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       Once the technical means of control have reached
       a certain size, a certain degree of being connected
       one to another, the chances for freedom are over
       for good. The word has ceased to have meaning. 

          -- Gravity's Rainbow, Viking Press, p. 539

Characterizing Thomas Pynchon means equivocating after his own dialectical fashion. One clear advantage of the challenge to reduce, synthesize, but never simplify -- especially after our boy came of age with Gravity's Rainbow -- is that it swaddles his reader's often immature and therefore easily bruised ego. In other words, those unacquainted with Pynchon's words should manage thereby to internalize, with no trauma skin-deep or worse, the depth of his allusionary field.

Let us waffle a bit: Oglers of Truth become notably myopic to the extent that he intimidates when he intimates, their eyes (clever homonym) misshapen by the implausible foci which he so rarely plauses when he pauses. That phenomenon must extend no farther; furthermore, the only real way to abridge the flow chart of his ostensible influences, the only chance to head off litterateurs at the Paranoid Assessment of Superlative Self- expression, is to draw backhanded comparisons.

Yet the self-same directive holds for some ex-convoluted, in point of fact releasingly presumptive reasons as well. Here come two of them now: Without a certain ambiguity (?), one is no longer ideally responsive to the data being held forth. Without a touch of indiscriminate sarcasm, meanwhile, one cannot practice the freedom necessary to recognize ambiguity for what it is.

Such observations merely recite a view first sighted by Marshall McLuhan. HA! Truly, though, it would be a joke to think of him as coeval with rhetoricians' fundamentalism, although documents on his place in their messianic lineage would appear none too massive, seeing as how this dubber of the "media" has become the seminal force implicit among today's umbilically hooked cybernauts (all William Gibson did was to unfold the receiving blanket a gigabyte prematurely). Hmmmm...time for an easy Question: with what, or whom, is McLuhan effectively, tellingly coeval? Yes, I know, I'm sure you'd already thought of that by now. *** POUT ALL YOU WANT, BUT DON'T PREEMPT THIS QUEERLY TWO-TIMING OFFER THAT INCLUDES A DISCRETE, FIRST-HAND EXPERIENCE WITH ALL THE SAUCY HISTRIONICS OF INHERITANCE AND ITS DISAVOWAL *** (Now, then, I suppose you'll be wanting to flip me for what I assumed was my own personal crack at the development of another lovingly overwrought Answer. Man.) Very well: expose this conversant's thinly veiled piece, and you will take yourself up on it shortly, unless of course you are feeling uncomfortable now with your own "He-read-it[!...]-I-zing[ -- ]" datastream.

Knowledge is pain of a sort....

Enough already, Wayne, ya done slop-jarred their sensibilities as it is. If they've, uh, NO, I mean, if you've digested our feceous argument as you must, gall darn it, there can be no reprieve from its viral, virtual, and biomorphically voluptuous bacterial infection; even if human nature takes its course -- of antibiotics, too! -- you're gonna feel bummed. The lone recourse is to shout at your CTX that none of it computes. But then what good is that gonna do if we all cain't lurk around the ports and send feedback atcha? You may hope, in and of the previous, electronically defined "course," to void the argument on your own, but if you're reading on ahead, I guess the optical fiber hasn't left y'all unplugged.

Bomb-o, evacuation denied. How then are you eager beavers to learn? by joining with Nietzsche in a rhapsodically retentive solitude? or should you prefer maybe rearguard tactics, feinting with a thumbscrew like the ones applied ever so coyly in Socratic method (the Truth is finger-poppin' good)? Remember, you don't have to be straight with everyone for the purpose of making steep epistemological demands; once again -- to besavor the lascivious -- I'll remark that you might wanna get around some. Either way, though, the curve will be infinitely graded. That's a good thing you see, for how else could you get the scope on all the latest, winksome trafficking?

