Why would Pynchon, a North American author whose works are all, arguably, first and foremost about North America, use Western Europe (and Germany in particular) near and just after the end of the Second World War as the setting for a novel? To a considerable extent, Pynchon's project in general (not just Gravity's Rainbow) aims to ironically anatomize (or deconstruct) the Enlightenment idea that the world could be reduced to binary oppositions and dichotomies (such as elite vs. preterite) and thus adequately described. Pynchon seems to suggest that the pseudoscientific hope of total and unconditional rationalization brings about many problems humankind has been striving to resolve.
How to Cite: Lalo, A . (2008) “The Life We All Really Live: German References as Metaphors in Gravity's Rainbow”, Pynchon Notes. doi: 10.16995/pn.27