pynchon and joyce

Sorry to be a bit (hah, an understatement!) redundant, but, as is the recurring sentiment, I felt this reading to be slower than I had expected. I was confused at first because stylistically, Pynchon's narration seems discombobulated. The plot is set up in a subtle way that is not especially customary. The paragraphs containing multiple clauses of description and observation provide information contributing to the setting and the characters without ever really stating anything explicitly. (Or, if they did, I didn't pay as much attention to it because I was swamped with all these other things to keep in mind.)

I felt that Gravity's Rainbow is reminiscent of James Joyce's stream-of-consciousness writing approach in The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Ulysses. Similar to reading Joyce, Pynchon takes some getting used to, but I found that once the initial confusion passed, the reading progressed at a slightly faster pace. I kind of just had to kick myself in the leg and decide to read the dang thing and see where it takes me without overthinking too much. There are a lot of details that I feel did not stick in my mind, but the random moments of somewhat crude "Three Stooges" humor and repeated imagery definitely did.

I wanted to know if there is any particular source Pynchon alludes to when he mentions "the fall of a crystal palace" on the first page. I vaguely recall either hearing or reading that somewhere else before but can't, for the life of me, remember WHERE. Whenever he mentions "crystallization" and light and ice/cold later on, I think back on that initial "great invisible crashing." Ideas, anyone?

The article certainly focused a ton on Joyce. I've never read any Joyce, so I felt a little lost sometimes. It was uncomfortable to have to believe the article author because I haven't read Joyce for myself.

The crystal palace. According to the companion book (I use it like a crutch!) it is a display hall designed by Sir Joseph Paxton for the Great Exhibition of 1851. It also says it was "razed by fire" in 1936. It stood in Hyde Park as a symbol of "Victorian Progress". Two towers survived the fire but were taken down in 1940 to keep the German bombers from using them as landmarks. All of this was taken from the companion book, page 17.

I thought there might have been something I forgot to pick up from the bookstore.

Sorry if this was a useless thing to write on the class blog...