Reading: The Environmental Pynchon: Gravity's Rainbow and the Ecological Context

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The Environmental Pynchon: Gravity's Rainbow and the Ecological Context

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Thomas Schaub

University of Wisconsin–Madison
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Abstract

This essay explores the influence of ecological discourse in the 1960s on Thomas Pynchon's fiction, especially on Gravity's Rainbow. To identify the environmental Pynchon requires only that we focus on what most readers of Gravity's Rainbow will have noticed about the informing values of the novel, including such specifics as the importance of preserving trees and such general recognitions as that bestowed on Lyle Bland: that "Earth is a living critter" (590). Similarly, late in Slothrop's progress, the narrator notes that Tyrone has become "intensely alert to trees, finally." With the moral judgment implicit in that reprimand ("finally"), the text begins to read like leaflets handed out by Earth First! or Greenpeace.
How to Cite: Schaub, T., (1998). The Environmental Pynchon: Gravity's Rainbow and the Ecological Context. Pynchon Notes. (42-43), pp.59–72. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/pn.140
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Published on 22 Sep 1998.
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