my GR - © image by Wolli


Eine akkumulative Lektüre zu Thomas Pynchons
Gravity’s Rainbow (Die Enden der Parabel, 1973)

In the Beginning …

Hauptseite Vorwort Die Parabel Michael D. Bell-Summary Biographie Richard Fariña Robert Frost Dekonstruktion Luddism Muster — Patterns Schweine Soccer Proverbs for Paranoids Wernher von Braun Fay Wray The Wizard of Oz The Zero


Literatur – Thomas Pynchon und Moderne Literaturtheorie
Monographien u. Aufsätze zu Thomas Pynchon
Weiterführende Literatur – additional literature

The Novel

I. Beyond the zero / Jenseits der Null
II. Un Perm’ au Casino Hermann Goering
III. In the Zone / In der Zone
IV. The Counterforce / Die Gegenmacht


Bleeding Edge
Inherent Vice
Against The Day — "Secret wisdom — different details, but the structure underneath is always the same."
Against The Day Scene Guide
Slow Learner — Group reading 2002–2003
Mason & Dixon Deep & Meaningful — Group Reading 2001–2002
Vineland the Good — Group Reading 2003–2004
Sterblichkeit und Erbarmen in Wien
(österreichische Übersetzung)
Tod und Begnadigung in Wien
(deutsche Übersetzung)
Andrei WossnessenskiSebastian Brant J. W. Goethe
Professor Irwin Corey Accepts the National Book Award for Thomas Pynchon

Thomas Pynchon Weblinks

Main Pages and Major Linksites — T.R.P. Himself, Early Stories & Multimedia
V-Links — Links to the first Novel
The Crying of Lot 49 Links — Links to Oedipa’s Quest
Gravity’s Rainbow Links — Rocket Links
Vineland Links — “… As if being 1984 weren’t enough.”
Mason & Dixon Links — 18th Century Revisited
Against The Day Weblinks
Against The Day German Weblinks
More Stuff — Links that fit to more than one Pynchon-novel


Gallery Index:
A SNAFU for Rocketman — courtesy of Robert Bramkamp
Quintuple Zero Rocket — Marca’s wonderful painting (frame)
Remedios Varo — Tryptichon
Gravity’s Rainbow — Uncorrected Proof (The Viking Press)
Gravity’s Rainbow — Millennium Cover (Penguin Classics)
Die Enden der Parabel — gebundene Ausgabe (Rowohlt)
Vineland — (Rowohlt paperback)
Mason-Dixon Line — A Map of that Part of America where a Degree of Latitude was measured for the Royal Society by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon.
George Orwell, Islington 1946 — as mentioned by Pynchon at the foreword to the 2003-edition of George Orwell’s “1984”

Marca Merica

Quintuple Zero Rocket — Marca’s Rocket (new window)
Proverbs for Paranoids — all five in one painting
Proverb 1Proverb 2Proverb 3Proverb 4Proverb 5

Douglas Kløvedal Lannark

Paperware to Vaporware, The Nativity of Tyrone Slothrop
Mason & Dixon: An Astrological Review for Astrologers
Tyrone Slothrop — hand–drawn birth chart
A Chronological Examination of Love in the Novels of Thomas Pynchon
Venus Rules — Love

Charles Hollander

Pynchon’s Inferno
Pynchon’s Politics: The Presence of an Absence
Abrams Remembers Pynchon
Where’s Wanda? The Case of the Bag Lady and Thomas Pynchon
Pynchon, JFK and the CIA: Magic Eye Views of The Crying of Lot 49
Jokes and Puns in Gravity’s Rainbow

Max P. Häring

Anubis — Illustrationen zu den Episoden 44 bis 48
Byron the Bulb — die Geschichte der unsterblichen Glühbirne und ihres Kampfes gegen das Glühbirnen-Kartell aus Episode 64
Erlösung der Dronten — Katjes Vorfahr Frans van der Groov in Episode 14
Nordhausen — Tyrone Slothrops Flucht mit dem Ballon aus Episode 33

Mehr von Max Häring auf seiner eigenen Webseite:

White VisitationDonauhallePointsmanMba–KayereHereros (Detail)Camel RockRoger MexicoRoger Mexico 2Roger Mexico 3Lyle Bland

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Das Jahr des Tigers

The Year of the Metal Tiger

As the children of Zwölfkinder could feel when drinking soda water with their head deep inside the fanged mouth of the drinking–fountain beast, the sparkling tiger gave them a thrilled sense of momentary danger parallel to pissing on the Eisenkröte at Putzi’s, the ultimate test of manhood. In all the five elements of Chinese Astrology the Tiger is the sign of initiation.

With its 12/10 binary system the Tiger is the third sign of the Chinese Zodiac but the first sign of their solar–lunar new year, the “TET.” 2010 is the Year of the Metal Tiger which begins on Sunday, February 14th at 10:51 CCT (Chinese Costal Time) – on Valentine’s Day!! In other zones this time converts to 3:51 MEZ, 2:51 GMT/UT in the Eastern Hemisphere. From Iceland throughout Europe and Asia as far as to New Zealand one may “kiss the Tiger!”

Sort of like Mucho Maas never having been in a war confronted by Krauts in Tiger tanks, this symbolic or actual initiation of kissing the tiger will be denied those living in the Western Hemisphere (tough luck – no kiss, no danger) as the time zone conversion from CCT corresponds to Saturday, February 13th at 23:51 BZT, 21:51 EST, 20:51 CST, 18:51 PST and for those of you in Alaska or Hawaii please calculate your Time Zone.

The new year’s first month from February 14th to March 15th is the month of the Earth Tiger, thus 2010 will be off to an extremely fast and tiger-typical start with a militant economy and an economic militancy – budget and funding–fighting!

We all know, recognize and can trace/track Pynchon’s love of dogs and pigs in all their five element variations (by the way, how many of you have saved all my Chinese New Year’s greetings with Marca’s artistic interpretation?), furthermore he pens many references to rats and buffalos; while tigers – as far as I’ve researched and can recall – are really lacking in all his works. The tiger which receives the most attention in his various novels is the King Tiger or Königstiger, the notorious German tank in WW II!

Being the Year of the Metal Tiger, 2010 is the year to either put a tiger in your tank or put a tank in your tiger, push down the gas pedal (Toyota or otherwise) and drive head–on with the quietest engine on the road to the ultimate test of manhood. Take a closer look at Marca’s drawing: a young tiger fearlessly leaping directly forward towards initiation. For those of you who have passed, survived and gathered experience from this test, it might well be a year on the strategic defensive, building cylindrical blocks to cripple the silent on–rolling King Tigers of fiendish insurgents whether European, Mexican, Uyghur or invisible trespassing forces.

It is the military; or the Tiger Boys of the Triad, Yakuza, street gangs and other criminal bands in transition from childhood to manhood expecting no loss along the way. A dead King Tiger may serve as a guard to the entrance of a cave or safe house, blown away rock or ceiling, keeping the enemy away: Die Wände haben Ohren, aber der Feind hört jetzt NICHT zu! Depending upon where you pull duty, will you, Like Gottfried, love the Königstiger as much as a horse without the guarantee of avoiding the rocket? Metal over flesh!

A Metal tank or not, the tiger is still an animal and as Padzhitnoff explains to the crew of the Inconvenience all animals have names in the part of Russia where he grew up, all except one that is. Unfortunately he gave no specific names. I have none myself, so each and every one of us is free to name our own tiger, like pilots and captains name their planes and ships. As many of you I once had a dog, named him NEO – way before that film Matrix.

Whether true or not, the Chinese consider the tiger, any tiger, as a possessing a special potency–enhancing substance in their ground bones and those who can afford it will pay anything to get a hold of this remedy thus supporting a poaching industry and placing the tiger as extremely threatened on the WWF’s endangered species list. If it’s not “Buck–the–Tiger” sex, than it is fashion that further threatens the natural habitat of the tiger, like Fleetwood Vibe wearing a broad–brim hat with a hatband of Siberian tiger skin. On the other hand if not for Siberia the tiger might already have been extinguished in nature.

On the Pynchon’s peaceful slapstick side we have that spud coxswain Tiger Youngblood engaging in a cucumber/watermelon–seed spit–fight with old Pappy Hod right outside the galley at the bottom of the ship. How much of a Tiger Youngblood is we never find out, but Pappy Hod does become old constantly holding Paola’s image as a prairie hare in the snow or a tiger in tall grass and sunlight.

If tigers do become extinct old geezers in parallel universes like Pappy Hod, Dixon and other surrealistic sentimentalists (including ourselves) can always put their daily instruments, tools and things away when night falls and frequent their local pub, The Tiger, seeking peers to nod and smile them into remembering ... Perhaps someday there just might be such a tiger pub watering-hole in every town, sort of like a miniature adult Zwölfkinder. At every age we need our thrills . . .

Nature before profit — may we age in peace and dignity.

Collage/Art Work: Marca Merica, a/k/a Marca van Wassenaar

Text: Douglas Kløvedal Lannark, Berlin/Copenhagen (a/k/a Hopenhagen), February 2010

Inherent Vice

Wer hätte gedacht, dass der Meister so schnell nach "Against The Day" noch ein neues Werk vorlegt. Aber für August 2009 wird vom Penguin–Verlag der Roman "Inherent Vice" angekündigt. Es soll sich um einen Detektivroman handeln, dessen Setting das Ende der Sechziger Jahre in Kalifornien sein soll.

