Riding the Interface: An Anarchist Reading of Gravity's Rainbow



Anarchists and allusions to anarchy appear in all of Pynchon's novels. In V., Venezuelan agitator the Gaucho, of the bomb-throwing school of social upheaval, argues tactics with the violence-weary Signor Mantissa in Florence. In The Crying of Lot 49, Oedipa Maas and Jesús Arrabal ponder the "anarchist miracle": "another world's intrusion into this one" (120). In Vineland, Wobblies, student collectives and countercultural dropouts position themselves in opposition to the state. And in Mason & Dixon, the title characters often self-reflexively question their roles as mercenaries charged with subdividing America just as revolutionary fervor grips the colonies. Besides these evident textual references, Pynchon often sympathetically represents varied forms of civil disobedience, resistances to corrupt and confining institutions, and other libertarian behavior which may be characterized as anarchistic. These representations are most visible, though, in Gravity's Rainbow. I will argue that the shape and scope of the novel, in all its complexity, are informed by anarchist thought.


How to Cite: Benton, G. (1998) “Riding the Interface: An Anarchist Reading of Gravity's Rainbow”, Pynchon Notes.(0). doi: