product, Nalorphine, once widely employed by police to test for the presence of opiates, especially heroin, in a suspect’s blood. 11–14), and later that year the piece was a hit song for bandleader James King Kern “Kay” Kyser (1906–85).
A Gravity's Rainbow Companion: Sources and Contexts for Pynchon's Novel (Revised 2nd Edition) by Steven C. Weisenburger