Der Penguin Katalog enthüllt ein wenig, um was es auf den gut 400 Seiten geht:

It’s been awhile since Doc Sportello has seen his ex–girlfriend. Suddenly out of nowhere she shows up with a story about a plot to kidnap a billionaire land developer whom she just happens to be in love with. Easy for her to say. It’s the tail end of the psychedelic sixties in L.A., and Doc knows that "love" is another of those words going around at the moment, like "trip" or "groovy," except that this one usually leads to trouble. Despite which he soon finds himself drawn into a bizarre tangle of motives and passions whose cast of characters includes surfers, hustlers, dopers and rockers, a murderous loan shark, a tenor sax player working undercover, an ex–con with a swastika tattoo and a fondness for Ethel Merman, and a mysterious entity known as the Golden Fang, which may only be a tax dodge set up by some dentists.

In this lively yarn, Thomas Pynchon, working in an unaccustomed genre, provides a classic illustration of the principle that if you can remember the sixties, you weren’t there ... or ... if you were there, then you ... or, wait, is it ... Part noir, part psychedelic romp, all Thomas Pynchon — private eye Doc Sportello comes, occasionally, out of a marijuana haze to watch the end of an era as free love slips away and paranoia creeps in with the L.A. fog.

Das Cover des Romans ist eine Illustration des auf Maui lebenden Künstlers Darshan Zenith und zeigt einen Cadillac Hearse von 1959: "A 'Retired' Caddy Hearse Greets Daybreak at a Beach Surf Shop" , die der Autor, so schreibt Tim Ware , selber mittels einer Internet–Recherche ausgesucht hat.

Das Jahr des Erdbüffels von Marca Wassenaar

Holy cow, another New Year already! We do find a few “holy cows” in the writings of Thomas Pynchon, most notably Audumla of Niflheim in AtD licking awake “objects, figures” frozen in the ice for uncounted ages with unaccountable consequences trespassed into our present century. Nevertheless are there any “holy Buffalos” in his works and if so, what gods, what races, what worlds would they lick to birth, especially anno 2009?!

According to the Chinese lunar calendar the Year of the Earth Buffalo begins January 26th, 2009 at 15:55 CCT or 8:55 MEZ; 7:55 UT, 2:55 EST, 23:55 PST January 25th; all you folks living in other time zones please interpolate the moment yourself or look it up on the InterNet.

When aligning the twelve zodiacal signs while sitting under a tree close to an ox plodding in a rice field, Buddha deliberately made it easy to immortalize the Buffalo, the provider of nourishment and most Yin of all signs – “Mother Nature” or “Mother Earth” as one could say.

The Asian Buffalo, domesticated for millenniums, has little, if anything at all, in common with its North American relative who once freely roamed the plains in herds of immeasurable size.

Pynchon himself was born in 1937, the Year of the majestic Fire Buffalo, the most “western” of the five Buffalos, who once led those roaming herds over the open ranges of the American West before becoming either exterminated by the progress of civilization or reborn into the likes of Van Meter – not to mention the neutered ones in Buffalo Bills’s Wild West Show!

Despite his fondness for other animals – notably pigs and dogs – buffalos, oxen or even cows hardly appear at all in his six novels. When they do it is usually on the short end of the stick leading right to death: Russian cavalry on the Kurfürstendamm driving a herd of cows to slaughter; cows ganged in open fields by dog packs from the Hundstadt; herds decimated by buffalo hunters from New Mexico; the rationally designed slaughter houses of Chicago's stock yards signalling the End of the Retro-West and, not to forget, Emerson’s plate of traditional 18th century English Ox-Tail.

Whatever/however, a buffalo is not a cow: cows say “moo,” Buffalos don’t. They hardly say anything at all, just snort when necessary. Crazy Sue Dunham might ride a cow at twilight, but not a Buffalo. The Egyptian Water Buffalo paces its daily tracks round and round the sakieh keeping the triangle above Cairo green and the population fed. Why certain English gentlemen even style their white mustaches after this Water Buffalo.

Holy cows and sacred buffalos do exist, as in Icelandic mythology the mythic Audumla of Niflheim, the primeval Mother of Creation; or Gefion, sacred Buffalo of *that* Denmark, who ploughed the channel between Sjaelland and the mainland of Sweden. The Earth Buffalo is the primal power of Yin, Mother Earth or Mother Nature; space, birth, devotion: the complement, not opposite of the heavenly Dragon, creator of the Universe.

Basically 2009 will be a year of the female, the working woman to be more precise. As in the Earth Rat year before it, the Earth Buffalo has much to do with food and finance; however far more practical, purposeful, persistent, persevering and patient; repairing much of the recently sunken ship.

