Reading: James Bond and Gravity's Rainbow: A Possible Connection

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James Bond and Gravity's Rainbow: A Possible Connection

Author:

Robert L. McLaughlin

Illinois State University
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Abstract

Pinpointing the origins of ideas in a writer's work is an often difficult task with not always relevant results. Nevertheless, much excellent scholarship has been devoted to discovering and explicating possible sources for motifs and episodes in Pynchon's work. Pynchon himself, in both his fiction and the few published remarks he has made about his own work, has indicated some of the most important influences on him, some serious, others pop cultural. In the introduction to Slow Learner, for example, Pynchon admits he "had grown up reading a lot of spy fiction, novels of intrigue." And in apologizing for the "racist, sexist, and proto-Fascist talk" in "Lowlands," he explains, "The best I can say for it now is that, for its time, it is probably authentic enough. John Kennedy's role model James Bond was about to make his name by kicking third-world people around, another extension of the boy's adventure tales a lot of us grew up reading" (11). Pynchon's familiarity with Ian Fleming's James Bond novels may account for how a specific idea in one of them, Moonraker, found its way also into Gravity's Rainbow.
How to Cite: McLaughlin, R.L., (1989). James Bond and Gravity's Rainbow: A Possible Connection. Pynchon Notes. (24-25), pp.121–123. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/pn.299
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Published on 22 Sep 1989.
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