Differentials azimuth asymptotically. As we near paranoia, any scheme will benefit from the premise that uncertainty itself is a matter of doubt; for those fool-hearty enough to swing with the high pitch of their psychosociopolitically economic jungle, the relationship throws a new curve, and one that supplies a basis for branch-closure, since its function can be plotted on a coaxial graph. Don't look at it! First we again should go over the baseline schematics malfeasible when learning: To rise along straight and narrow pathways will not subset and upset shady cross-hatching as does the improvisational, circuitous route which doubles back. But the heading more immediately apparent in the wake of such a Congenial Verticality allows for one's initial contact with the mother ship of all excluded middles, relating as she does to the wakeful red-dogs that are screwing off either bow (wow!) as her incorrigibly positive and negative integers. Few things are clear, but still fewer -- zero, in fact -- may be termed ambiguous with a tidy conscience.

An' we cain't be havin' that, cuz self-abusive second guesses are the key to -- well, anyway, to some Ubergang. You can relax, though. By whisking ourselves about in a pirouette, using outstretched arms to spritz a cognate of carbon tet (see far below), we've invoked the harpies of misapprehension, and it's not even April Everyman's Day.

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       ...so they dissolve now, into the race and swarm
       of this dancing Preterition, and their faces, the
       dear, comical faces they have put on for this ball,
       fade as innocence fades, grimly flirtatious, and
       striving to be kind....

          -- p. 548

In any calendar event, our next move is to recapitulate on the basis of Pynchonian lingo from World War II. So be it:

Like the A-4s vaporating throughout much of G.R., each bit of intelligence should be carried over, logged in, mapped out, pinned up, and ultimately brought full circle -- yet only if haggard taggers like yourselves do not wish to be strung along. Triumph is at hand when you compound such multitasking into the "aggregate" once embodied by German rocketry and encoded with the "A" from the latter's designation. (In more of those "other words," the means will justify the means if and only if you mean business.)

As you speak your guttural minds, you should know that whatever bears this handle for you is in some sense the (your) thing. It offers a window of opportunity onto the nature of (a self-important human) being. Whatever "it" might be, it will serve as a metaphorically equipped browser having the potential to spell out what other experiences should prove valuable accessories to the world you've called on to be yours.

As is the case when grappling with Pynchon's work, experimentation is the key, the challenge being to decipher "its" hoped-for significance. A terrifying prospect which cannot be ignored, however (sheez, some dog-eared "Whines" may have begun oscillating already), is the sound and fury signifying that nothing has been signified; in fact, the surest indication that "its" link with you, which indeed is your link with it, may be arbitrary and nothing else will be its flighty fickleness.

Nature in the end will call for it -- the "aggregate" uncovered with, for, and often behind your advancing party of one -- to leap, screaming, from its old testing grounds. Like you, it may bank on and roll towards genealogical fulfillment, but it (like you) does not rely upon any specifically directed pump action to fire out into that hauntingly cavernous, largely gripping beyond. A reference has been made to something besides just the concavity of our empyreal duomo.

More words, you say? Okay: You no longer need to liquify your assets in order to fill'erup (gender specified on colloquial grounds only). For you, as for the discontented scientists/ lackeys of yessiryears, the most perfunctory fumes are enough. You begin to get what you typically pay for in exchange for an exhaustive appreciation of the price. Insofar as the "just-if- I[....]'Kay?"-shun is your out-and-out effort rather than touch- and-go correspondence co-dependent on the in-and-out frequency of getting some, uh, peace, there remains currency in all manner of uptake.

What's that? You're still not getting any of it? Dud, [bleep] an A!

No one in particular, mind you. That's the beauty of "aggregates": they account at once for both relativity and quantum mechanics. Whatever or whomever exhibits a passably smooth (ex-) (pos-) terior to you can be a dicey subject. While a he, a she, or an it may "do" the trick for now, their many possible orbits' potential energies not only could vary with circumstance, but in time will flush the already red, shifting remainder of them until they're consorted all down and outta sorts. Vudin? Just like his thoughtful self, however, Pynchon the pimp offers us a symbol to help perpetuate a generally cheery and long-since-cherry outlook.

Not the post horn, not Kilroy, but the worn garter belt replete with standard accouterments (a Pynchonian favorite, though not necessarily a phenomenon confined to WWII) is what keeps you on an evenly tempered feel, as it were, as it provides the wainscotting in your room with a view. Just as that homey strip of molding can emphasize the switch from oversized swatches of wallpaper to a relatively unadorned wall, so the strapped-on strips hitching the attire in question help to fabricate a sense of chromatically verified modulations in texture. All you should hear now are bells tolling relevance. (Ooooh, my bitfax for a tinnitus-free hour!) Without non sequiturs to inhibit our cult of the dialectical, bifurcation-as-transvestment should be considered an article of sacred hermeneutia. Grace binds us in Regularity, the half- but always constant brother of Relativity, and your approach to qualitative analysis likewise remains constant no matter how your opinions change. Chance, apparently, has been claimed as a dependent variable.

And yet our Neat Unified Theory seems cracked if we grip its valencial mass in a vice that is even thigh-high; a little postmodern analysis reveals an imprecise string of neologisms, punny acronyms, colloquialisms, and internal rhymes both perfect and partial, all dubiously bonded together. Or, if you would like things to be tight here as well, we can say that it reveals a Gordian entanglement pulling for us to know something we don't because we do. Examples, examples...oh yes...what, perchance, is the meaning of this analogy to a full circle?

Well. It has not been imagined, because all the plotting and plodding in G.R. flaunts a return of "aggregates" to their source, if not in object then at least in the phenomenology of transnational minds. The last bit of circumlocution was meant as a dossier casually noticed to be open. The idea was to finger Slothrop, the figure who associates memorable views of grounds zero with later, first-hand experience of the mechanism below and beyond. Dis bein' deh chap whose attractive life-force, exerted in leagues with gravity's parabolic rainbow, is the deathly ill wish to "resseeeent arms" on the inverse, Lazarated side of completion....What?...

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       With void as their backdrop, the denizens of high
       fiction gravitate toward the light of horror, 
       toward voluptuousness and unity.  They fail as 
       they cannot quite speak to themselves, much less 
       among themselves -- they are the trespassers and          
       violators of domains, complicating and confounding 
       the cardinal theme of literature: the interplay of
       separate destinies; drama.

          -- Conrad Brenner's intro to The Real Life of 
             Sebastian Knight, pretextually excluded 
             by New Directions, p. xii

I meant, uh, readers are left chasin' down a pot o' gold they never suspect is chambered. Y'all know how it is these days, but I's a-gonna tellya 'bout it anyway -- an' I'm not gonna cut anythin' out, off, ner short, neither. Frankly, my shears, it's just a gawdawful, s--tpotful o' trubble when dem self-extricatin' particularisms git walled off from each udder. Instead o' blowin' deh udders off (even dat ain't very nice), dey start blowin' dem away. Dis's wunna dose tings dat fish Pynchon is carpin' 'bout all deh time. Guess what? Now I's a-gonna tellya what 'e's doin' it fer....

Not an easy task. That chase you spoke of would be over by now. The result should have been another publicly heuristic algorithm, with major portions of the funding provided by Viking Press; for people whose membership leads them to boast of privileges like those "metaphorically equipped browsers," at least, there should have appeared issues that are pursuant all the way 'round the bend. Here again, we probably all think we know why. Slothrop should have tried to point these issues out for them -- not, perhaps, from the outset, but certainly as his final misadventures take him from the bombed-out London into the heart of that rocket-firing Zone which formerly belonged to the Nazis. Certainly if Pynchon's moral bombshells were in any way conventional.

