The Zone and the Real: Philosophical Themes in Gravity's Rainbow

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Gravity's Rainbow (GR) is a work that will require approach from multifarious directions if we are to begin to come to terms with its richness. It is the custom of Pynchon to use his novels, in part, as glosses on general themes of a sort normally termed "philosophical." This practice is found in great and delightful abundance in GR. It will be our purpose here to set out what we take to be the dominant philosophical themes of GR, acknowledging the provisional nature of such an attempt. We shall be claiming that the book deals in a fairly direct way with certain broadly metaphysical and epistemological issues currently of much interest to philosophers. Our claim will be that among the major concerns of GR is the issue of whether or not it is possible to have knowledge of the Real and further whether there is a Real at all.


How to Cite: Ulm, M. & Holt, D. (1983) “The Zone and the Real: Philosophical Themes in Gravity's Rainbow”, Pynchon Notes.(11). doi: