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Thread: Gravity's Rainbow

  1. #1
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    Default Gravity's Rainbow

    luka's currently reading it, there's lots to talk about and it's starting to creep into other threads, so perhaps it's time to have a dedicated one...

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    It's a history book first and foremost, that's how it feels to me. How did we get HERE under the dominion of THIS Empire.

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    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    It's a history book first and foremost, that's how it feels to me. How did we get HERE under the dominion of THIS Empire.
    Yeah, definitely. I think he's always been a historian at heart, you look at everything he's published and it's always located around some point of change or upheaval, often deeply entwined with technological progress.

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    One of the themes of the book I think, is that the goodies didn't win WW2. This is a commonplace of the paranoid set and for some it leads inexorably to anti semitism and Hitler worship. But it's not the same as saying the Nazis were right or that the world would be a better place had they of won but in locating the commonality and the blurring of identity between the two sides, both representing a specific vision of modernity. That they created the future in collaboration almost, hand in hand.

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    A screaming comes across the sky. It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now.

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

    Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the Angelic

    Orders? And even if one were to suddenly

    take me to its heart, I would vanish into its

    stronger existence. For beauty is nothing but

    the beginning of terror, that we are still able to bear,

    and we revere it so, because it calmly disdains

    to destroy us. Every Angel is terror.

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    The Duino Elegies were very important to me as a teenager. They taught me a lot about being a poet. It's a cult of intensity, that's Rilke really I think. Certainly in the Elegies. I don't exactly get what Pynchon wants to do with him, although partly ~things stirring in the Teutonic imagination~ ideals and atavisms. Orientations. Soul-Desires.

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    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    One of the themes of the book I think, is that the goodies didn't win WW2. This is a commonplace of the paranoid set and for some it leads inexorably to anti semitism and Hitler worship. But it's not the same as saying the Nazis were right or that the world would be a better place had they of won but in locating the commonality and the blurring of identity between the two sides, both representing a specific vision of modernity. That they created the future in collaboration almost, hand in hand.
    Apparently Patton actually said that "we have defeated the wrong enemy" after the Third Reich fell and felt that the US should have allied with Hitler against the Soviet Union.

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    Ww2 is a founding myth of the modern world. It props up the Empire. If you can attack it without giving the slightest inch, succour, wink to Nazis, I think it's worth doing.

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    One of the things that really made an impression on me when I first read it and looked into some of the stuff he was talking about was how much of the 'enemy' apparatus was absorbed by the allies. I didn't know anything about Operation Paperclip and that sort of thing until I read GR and it really altered the way I view the war and "history" as a whole.

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    Yes exactly. If it wasn't a shared project during the war it certainly becomes one in its wake.

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    Hilarius in Lot 49 perfecting his craft in the concentration camps before worming his way into 60s California and invading the minds of housewives and dropouts.

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    Dr Stranglove precedes GR right?

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    Yeah, Strangelove was '64.

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    The "Phoebus Cartel" that appears later in the book was a real thing too - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoebus_cartel

    The Phoebus cartel existed to control the manufacture and sale of incandescent light bulbs. They appropriated market territories and fixed the useful life of such bulbs.[1] Corporations based in Europe and America founded the cartel on January 15, 1925 in Geneva[2]. They had intended the cartel to last for thirty years (1925 to 1955). The cartel ceased operations in 1939 owing to the outbreak of World War II. The cartel included manufacturers Osram, General Electric, Associated Electrical Industries, and Philips,[3] among others.

    The Phoebus cartel created a notable landmark in the history of the global economy because it engaged in large-scale planned obsolescence to generate repeated sales and maximize profit. It also reduced competition in the light bulb industry for almost fifteen years. Critics accused the cartel of preventing technological advances that would produce longer-lasting light bulbs. Phoebus based itself in Switzerland. The corporation named itself Phœbus S.A. Compagnie Industrielle pour le Développement de l'Éclairage (French for "Phoebus, Inc. Industrial Company for the Development of Lighting").

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