Nonetheless, with the piece de resistance hanging itself in a noose fashioned of precociously cable-nit, witty, discursive threads, and with our falling-out "protagonist" flailing about for a new vector, their focus had been Countermanded. Despite the eye-opening pallet which mottled Slothrop's shamelessly identifiable, literally swinish costume, they were forced to belittle the significance of that subterranean life for which he stood on both twos (see near below)....

No matter...no wonder...uh, right, they were led on instead by a curvaceous, monumental, overarching spectrum of light primed for dust jackets everywhere, just as Pynchon hoped they would be. Let's not do this anymore, Wayne. It's gettin' hard....That confusion has to be part of philosophy, and we philosophers have to be part of it....

Yeah, o-okay, and it, uh, will be necessary to in-prism the postmodernists too -- wouldn't do it if we didn't just have to, yaknow. We'll start by theorizing about, or linking, the fundamentals: Because a typical rainbow (the kind followed by mythically enchanted humans) is analogous to a lunette, or half-circle, some feel they understand neither Pynchon's goal in drafting its shape nor ours in helping to color it. Their wonderment arises because they haven't missed what's missing. So -- look at our bow-thingie again: The moment its underbelly is shorn away by the interceding terra firma, one is pulled victim to one's relativism: the fullness of the FX shows itself to be an f(x), describing a twice-the-radiance pie chart if and only if chiastic preordination of the centerpoint does not proximate opaque or even translucent barriers; for our part, then, we have taken the stance that enlightenment is not accessible to the particular logician so much as to waverly ontologists. Obviously, rainbows which look shorn to the former are not visibly completed for the latter. One cannot make light penetrate more deeply by characterizing it with greater insight. The point-of-view here simply reflects what refracts as the starkest Earth-bound contribution made by its far-flung and ephemeral sources (there's positively a correlation there) to the "aggregate." Look from it as if you felt you were being mooned by a convincingly barren desert: Crusty ol' Gaia still makes for a sweet potatuh pie, and her honest-through-Goodness latticerie double-joints between two bearing-points over a widespread, mock Dianater. You must dig in more than six feet under her skin (ya big Ubermensch, you), gauging a momentarily implied circumference all the while, in order to explore how you sprang for life at the far beginning of the circle.

Vague but true...or vague and true...uh, the vague is true...forevermore....

Success! At long last! The objective, the "aggregate," now can be said to fly! Unfortunately, it has climbed well beyond anyone's range of experience, with flanking maneuvers put down to something laughable. No extra whining, now; we told you it would, and in no uncertain terms. As I recall, we said it would "leap, streaming, from its old testing grounds" (wait, is that right?). All good things in time, I tell you. Now consecrate:

Our subject -- Pynchon -- targets an equally heightened consciousness, achieving an equal share (zippo) of success. Even the living "aggregate" can't manage to systemize everything by himself, which is probably why he doesn't want to. Other, inanimate "aggregates" have a nozzle up on him. There, there, you silly Pynchonophiles could use a drink. How dare we say such things? Here's how. None of his written episodes, none of his authorial or characteristic viewpoints respects the blank, misty lines that are pomo contrails (this posturing explains why hairs, ranks, and sides are split in unison.) The sources of this, uh, well, this jetsam are but squintifiably visible, and, what's more, the level of his indignance is high for the same reason that visibility is low. And the result? Intuiting magnetic fields of which even his highly polarized vision fell short, all he could shoot for was to introduce his narrative style snailwise as a new medium with a new message.

That phrase at the end there sounds totally "cool"...we couldn't have thought it up, so you might wonder who....In any event (we already said that, Lord how we must bore you), the surrounding atmosphere's indeterminate rate of change is fueling the ambition and ascent of the poet and his poetic derivatives, irrespectively. From this we gather that: For the always resourceful Pynchon,//The best work onto which he's been scriven//Assimilates a Full(-y_)bright rendition//Of the pointedly uncomprehending collective. By attending to the attending, non-plussed frustration, moreover, his inner life seems to have been evermore extruded along others' patterns of dispersal....Oh, [somebody's] GOD -- and h-he's patterning his lubricated bundle of synaptic relays/pathways/oh whatever to reflect a -- a -- a Superaggregate!...Well, yes. Hence it would seem too that even Pomona's gender-neutral allocation of "manpower" is destined to lose all but the initiative here. A finite number of troops can be graphic in just a couple-three ways, particularly when their natures favor one above all else.

