Reading: Texts of the Text: Citations in Gravity's Rainbow


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Texts of the Text: Citations in Gravity's Rainbow


Terry Caesar

Clarion University
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Gravity's Rainbow is full· of the explicit, precise mention of other written texts. Some of these are real, like Rilke's Duino Elegies. Many more of them are fictional, ranging from Neil Nosepicker's Book of 50,000 Insults (83), through Tales of the Schwarzkommando, collected by Steve Edelman (315). to the article "Regions of Indeterminacy in Albatross Anatomy," by one Natasha Raum, from the Proceedings of the International Society of Confessors to an Enthusiasm for Albatross Nosology (712). Why are these citations so numerous? What difference, if any, does it make to an understanding of Gravity's Rainbow that some of these texts are real and some not? And finally, what does the examination of these texts reveal about the idea Gravity's Rainbow proposes for itself as its own true Text?
How to Cite: Caesar, T., 1997. Texts of the Text: Citations in Gravity's Rainbow. Pynchon Notes, (40-41), pp.125–133. DOI:
Published on 22 Sep 1997.
Peer Reviewed


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