On the other hand the Earth Buffalo is also the sign of inertia. When set in motion, unleashed, this explosive energy can cause massive Earthquakes or other natural disasters. Mother Nature is calling . . . What natural forces will be in play in 2009, and where?

The Earth Buffalo year is well suited for definite measures and special projects designed to combat the ongoing climate change. This brings to mind the European Winter of 1985, the last truly deep-freeze winter and a year of the Wood Buffalo. With temps still freezing in early April a close friend and Astro buff said to me: ‘hey, this is the Year of the Polar Bear, not the Forest Buffalo!’ Without realizing it then – and for you materialists out there, if any left at all – symbolically, the Bear and the Bull are financial binary opposites.

So how will the Polar Bear and the Prairie Buffalo face off in 2009, the first fully established Pluto-in-Capricorn-year of a sixteen year cycle? Pluto, no longer considered a planet by some astronomers, is alive and well already karma-toppling one speculating Plutocrat after the other from their self-deceptive pinnacles.

Or is it all as Enzian often expressed, “Outase,” just a newly laid large cow turd, not Bull but “Bitch Shit” if you prefer. Well then – depending on size and odour – it’s time to straddle up the trusty old ox-cart, put in the family and head North; yes, some do travel North!

Ploughin’ right on through . . . Holy Shit!

Artistic Interpretation: Marca van Wassenaar

Text: Douglas Kløvedal Lannark

PS: 2009 is a lunar year of 13 months with a double Metal Horse month in June/July. The Buffalo and the Horse are secret enemies . . . so who needs horse-power when a trusty old ox-cart will do?!

Das Jahr der Erdratte von Marca Wassenaar

The Year of the Earth Rat

In the Heavens on February 7, 2008 at 11:44:21 CCT (China Coast Time or Beijing Time) there will not only be a New Moon triggering a “Tet” or Chinese New Year but also a partial Solar Eclipse, an annular Eclipse over the Antarctic visible in SE Australia and New Zealand.

In other Time Zones this event takes place at 15:44:21 in New Zealand; 13:44:21 in SE Australia; 4:44:21 CET; 3:44:21 GMT; 0:44:21 BZT. In the United States and most of the Western Hemisphere on February 6th at 22:44:21 EST; 19:44:21 PST -- for further Time Zones cf. GR pp. 695-96!

According to the Chinese lunar calendar 2008 is the Year of the Earth Rat, also known as the Garden Rat. From the five Chinese elements this is the weakest rat, like almost a mouse. The rat, any rat for that matter, doesn’t really get the fair deal it deserves in Western Culture. However, they the true masters of survival, mutating along with the predominate holistic environmental conditions.

It is widely agreed that there are at least two - - if not more -- rats for every human being. Except as pets for certain adolescents or laboratory experiments rats are basically despised and usually serve as negative metaphors like: leaving sinking ships, snarled in one’s hair, the rat race, ratting on someone or simply a dirty rat. I could go on for a few more paragraphs and I’m sure you all have your own favorite proverbs.

Pynchon does too, even going so far as to let Father Fairing proclaim that rats were going to take over after New York City died and have him set up a parish in the sewers, eventually hoping to become the spiritual leader of the inheritors of the earth. Although rat meat didn’t agree with him, his journal is still preserved in an inaccessible region of the Vatican Library.

From the spiritual sewers of the 1930s in NYC the congregation of rats mutated to indifferent teenage-girl consumers now roaming aimlessly through suburban California malls of the 1980’s. However, they didn’t get there without passing through “The White Visitation” and dancing the Pavlovia (Beguine) along with that giant rodent-chorus and orchestra.

Or shall we now enjoy Expedition Chef M. Allègre’s world-famous _Queues du Rat aux Haricots?­_ Fond of rats? Not Snake, that Cumberland dog who is more fond of killing rats than eating them, thus leaving rat ghosts to haunt the wilderness.

If we go Against the Day for a section or two there are those rat-infested labyrinths of Venice corrupting children and the rat-infested pockets of old California money in Santa Barbara, a relentlessly unacknowledged past.

Then there is the Hour of the Rat (23:00h -- 01:00), the midnight hour, the first double hour of every new day crossing the Nadir where it is said the body sleeps deepest even if awake. Not sure if I agree with that as it is also the hour where DL executes all kinds of ninja spells while rescuing Frenesi from the “National Security Reservation” or, on the other hand, Reef being lushly entertained in some steamy hydropathic swimming tank with an undetermined number of erotomanic tourist ladies. Midnight at its best!

What will the Midnight Hour have in store for us over the coming 50 weeks (a short lunar year) in the year of its own significator: society converted, from what to what; continued consumer conditioning; caravan capitalism; some spectacular cosmic convergence; sweet seductiveness or the whole sick rat-pack crew leaving the sinking White House ship?

Keep your tail brushed, nails filed and whiskers whirling: one step ahead of “The Man” and two steps ahead of “The Mob,” the secret of survival.

Y’rs, and not ratting on anybody. . .

Douglas Kløvedal Lannark

Original drawing by Marca (van Wassenaar) Merica

"If our world survives, the next great challenge to watch out for will come – you heard it here first – when the curves of research and development in artificial intelligence, molecular biology and robotics all converge. Oboy."

Thomas Pynchon 1984 (Another Year of the [Wood]Rat)

Happy Birthday, Thomas Pynchon

Etwas verspätet, aber auch von dieser Seite die herzlichsten Glückwünsche zum 70. Geburtstag. Wie erwartet, hat auch dieses Datum eine ganze Reihe von Artikeln zu und über Thomas Pynchon generiert, ohne dass deshalb Neues zu erfahren gewesen wäre. Wenn man (wie ich) mitten in seinem neuen Roman "Against the Day" steckt und dazu noch mit anderen Projekten befasst ist, kann so ein Datum schon mal in den Hintergrund geraten, zumal ich davon ausgehe, dass Geburtstage nicht zu den wichtigsten Tagen Pynchons zählen, dafür spielen sie in seinen Romanen eine zu untergeordnete Rolle.

Der große Unbekannte überschreibt Burkhard Müller seinen Artikel in der Süddeutschen Zeitung:

"Die Welt hat Raum für genau eine Zelebrität, die ausschließlich durch ihre Abwesenheit präsent ist; und zwar für Thomas Pynchon. (…) Wie ist er an diesen Part, an dieses eigenwillige Non-Logo gekommen? War es eine natürliche Schüchternheit, die irgendwann unbemerkt die Schwelle zum Spleen und zum Grundsatz überquert hatte? Oder die Bescheidenheit eines Schreibenden, der ganz hinter dem Geschriebenen zurücktreten wollte und plötzlich fand, dass genau das Gegenteil geschehen war und sein persönliches Mysterium das Werk überschattet?"

Für Wieland Freund in der Welt ist Pynchon der Shakespeare der Popkultur:

"Kaum ein Lebenslauf ist schneller geschrieben: Thomas Pynchon, Spross einer uralten neuenglischen Puritaner-Familie, wurde 1937 in Glen Cove, Long Island geboren, studierte erst Physik und dann Literatur, schrieb für Boeing technische Handbücher und verschwand. Seit 1963 sein erster, Aufsehen erregender Roman „V.” erschien, sind, wie es in den Klappentexten so schön geheimnisvoll heißt, „seine Bücher die einzigen öffentlichen Spuren seiner Existenz”. So wie Vermutungen, was „V.” bedeuten könne, im Roman letztlich in schiere Paranoia münden, blieb auch „P...” ein leeres Zeichen: Pynchon hatte mit dem Roman auch gleich den Autor dekonstruiert."

Unter dem Titel Der maskierte Messapparat sucht Dietmar Dath in der FAZ Hilfe bei der Quantenphysik:

"Wer sich beschleunigt bewegt, nimmt den Hintergrund seiner Bahn selbst im völligen Vakuum als wabernd warm wahr. Alles, was hypothetische Zeugen dieser Bewegung beherbergen könnte, scheint für so einen veränderlich Geschwinden eine numinose Schwarzkörperstrahlung abzugeben, die dem allmählichen Verdampfen von Singularitäten in der Raumzeit ähnelt. Dieser Effekt zählt zu den seltsamsten in der relativistischen Quantenwirklichkeit; aus ihm folgt unter anderem, dass die Bestimmung der Tatsachennatur eines Teilchens vom Bewegungszustand des Beobachters abhängt."

Für den Deutschlandfunk ist Pynchon Der unsichtbare Literat:

"Michael Naumann, "Zeit"-Herausgeber und ehemaliger Kulturstaatsminister, war lange Verlagsleiter beim Rowohlt Verlag, wo in Deutschland die Bücher von Thomas Pynchon erscheinen. Michael Naumann kennt den Autor persönlich. Gerade lässt er bei Christies eine signierte amerikanische Erstausgabe von "Vineland" versteigern. Der Erlös soll den Hamburger Bücherhallen zu Gute kommen. Die weltweite Prominenz Pynchons speise sich nicht aus dem Mythos des anonym lebenden Schriftstellers, sondern aus der enormen literarischen Qualität seiner Bücher, sagte Naumann im Deutschlandradio Kultur." (das Interview als mp3–Audiofile)

Dort, im Deutschlandradio Kultur wird auch der Frage nachgegangen, Warum Hunde Henry James lesen. Das Manuskript der Sendung steht im PDF–Format oder als Textdatei zur Verfügung.

