Reading: Terrifying Technology: Pynchon's Warning Myth of Today


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Terrifying Technology: Pynchon's Warning Myth of Today


Inger H. Dalsgaard

University of Aarhus
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While Tyrone Siothrop roams the Zone in Gravity's Rainbow, ego and identity plucked like an albatross (623) the Counterforce, resembling Melville's white whale, wishes the Man–with "a branch office in each of our brains"–could be identified and disarmed, de-penised and dismantled (712–13). Yet whatever has broken the contract with nature, the Man is not the single, identifiable person Ahab was, but possesses a multitude of personas. Slothrop fantasizes going to Shell Mex House to strike through the mask (or the nylon pantyhose more likely), to unravel the cartelized, polymerized web, and finally to "dabe dabes." He finds Duncan Sandys "only a name" and the great Consortium inside the "Rocket's own branch office in London" only a circle of proto-computers, or international "business machines," exchanging information with each other (251).
How to Cite: H. Dalsgaard, I., 1998. Terrifying Technology: Pynchon's Warning Myth of Today. Pynchon Notes, (42-43), pp.91–110. DOI:
Published on 22 Sep 1998.
Peer Reviewed


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