Paperware to Vaporware, The Nativity of Tyrone Slothrop

– 2 –

In the final chapter of Gravity’s Rainbow Thomas Pynchon furthermore presents us with a direct statement refering to Slothrop’s birth sign (and Ascendant as well!) : ‘Shit that’s what I get, havin’ a double Virgo fer a son…’ [699]

A double Virgo: this is the starting point, the initial indication of the nativity of Tyrone Slothrop. The second major indicator is the “ten thousand [days of] past Slothrops.” How- ever, for reasons of his own, perhaps even to incite people like me or other astrologers to undertake the task of unveiling the credible nativity of Tyrone Slothrop, Pynchon gives neither the year, day, nor the exact time of birth. Not that Pynchon necessarily gave much care to any strict chronological system (Slothrop’s Tarot pointing also to mediocrity in his chroniclers’ lives too!) [738], yet from the statements, hints, and events in Gravity’s Rainbow, the time-question, determining the hour and minute of birth, is far less difficult than determining the day and, to a certain extent, the year of birth. Ten thousand Slothrops does give an age in August 1945 of 27 years, 4 months and 16 days. However this chronology is (say “averaging!”) close enough to deal with, but not to be taken to the decimal level.

We are directly informed that Tyrone Slothrop is a double Virgo born in Mingeborough, Massachusetts, Berkshire County, USA [26, 699]. Any “double” sign means a birth time around sunrise, the Ascendant being in the same sign as the Sun. The Ascendant is the key practical factor of any horoscope as it sets the cosmic positions, the constellations, in relation to earthly affairs and it further determines the individual Zodiac sign-positions of the twelve houses. The Ascendant is the gate to the outer, social world, one’s own personal calling card ! Taking the mean degree of Virgo (15th) this gives us a time span for sunrise at the terrestrial co-ordinates of Berkshire, MA. between 5:13 a.m. and 7:47 a.m. A double sign does have two sides to it: either the Sun is placed in the assertive First House or in the floundering Twelfth House. Believe me, including you sceptics out there, there is a huge difference between the First and the Twelfth House.

Beyond any doubt, I instinctively, intuitively, if you so wish, feel Tyrone Slothrop was born after sunrise with the Sun in the Twelfth House (a messy Virgo). In coherence with the theory of the use of binary opposites in Gravity’s Rainbow this position fits perfectly. According to age-old astrological principles which have been passed on orally and in writing for more than five Millenniums, Virgo rules the Sixth House, the opposite house of the twelfth, which in turn is ruled by Pisces, the opposite sign of Virgo. We know he was assigned to the ACHTUNG branch of PISCES which later was demoted to the Twelfth House. Or to translate this directly into Pynchonesque terms, we have “Paperware” (double-Virgo Slothrop) in “Vaporware” (Twelfth-House Pisces) – the typewriter in the psychic ward!

Here we have the first astrological polarity, literary cosmic binary, if you’d prefer it in these terms, and an inverse polarity to boot (response before stimulus)! There are of course many other binaries between Virgo and the Twelfth House illustrated in Gravity’s Rainbow: “This World /Other World”, physical/psychic, control/synthesis, technician/medium, clinic-spa/ garbage can, select/preterite, academic/natural, orderly/messy, civil servant/counterforce to name the most obvious. These are not just wishful manipulations on my part to startle you with astrological “rabbits-out-of-the-hat,” but key characteristic traits of Virgo (the academic, technician, civil servant, clinic worker, critic, pragmatic, sceptic – all dutifully maintaining a structured realistic order) and the Twelfth House (the medium, a psychic dreamer, the garbage can of the zodiac, the naturalist, the fool, one of the faithful, transcendental synthesis – all constantly threatened by anonymous invisibility, blind obedience, and “self-undoing!”). If you don't believe me, just go ahead and look them up in your favorite astrological textbook – of any western country, culture, or language. They are basically all the same, and you may even find many more fitting statements for a twelfth-house double Virgo.

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© all rights reserved, alle Rechte beim Autor, Douglas Kløvedal Lannark, Kopenhagen und Berlin, 2000-2005.

Links zu Douglas Kløvedal Lannark:

Douglas Kløvedal Lannark: MASON & DIXON: An Astrological Review — on this server.

Douglas Kløvedal Lannark: Hand–drawn Chart of Tyrone Slothrop — on this server.

Douglas Kløvedal Lannark: Venus Rules — Love — on this server.

The Fifth Gate – A documentary by Bente Milton: “Douglas Lannark is an acclaimed astrologer and expert in the various calendar systems used around the world.”

Douglas Kløvedal Lannark: Wann beginnt das neue Jahrtausend ? Kalender und Zeitrechnung – Meridian, 21.Jhg. 1999 / Heft 6.

Index Hauptseite Vorwort Die Parabel Dekonstruktion Michael D. Bell Summary Biographie Richard Fariña Robert Frost Galerie Literatur Luddism Mason & Dixon Monographien u. Aufsätze Patterns–Muster Proverbs for Paranoids Schweine Slow Learner Soccer Sterblichkeit und Erbarmen in Wien Vineland Weblinks Weiterführende Literatur The Wizard of Oz Fay Wray The Zero Homepage Seitenanfang/page up

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Last update Sunday, March 26, 2006


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