Reading: The Mittelwerke: Site–Para-Site–Non-Site


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The Mittelwerke: Site–Para-Site–Non-Site


Galena Hashhozheva

Harvard University
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What is it about the middle that makes it such an unreliable place? Is it that, when standing exactly midway between two points, one can regard the overall distance as both half-traveled and half-untraveled? Apparently, the fuzzy logic of the middle does something to the road: it submits it to contradictory predications – traveled/untraveled. Equally, the middle does something to the traveler: it delays his arrival at the destination by making him first pass an infinitely recursive midway of (the midway of (the midway of (the midway … ))) (Zeno's dichotomy paradox). Somewhat like a hurdle, the middle intervenes between beginning and end and precludes simple duality and facile directness in their relation. Instead, it breeds complexity, hesitation and difficulty. A confusing bifurcation and a veritable vortex of possible roads can emerge in the middle of the way. And what if this vortical middle swallows up the beginning and the end? What if everything becomes middle? What if nothing remains for the traveler to do except roam in this medial limbo–this in-between interval, stretched to infinity?
How to Cite: Hashhozheva, G., (2008). The Mittelwerke: Site–Para-Site–Non-Site. Pynchon Notes. (54-55), pp.137–153. DOI:
Published on 22 Sep 2008.
Peer Reviewed


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