How to read ATD…

Here’s a wonderful description of one reader (& Pynchonwiki-member) and his reading set-up, with laptop + paper notebook: http://www.frontier.iarc.uaf.edu/~cswingle/?p=47.

I am reading ATD at stretches of about 10 pages & then make notes in a simple text-editor, plus go through some googling for references.

en,pynchon,reading matter | December 10, 2006 | 15:34 | comments (0) |

Against the Day, p. 147-148

“Suppose it were happen to us, in the civilized world. If ‘another form of life’ decided to use humans for similar purposes, and being out on a mission of comparable desperation, as its own resources dwindled, we human beasts would likewise simply be slaughtered one by one, and those still alive obliged to, in some sense, eat their flesh.”
(…)
“Sir, that is disgusting.”
“Not literally then … but we do use another, often mortally, with the same disablement of feeling, of conscience … each of us knowing that at some point it will be our own turn. Nowhere to run but into a hostile and lifeless waste.”
“You refer to present world conditions under capitalism and the Trusts.”
“There appears to be little difference. How else could we have come to it?”
“Evolution. Ape evolves to man, well, what’s the next step — human to what? Some compound organism, the American Corporation, for instance, in which even the Supreme Court has recognized legal personhood — a new living species, one that can out-perform most anything an individual can do by himself, no matter how smart or powerful he is.”

en,pynchon,quotations,reading matter | December 10, 2006 | 14:41 | comments (0) |

Against the Day, Google “Quaternionist”

Ah well, hit 5, pynchonwiki, ATD. Whereas there really seem to be ‘quaternionists’ in the history of mathematics.

See for instance here: “A prominent quaternionist, P. G. Tait, wrote, “Even Prof. Willard Gibbs must be ranked as one of the retarders of Quaternion progress…” After quoting this remark, M. J Crowe continues, “Gibbs did retard quaternion progress for his … Elements of Vector Analysis marks the beginning of modern vector analysis.” (A History of Vector Analysis (2nd edition, p. 150)) Crowe considers Oliver Heaviside (1850-1925) an independent and nearly simultaneous creator of the modern system.” http://members.aol.com/jeff570/v.html.

How many Pynchonites are visiting these same pages… one wonders….

Or, just at Amazon: “Ever since the Irish mathematician William Rowan Hamilton introduced quaternions in the nineteenth century–a feat he celebrated by carving the founding equations into a stone bridge–mathematicians and engineers have been fascinated by these mathematical objects. Today, they are used in applications as various as describing the geometry of spacetime, guiding the Space Shuttle, and developing computer applications in virtual reality.”

Ah, so that’s what Hamiltonian faith (p.132) refers to…

And it’s all already in the Pynchon-wiki.

en,pynchon | December 10, 2006 | 13:57 | comments (0) |

Against the Day p.133

“Another Quest for another damned Magic Crystal. Horsefeathers, I say. Wish I’d known before I signed on. Say, you aren’t one of these sentient Rocksters, are you?”

Mineral consciousness figured even back in that day as a source of jocularity – had they known what was waiting in that category … waiting to move against them, grins would have frozen and chuckles turned to dry-throated coughing.

en,pynchon,quotations,reading matter | December 10, 2006 | 13:16 | comments (0) |

Against the Day & Google

About every search I ‘throw’ into Google since yesterday, will yield as its 7th or 8th result something with “plays an important role in Against the Day”… sure – I was searching for Icelandic Spar because I’m reading ATD… but still.

Should we imagine that ‘the internet’ reads ATD too?

Uh, well, anyhow, wikipedians read Pynchon — that much is sure: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calcite.)

en,pynchon,reading matter | December 10, 2006 | 13:13 | comments (0) |

Against the Day p.79

“But if you look at the history, modern chemistry only starts coming in to replace alchemy around the same time capitalism really gets going. Strange eh? What do you make of that?” Webb nodded agreeably. ” Maybe capitalism decided it didn’t need the old magic anymore.” An emphasis whose contempt was not meant to escape Merle’s attention. “Why bother, had their own magic, doin just fine, thanks, instead of turning lead into gold, they could take poor people’s sweat and turn it into greenbacks, and save that lead for enforcement purposes.” (ATD p.79)

en,pynchon,quotations,reading matter | December 9, 2006 | 13:39 | comments (0) |

Pynchonwiki, of course..

http://against-the-day.pynchonwiki.com/. I do not even have to google “Blinky Morgan” myself…

en,pynchon,reading matter | December 9, 2006 | 13:23 | comments (0) |

Against the Day p.33/34

“Back in the spring, Dr. Tesla was able to achieve readings on his transformer of up to a millions volts. It does not take a prophet to see where this is headed. He is already talking in private about something he calls a ‘World-System’, for producing huge amounts of electrical power that anyone can tap in for free, anywhere in the world, because it uses the planet as an element in a gigantic resonant circuit. He is naïve enough to think he can get financing for this, from Pierpont, or me, or one or two others. It has escaped his mighty intellect that no one can make any money off an invention like that. To put up money for research into a system of free power would be to throw it away, and violate – hell, betray – the essence of everything modern history is supposed to be.” (…) “If such a system is ever produced,” Scarsdale Vibe was saying, “it will mean the end of the world not just’ as we know it’ but as anyone knows it. It is a weapon Professor, surely you see that – the most terrible weapon the world has seen, designed to destroy not armies or matériel, but the very nature of exchange, out Economy’s long struggle to evolve up out of the fish-market anarchy of all battling all to the rational systems of control we enjoy at present.”

Thomas Pynchon, Against the Day, p. 33/34

en,pynchon,quotations,reading matter | December 8, 2006 | 22:08 | comments (0) |

Pynchoniana

Handy info here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World’s_Columbian_Exposition.

Reading through the description it’s immediately clear that this is Pynchon-area…

Jeez… Against the Day is already included in the “See Also”.

I’m on page 31.

en,pynchon,reading matter | December 8, 2006 | 20:30 | comments (0) |

“Now single up all lines!”

… I can join in the fun — it has arrived. IT has arrived. Against the Day. I’ve got it in my hands & can start reading….!

en,free publicity,pynchon,reading matter | December 8, 2006 | 14:43 | comments (0) |
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