Reading: In the Zone: Sovereignty and Bare Life in Gravity’s Rainbow

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In the Zone: Sovereignty and Bare Life in Gravity’s Rainbow

Author:

Steven Weisenburger

Southern Methodist University, Dallas
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Abstract

Who or what are the political subjects of Gravity’s Rainbow? Put differently: What defines the novel’s represented humankind in their relations with modern states? Such relations always entail whether subjects are represented as having certain rights, privileges, and immunities, blessings hinging on whether one is a citizen or a non-citizen, always a matter of historical contingency. Those determinations of citizenship, especially in modernity, are further reckoned by the shifting identifications of race or ethnicity that sovereign powers use in legitimizing and conditioning the subjection of persons. This is Pynchon’s great subject even from his earliest stories, especially when it involves how powers transform persons into stuff, into objects.
How to Cite: Weisenburger, S., (2009). In the Zone: Sovereignty and Bare Life in Gravity’s Rainbow. Pynchon Notes. (56-57), pp.100–113. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/pn.8
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Published on 22 Sep 2009.
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