polaroids from mars's blog

"This Ain't The Fuckin' Movies Now"


I liked the part that starts on page 536, in which for a paragraph or two, the narrative is in the form of a film. Slothrop says "Springer, this ain't the fucking'movies now," to which Springer prophetically replies: "Not yet. Maybe not quite yet. You'd better enjoy it while you can. Someday, when the film is fast enough, the equipment pocket-size and burdenless and selling at peoples prices, the lights and booms no longer necessary, then...then..." At this point, the novel is starting to look towards the future; here is talk of the future of movies. Enzian is looking to the future of the Zone Hereros and his vision of a text, and a search that will require more Zone Hereros, not less.

Schwarzkommando and the Zero

During my reading, I've found that the Schwarzkommando seem to exist between the one and zero of existence; they seem to be in a netherworld between existence and non-existence. At PISCES, the Schwarzkommando's existence is accredited to a summoning through the creating of the Schwarzkommando movie: "it is widely believed that the Schwarzkommando have been summoned, in the way demons may be gathered in, called up to the light of day and earth by the now defunct Operation Black Wing." Enzian isn't even sure of their existence, on page 367: "Our chances of being right here right now are only a little better than even - the slightest shift in the probabilities and we're gone - schnapp! like that." In being "passed over," they were granted a new lease on life, but not a normal one.

The Blitz vs The Riviera

When I first started reading Gravity's Rainbow, I instinctively attempted to impose some sort of structure to the narrative as I read. As I continued to read, I gave up on that to a large degree. Since then I've really enjoyed just going with the narrative as it flowed from character to character, from reality to fantasy, and back again. I found the style of the first section to be very reminiscent of what is occurring in London: the constant uncertainty and danger of the Blitz being echoed in the quick changes of scene and viewpoint. The second section of the book also reflects the time and place in which it is set. So far, most of the narrative in this part has focused on Slothrop's time on the Riviera, which at least in regards to the war has been peaceful. This is reflected in the style of the section, which is a bit slower paced and doesn't tend to jump around as much. I found some of the scenes to be a bit more "light-hearted:" the beginning of the scene on the beach, the mock fight with the seltzer and brandy, the toga chase, and Slothrop's drinking game. I'm really looking forward to seeing how things progress, especially as Slothrop becomes both more paranoid, and more aware of what is going on around him.

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