Linguistic Distancing in Gravity's Rainbow

Author: Brooke Horvath (Purdue University)

  • Linguistic Distancing in Gravity's Rainbow


    Linguistic Distancing in Gravity's Rainbow



When we read Malamud's The Fixer or Updike's Rabbit, Run, Percy's The Moviegoer or even Barth's The Sot-Weed Factor, something happens that would be curious were it not so common: although we know Yakov and Harry, Binx and Ebenezer to be fictive creatures existing only in a world of words spun by their authors, we nevertheless become involved in their lives, laughing with them, fearing for them, wishing them luck. The novel becomes the Hilton of our minds' latest vacation from reality, although, like tourists overwhelmed in a Mexican sidestreet, once sucked into the author's world, we are often at his mercy. That fiction should often be this way is neither good nor bad; still, given the fact that Gravity's Rainbow is the Iran of fictive worlds today, we might be grateful to know it is a place we can read about yet never really visit.

How to Cite:

Horvath, B., (1982) “Linguistic Distancing in Gravity's Rainbow”, Pynchon Notes 8, 5-22. doi:

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Published on
31 Jan 1982