Notes for Gravity's Rainbow

Author: Steven Weisenburger (University of Kentucky)

  • Notes for Gravity's Rainbow


    Notes for Gravity's Rainbow



To open Gravity's Rainbow is to step within a vast, satirically leveling flux of languages. Part 3 of the novel represents it as a "Zone," a skeptical field where the pre-War hierarchy of discourse has been pulverized. Certainly that condition is characteristic of the novel as a whole, and it thus represents a remarkable challenge to narrative stylistics. Mikhail Bakhtin, who has emerged since his death in 1975 as one of the most engaging theorists of narrative art, described that multi-languaged power of the genre, the "heteroglossia" of novels, as a primary defining characteristic. He argued that by incorporating into their fictions a plenitude of voices, each embodying a particular time and place (Bakhtin called it the "chronotope" of a discourse), novelists create radically decentered , open-ended artworks.

How to Cite:

Weisenburger, S., (1983) “Notes for Gravity's Rainbow”, Pynchon Notes 12, p.3-15. doi:



Published on
01 Jun 1983