Gravity's Rainbow Companion: Sources and Contexts for Pynchon's Novel

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Overview

Steven provides a page-by-page, often line-by-line, guide to the welter of historical references, scientific data, cultural fragments, anthropological research, jokes and puns around which Pynchon wove his novel. This is a guide book to one of the most important, and intractable, literary works of our time.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Astute detective work . . . The Companion offers a wealth of information that makes it indispensable reading for Pynchon scholars. It is a remarkable achievement, representing untold hours of research into the flotsam and jetsam that constitutes the surface of Pynchon's preterite text.”—Pynchon Notes

"Pavlov, Grimm, Poisson's equation, I.G. Farben, the Kabbalah, the Tarot, the Hereros; science, history, myth, and popular culture: almost everything is here. For those not content to take Pynchon's references simply on faith, this is an absolutely invaluable work. It points up dramatically the paradox of creating so encyclopedic a work for an a-historical, a-literate work."—Journal of Modern Literature

“Weisenburger has exorcised the spectre of the loose baggy monster, the thesis that Gravity's Rainbow is a rambling and haphazard work. . . . A stunningly comprehensive and revelatory study that should be required reading for hard core fans, for the mushier core of people who have started the book but couldn't find anything to hold on to, and perhaps even for the anti-Pynchonites among us: for Them. It may be the means by which the most important novel of the second half of the century gains academic respectability.”—Modern Fiction Studies

"No serious reader of Pynchon's novel will want to read it without this volume's rare combination of criticism, annotation, and reference at hand.”—Choice

“A veritable guidebook to the novel, glossing countless references to popular culture, philosophy, science, etc. It also explains the novel's chronology section by section and for all these reasons will be essential reading on Pynchon.”—Year's Work in English Studies

“Weisenburger not only cares enough to follow Pynchon's narrative almost line by line through its massings of detail but convinces the reader of Pynchon's own care in assuring that everything from weather and moon phases to movies playing in London holds together, all so that Gravity's Rainbow can function as a chronometics when necessary.”—American Literary Scholarship

"An excellent guide to a terrifically complex work. If, like a palimpsest, Pynchon's work eludes us, Weisenburger's work provides us with a sub-text which fills in the crucial missing blanks."—Canadian Review of American Studies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780820310268
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/1988
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 6.04 (w) x 9.04 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Steven C. Weisenburger is Mossiker Chair in Humanities and chair of the English Department at Southern Methodist University. His books include Fables of Subversion: Satire and the American Novel, A Gravity's Rainbow Companion: Sources and Contexts for Pynchon's Novel (both Georgia) and Modern Medea.

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