Reading: A V and a Naught Spell Infinity


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A V and a Naught Spell Infinity


Christoph Gossel ,

Dirk Vanderbeke

Frankfurt; Greifswald University
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One of the most obvious and exhausted aspects of Pynchon's works is surely the significance of the V-words in his first novel. Moreover, critics were quick to comment on the fact that the name of the major symbol in Gravity's Rainbow, the rocket, is homophonous with "V too," so the game of spotting the V could be extended into Pynchon's later works. The letter then served as a kind of trademark or signature when Vineland was published. Received wisdom has it that in V. the omnipresence of the initial creates an ever-increasing system of signifiers that cannot be brought together in any coherent way: the reader's attempt to find coherence resembles Stencil's endless search for the enigmatic woman V. and leads to a paranoid perspective on the world as text or the text as world.
How to Cite: Gossel, C. and Vanderbeke, D., 2002. A V and a Naught Spell Infinity. Pynchon Notes, (50-51), pp.76–82. DOI:
Published on 22 Sep 2002.
Peer Reviewed


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