(Wednesday, May 16, 2007)

The YEAR of the [FIRE]PIG

As if the Year of the FireDog, the militant dog of the Hundstadt, wanted to go on forever the transition — on this occasion "speakable" — to the New Year occurs at almost the latest possible time when the FirePig, like Frieda, that very fat pink pig pal with blinking long eyelashes accompanying Slothrop westwards through Mecklenburg, shows up and chases off the dog! No offence, Pugnax — you just showed up a little too late but will get your chance in twelve years.

Yes, yes, the pig seems to know where she’s going and "You’ll never go wrong with a pig!" So be it for 355 days from February 17th 2007 to February 7th 2008: "A pig is a pal, who’ll boost your morale!" Yet as we learn in ATD there can be two sides to all things; doubles, twins, refractions, bilocations. Then for every jolly pig there is that opposite risk of GREED, doper’s or otherwise . . . so "when you’re out there feelin’ fine" take care of that greed or "it will turn you into a swine." Just that Gross Suckling never satisfied, always wanting more.

Which (Pynchon) Pig in 2007 — or a combination and interchanging of all?: to start with Frieda (everyone’s darling Miss Piggy?!); the aardvark, Erdschweinhöhle, totem animal of the Schwarzkommando guarding their sacred mandala; young (and old) Porky Pig aspirants with anarchistic bomb fantasies or just hep Porky Pig tattoos on their stomachs; Slothrop himself (or any other Fool) as Plechazunga holding off the Viking invaders and saving the village — is there a Pig Hero, pig myths beside the swine herd?! — or still in costume as Porky in the garbage bin? Rocketpig, perhaps?!

We even have our newly found Tubby, pig stage actor in Greenwich Village — wonder what he’ll be up to further on down the line. All great candidates for the "Pig of the Year 2007 identity", but none can outdo that freckleface kid from Albert Lea, Minnesota, Seaman ‘Pig’ Bodine (rimes with swine and not with spleen!) who can be both a filthy swine but also the greatest pal on Earth: why saving Roger Mexico with wit and humour from being the Überraschungsbraten (roast human pork, I presume) at the Kruppfest is a true example Pig allegiance.

Let us fight off that inner swine and if not become Chums of Chance, at least Pals of Peace in 2007. May our pink companions, human or animal, keep chasing away all forces of danger — and now a loud grunting OIIIIIIINK to inaugurate the year!

Card courtesy of Marca van Wassenaar
Words (for what they’re worth) by Douglas Kløvedal Lannark

(Saturday, February 17, 2007)

The Year of the Fire Pig
© Marca Merica

The YEAR of the [FIRE]DOG

Every dog has his day, and a good dog just might have two days.
-—Johnny Copeland. Epigraph to Vineland

But can a dog, even a “good” one, have his year?

Thomas Pynchon is very fond of dogs and at least one dog appears in each of his five novels.

According to the Chinese Lunar Calendar the Year of the Fire Dog begins on January 29, 2006 at 22:15 CCT (China Coast Time) which in other time zones corresponds to 14:15 GMT, 9:15 EST and 6:15 PST.

Is 2006 a “Welcome to the Year of the Fire Dog”, or rather an on guard, touché and “Beware of the Year of the Fire Dog!?”

This is not the water dog Murray, Baby Igor’s playfully protecting St. Bernard of “just my daddy, my doggie and me.” Nor is it that drooling St. Bernard (the same one, perhaps?) the whole sick crew got puking drunk in their kitchen during the dog days of August. Forget also any reference to the mythical Dog Star guiding ships at sea or sleds over ice — not even close.

This is definitely not the year of Dog Vanya, Pointsman’s prime laboratory metal dog conditioned to perfection. Unfortunately it is not the year of the national champion, Reichssieger von Thanatz Alpdrucken, that most hypnotically beautiful amber–eyed metallic gray Weimaraner haunting Pointsman in his dreams.

No tail–wagging, family friendly, children loving, yet self–sufficient dynasty–creating wood dog year a la Chloe and Desmond either. Urban and well–educated with human appetites and humor, earth dog Fang may be ripe for a talk show, but the oracles of the Learnèd English Dog (L.E.D.) will remain unheralded, koans unresolved and fairy tales forgotten in 2006 . . .

. . . for this is the year of the Fire Dog — no, not your black-and-white Disney Dalmatian pissing on water hydrants but growling police, army, attack and guard dogs: Dobermans, Shepherds and Rottweilers of the Hund-Stadt, trained to kill without fear of personal safety or anxieties about encirclement yet in private yearning for affection: not-so-komical-komikazes (sacrificial martyrs, suicide bombers, hegemonic misfits, etc.) conditioned to slay the Dragon, yet more often than not striking the Unicorn instead.

