Hard Science and the Paranormal in Gravity's Rainbow: Precognition Machines, Cockroaches, And Not That Helmut Schmidt. - Pynchon Notes

Hard Science and the Paranormal in Gravity's Rainbow: Precognition Machines, Cockroaches, And Not That Helmut Schmidt.

By Pynchon Notes

  • Release Date: 2008-03-22
  • Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
Hard Science and the Paranormal in Gravity's Rainbow: Precognition Machines, Cockroaches, And Not That Helmut Schmidt. book review score

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Hard Science and the Paranormal in Gravity's Rainbow: Precognition Machines, Cockroaches, And Not That Helmut Schmidt. Pynchon Notes Book Review Score: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars

Among the things that strike first-time readers as strange, unique and most certainly fictitious in Gravity's Rainbow (hereafter GR) are the ways Pynchon links hard science and the paranormal, or what Steven Weisenburger refers to as "[t]he points of connection between (on the one hand) procedures of science and technology and (on the other) the rituals of religion and occultism" (2). In the Zeitgeist of GR, the rational, quantifiable world of physics, engineering and rocket science coexists with the mysterious, occult demimonde of "The White Visitation," a bizarre locale characterized, from Brigadier Pudding's point of view, as With its collection of eccentric Pavlovians, Freudians, neurologists, statisticians, technicians, psychometrists and seance devotees, "The White Visitation" is a site where discourses concerning hard science and the paranormal first converge and interact. As the novel progresses, the seemingly disparate languages of the two systems--what Weisenburger calls the "professional jargon" of hard science and the "esoteric cant" of the paranormal (6)--become so inextricably interwoven that they may be seen as interdependent, interchangeable and, to a certain extent, symbiotic.

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