Reading: Fractured Mandala: The Inescapable Ambiguities of Gravity's Rainbow

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Fractured Mandala: The Inescapable Ambiguities of Gravity's Rainbow

Author:

N. Katherine Hayles

University of Iowa
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Abstract

Criticism on Gravity's Rainbow has wavered between seeing the novel as a heterogeneous sprawl that defies totalizing interpretation and a paranoid vision in which, as the narrator claims, "everything is connected." Through its astute detective work on the novel's chronology, Steven Weisenburger's A Gravity's Rainbow Companion: Sources and Contexts for Pynchon's Novel strengthens the claim for connection. In line-by-line annotations, Weisenburger explores the conjunctions among the Christian liturgical calendar, ancient rituals, and historical events that, he argues, structure the narrative and give it a mandala-like shape. The argument for this structure is one of the Companion's major contributions. Another is the extensive research tracking allusions and references to Pynchon's source materials, particularly the London Times from 1943-45 and various technical and historical texts.
How to Cite: Hayles, N.K., (1989). Fractured Mandala: The Inescapable Ambiguities of Gravity's Rainbow. Pynchon Notes. (24-25), pp.129–132. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/pn.302
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Published on 22 Sep 1989.
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