It will be a long year with thirteen lunar months. Yes, — of course, what else? predestination perhaps — this year the “double” month (a Fire Ape) falls in August during the weeks of the dog days. Hope there will be water enough to put out the worst flames. If not; well, as everyone also knows: “every dog needs a bone!”


Marca van Wassenaar & Douglas Kløvedal Lannark

Fire Dog
© Marca van Wassenaar

The Kenosha Kid Dank des unermüdlichen Einsatzes eines langjährigen Mitgliedes der Pynchon Mailing Liste sowie der großen amerikanischen Pynchon–Seite The Modern Word konnte das Rätsel der 10. Episode gelöst werden. (15.08.2005)

The Kenosha Kid by Forbes Parkhill

Enzians Mandala

"In the sky over the Alexanderplatz he has seen Oberst Enzian’s KEZVH mandala (…)." (446)

Enzian’s Rocket Mandala — Sixty Years Later
On the sixtieth anniversary of Slothrop’s legendary three week sojourn in the transformative ruins of Berlin, Marca and I take pleasure in sending you this jpeg and these words from our "place" in Berlin (near the Kurfürstendamm between Der Platz and Tiergarten) where it is hot but not quite as hot as the heatwave of July 1945, and no shortage of beer, ice cream or green Hershey bars!
For those of you who’ve never been to Berlin, the mandala really does look like this in the afternoon on clear days.
Enjoy! — Marca & Douglas (18.07.05)

Book Forum: Pynchon from A to V — Gerald Howard on Gravity’s Rainbow — Appreciations by Don DeLillo, George Saunders, Joanna Scott, Percival Everett, Tom Robbins, Jeffrey Eugenides, Lorrie Moore, Andrew Hultkrans, Kathryn Kramer, Lydia Davis, Carter Scholz, Erik Davis, Tray Ellis, Robert Polito, Jim Shepard, Emily Barton, Jay Cantor, Richard Powers, and Steve Dickson. (09.05.05).

Cashiered — selected texts from the works of Thomas Pynchon (02.05.05).

Alraune — Max P. Härings Illustration zu Kap 62, S. 625 (27.04.05).

Zak Smith’s "Illustrations for Each Page of Gravity’s Rainbow" sind jetzt komplett online. Gratulation an The Modern Word (21.04.05).

Pynchon Notes Professor John Krafft hat mich ermächtigt, darauf zu verweisen, daß die ersten, vergriffenen Ausgaben der Pynchon Notes 1-22/23 nunmehr als PDF–Dateien zum kostenlosen Download zur Verfügung stehen.
Zum Bestellen der neueren Ausgaben gibt es eine deutsche Kontoverbindung, so daß teure Überweisungen in die USA unnötig sind. (20.03.05)



Deutschlands Antwort auf "Mount Misery"

In this brilliant comic novel Karl Koehler paints a nightmarish picture of his former psychiatric colleagues and their drug studies.

Gumpelmann, an alter ego of the author, confronts an all–powerful psychiatric establishment intent on pushing through its agenda at all costs. In this instance it is the drug oneirine – first described in Thomas Pynchon’s "Gravity’s Rainbow" that psychiatrists believe holds the key to developing the ultimate paranoid mouse.
Publisher’s Information
in German
(credits to Mike Sullivan)

In der Episode am 14. November 2004 (FOX) wird Thomas Pynchon ein zweites Mal bei den Simpsons mit einer Tüte über dem Kopf auftreten:

Actor James Caan and Writer Thomas Pynchon Guest-Star
When Bart fishes Homer’s vintage "Playdude" magazines out of the trash, he decides to adopt the ring–a–ding–ding lifestyle of the 1970s, as interpreted by a 10–year–old. Looking for some action, actor James Caan, guest-starring as himself, drops by Bart’s swinging Playdude treehouse. Meanwhile, Marge stoops to sabotage to keep up with the other contestants during the Ovenfresh Bakeoff, attended by the likes of guest star Thomas Pynchon on THE SIMPSONS season premiere episode "All’s Fair In Oven War" Sunday, Nov. 14 (8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (SI-1520)

Al Jean, Produzent der Serie, sagt: "We depict him with a bag on his head, (…) He helped write the jokes. One reason he did the show is he has a son who’s a fan."

