Gravity's Rainbow, Domination, and Freedom

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Herman and Weisenburger bring immense erudition to their altogether fresh study of the work they rightly characterize as a ‘towering achievement.’ ‘Gravity’s Rainbow,’ Domination, and Freedom is a terrific contribution not only to Pynchon studies but also to our understanding of the cultural matrix within which this author—still America’s most important and vital novelist—invented himself and his extraordinary fictions.”—David Cowart, author of Thomas Pynchon and the Dark Passages of History

“Herman and Weisenburger rehistoricize and recontextualize Gravity’s Rainbow. They synthesize literary criticism, narratology, psychology, cultural history, and political analysis to produce this unprecedentedly deep and detailed understanding of the place of Pynchon’s novel in—its status and role as a document of—its time and ours. The genius of the book is that it gives us not only a vivid sense of that past but also a new and newly urgent sense of our present and possible future.”—John M. Krafft, Miami University

"There might be two other scholars somewhere in the world who understand Gravity’s Rainbow and its times more comprehensively or more deeply than Herman and Weisenburger, but if so, I don’t know who they are. Forty years having lapsed since the novel’s publication, we’re now finally, thanks to these two, in a position fully to grasp its historicity, the manifold ways it participates in the intellectual currents, countercultural politics, and hard-won freedoms of its era, the Long Sixties. This is a bracingly dark book about a novel that, if Weisenburger and Herman are right, is itself about as dark as it could be, for all its exhilarating wackiness. If you care anything for Pynchon and Gravity’s Rainbow, you’d better read this book."—Brian McHale, author of Postmodernist Fiction

"Herman and Weisenburger's analysis of Thomas Pynchon's 1973 novel Gravity's Rainbow brilliantly parses the book's nuanced exhibition of freedom amid culturally specific themes of domination. . . . This book is essential for Pynchon enthusiasts as well as for readers interested in niche history of the 1960s without the baggage of clichés tied to popular thinking about unsettled questions of freedom and politics in American history." —Library Journal (starred review)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780820345956
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press
  • Publication date: 12/31/2013
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 946,396
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author


Luc Herman is a professor of English and narrative theory at the University of Antwerp. He is the coauthor of Handbook of Narrative Analysis with Bart Vervaeck and the coeditor of The Cambridge Companion to Thomas Pynchon with Inger Dalsgaard and Brian McHale. Steven Weisenburger is a professor of English and the Mossiker Chair in Humanities at Southern Methodist University. He is the author of A Gravity’s Rainbow Companion: Sources and Contexts for Pynchon’s Novel (Georgia), Fables of Subversion: Satire and the American Novel (Georgia), and Modern Medea: A Family Story of Slavery and Child-Murder from the Old South.
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