We happy two in the philo detachment have limited our recon to a General Trope, one that serves under pacifying commands as a hedge against inflationary rhetoric. Fawning after the kind of input best given by way of department heads (cf. any comparable sentiment assigned to a colonel of truth "you can't handle," formerly base in Guantanamo), we now incorporate it (the trope) within a relatively coherent sentence: On the one hand, a pensive yet often sedate quibbler has given the nod to worldwide redemption, jotting meet phrases as elements for his greater- than-American novels; on the other hand, a born kibitzer has deigned the luxury of more audibly garrulous venues, so that he gives the most zip-locked impression. (Note: "he" = Pynchon.)

A nice summary and a fashionably belated thesis statement, handy for interaction with those of you getting all hyper about our text, distressed by such questions as: (I) Why have Pynchonians been left rooting among the cognitive flora sown by virtue of his green and mutually opposable thumbs? (II) What are the soteriological implications of being all thumbs in a culture prone to fondle absolute Truth? (III) Is the material ordinarily preserved for Q & A being shunted or withheld as the T & A of literary review? (IV) Why not bust through Pynchon's rumored hideaways (yeah, drag those sniveling sniffer-outers who click for People into the net!), treat the man to a little of that sodium amytal he's big on, a-and catalogue what emerges at this more domesticated, interrogative "for...um"? (V) And, hey --

Scott! I wanna talk! Lemme talk, O great one!...Well, sure, all's right with the world, I'd be happy to. After all, our time is Wayning, ha-ha....Gee, thanks a bunch, Scott. (Aside to Websters: I've been inside his head all along, suggesting his comp & crit, stuff like that.) Like, that reminds me, you need your watch back? (Aside to Wayne: This fobbed off humor is going to detrite us.) Ahghem. I would like to suggest because I feel I must that each and all have been sentenced, and that means regardless of our will to individual expressions of power, to trip hand-in-cuff-linked-hand over God's green acre.

Pharmaceuticals can render assistance, thank Goodness, especially when they're prescribed, but they won't suffice on their own to keep y'all from yankin' each other's chain along the way. Oh, they might someday; some human beings even posit that they will. Still and all, you should think about what utopians have done for you lately, what they ultimately could propagate in the right non-Platonic cave, and then how to survive in the meantime. Self-help is available, however. All my words have been chosen so they resonate idiomatically from the beginning of the composition to the very end (well, duh), if there's a difference that is, and in turn y'all should use these truly Ellisonian parallels (I's a-thinkin' 'bout Ralphie fer now, but I'll Col. U. if deh identity changes) as a means of considerin' how thoughts about life and thoughts about thoughts represent the two fundamental elements of dialectic....Say, you never mentioned these pearls before....Aw, shut up, Scott, and read this here poem, ssseeeeeee?...I, uh, NO, I mean, okay:

     Deh Interstate from Pynchonsburgh ta Parts Half-known 

        Dig fer deh oyster, dig fer deh clam, 
        Pigs ain't suited ta be on deh lamb. 
        'E's got quick-time video in deh can, 
        An' 'is verdi -- gral acre -- age is no foreign 
        But dis Arnold's-brudder-Tom never met Rosanne 
        (Deh fatty's droppin' acid from deh amyg -- dalic 
        Ain't no smack'll helpya ta really understand
        How deh last dance is clean-up fer dis knotted 

Oh, look at the time -- heh heh. In the final analysis.... Well, I guess we'll be signing off now, and without the least bit of prophetic value added. Really. It's like the late, great Mel Blanc used to say: "Don't think it hasn't been a little slice uv heaven, cuz it hasn't."

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