Obwohl ich das Netz regelmäßig nach Seiten durchsuche, die sich mit Thomas Pynchon beschäftigen, ist mir die folgende offensichtlich bislang entgangen — ein "klandestines Gespräch" aus dem Jahr 1993, für dessen Authentizität ich mich ausdrücklich nicht verbürge:

Pynchon: Ein Autor, der eine Apologetik benötigt, ist ein Hanswurst. Im Gegensatz zum Wahrheitsanspruch einer Frischhaltepackung entbehrt Literatur der gesicherten Aussagen über Haltbarkeitsdaten. Selbstverständlich ist es für mein Lebensfraktum relativ belanglos, ob meine Literatur jetzt oder später oder nie gelesen wird. Wer das eigene Zentrum von fremden Zentren kolonisieren läßt und sei es durch die Anerkennung, hat nicht viel begriffen. Dichter, die bei Kräften sind, revitalisieren sich selbst nach einem festgestellten Verfallsdatum. Die posthume Energie der Literatur, nennen wir es Phoenix-Syndrom, liegt in einer Imagination, die über den Bedeutungsgrad der Wörter hinaus in die Ewigkeit schielt. In den Texten kriechen gleichwohl die Maden; jeder Dichter wird zuletzt in seinem eigenen Remitendensarg begraben. Der Werbeslogan eines Bestattungsunternehmens Warum spazieren Sie halbtot herum, wenn wir Sie beerdigen können dürfte auch das Motto der neuen analphabetischen Leser sein. Mit dem Ruhm beginnt der Untergang.
G@E: Ist das der Grund, daß bis auf dieses Interview Ihre Person nicht wirklich vorhanden ist?
Pynchon: Nur im Exil läßt es sich wie Gott in Frankreich leben. Schriftschausteller, die sich in das Schlangennest des Betriebs eingenistet haben, aber nicht nur diese, verlieren die Fluchtpunktperspektive, die allein gute Aufnahmen garantiert. Die Deprivation, die der öffentliche Zirkus bereithält, ist wohl ein hoher Preis für nichts. Unsere schöne neue Telekommunikation demokratisiert das Geschwätz, aber liquidiert die Dichtung. Wenn sich diese Welt in mein Leben einschneiden würde, wäre nicht nur meine raison d’etre, sondern auch die meiner Spießgesellen und Weggefährten gefährdet. Im Grunde ist die öffentliche Einsamkeit die Vorhölle, die literarische Höllen bei weitem übertrifft.
G@E: Mr. Pynchon, wir danken Ihnen für das Gespräch.

Thomas Pynchon’s Evil Twin
Man talking on telephone "Mud–wrestle in my underwear on national TV while holding up a copy of my new book NO PROBLEMO!"
By Roz Chast, published in The New Yorker – November 8, 2004

Literaturnobelpreisträgerin Elfriede Jelinek in der FAZ am 07.11.2004:

Q: Sie haben viel übersetzt, unter anderem Thomas Pynchons "Die Enden der Parabel". Was bedeutet das Übersetzen für Sie?

You’ve translated a lot, among others Thomas Pynchon’s "Die Enden der Parabel". What means translating to you?

A: Das ist ein hartes Leben. Ich bin jetzt fast sechzig, und ich mußte immer wieder übersetzen. Von meinen Büchern allein kann ich nicht leben, und was Übersetzer verdienen, ist ja ein Witz.

It’s a hard life. I’m nearly sixty now, but I had to translate again and again. I couldn’t make a living of my books solely, and what translators get is a joke.

Q: Dann übersetzen Sie nicht gerne?

Then you don’t like to translate?

A: Doch, sehr gern sogar, aber Pynchon würde ich nicht noch einmal übersetzen. Nicht, daß ich ihn nicht genial fände. Es ist ein Witz, daß er den Nobelpreis nicht hat, und ich habe ihn. Ich halte Pynchon für einen der bedeutendsten lebenden Schriftsteller, weit vor Philip Roth übrigens. Ich kann doch den Nobelpreis nicht kriegen, wenn Pynchon ihn nicht hat! Das ist gegen die Naturgesetze. Ich wünsche, das festgehalten zu haben.

Sure, I am fond of translating. But I wouldn’t translate Pynchon again. Not that I don’t consider him to be a genius. It’s a joke that he hasn’t got the Nobel Prize and I’ve got it. I do consider him as one the most important authors, far ahead of Philip Roth by the way. I cannot get the Nobel Prize if Pynchon hasn’t got it. That’s against the laws of nature. For the record, please.

Radio KCUF — the most eclectic radio station on the internet.

The "Foreword" to George Orwell’s "1984" is not available at The Guardian anymore.

Pynchon mpg – Pynchon’s first guest appearance at The Simpsons.
Amy’s Robot—The History of Thomas Pynchon on TV – a blog (January 19, 2004).
Pynchon References on TV – thanks to Quail from The Modern Word the Pynchon appearance can be seen and the whole story of his involvement at The Simpsons plus the transcript can be read here:

TRP "Here’s your quote: Thomas Pynchon loved this book, almost as much as he loves cameras." After hanging up, he puts on a placard emblazoned with his name, and shouts to the oblivious traffic: "Hey, over here! Have your picture taken with a reclusive author. Today only, we’ll throw in a free autograph! But wait, there’s more!"


somebody must draw a line somewhere

Marca's Rocket

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