Roger and Jessica

Questions, Yin-Yang and ..... a little humor

I have a burning and probably not immediately answerable question: Who is Dr. Lazlo Jamf?
Almost every thread of GR links back to him, yet I feel I don't really know him. We know a fair amount of details about him and his work, but I only feel that I've "heard of him" but not "met" him like I have with Pynchon's other characters.

With that out of the way, I particluarly liked the use of yin-Yang at the end of part 2 to illustrate the inexorable connection between Roger and Pointsman. The system of Yin and Yang is a binary one like Pointsman who may only exist at zero or one. However, regardless of their contrast to each other, they exist as a blended entity in nature. By that token, Roger, lying in the infinite domain from zero to one, provides the necessary link between Pointsman's binary universe and the far more complex real world of a war. In that same real world of a war where man's law and nature's law stand in open conflict, Roger faces the loss of Jessica, his salvation. Roger is among elect, the war has not passed him by costing him his salvation. "Lord Acton always sez, History is not woven by innocent hands" (281).

Who Framed Roger Mexico

I have to preface this by saying that I didn't come up with this. Unfortunately, I forget who did. Step up and take credit!

We mentioned, in our group discussion, the bit about Roger and Jessica sharing the initials of the most famous star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet. Someone brought up another, perhaps more well-known Roger and Jessica pair:

R & J and Hamlet (Slothrop)

I found that Roger's "monologue" at the end of Part I really very emotional. It wasn't really "sweet", because their "hollywood love" isn't perfect (since it's an affair and everything). Nonetheless, I found Pynchon's writing really wonderful right there.

Now, I have a long long long history with Shakespeare's Hamlet, and it may have gone to my head. However, Slothrop's experiences on the Rivera made me think of Hamlet (eeek). Bloat and Tantivy really resemble Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. They are somewhat amusing, sometimes a bit dopey, and seem very innocent and used. Yet they are trying to get something from Slothrop, and he knows it. Furthermore, everyone calls Slothrop paranoid (implying crazy), which is rather like Hamlet. Like Hamlet, Slothrop knows there is something fishy (octopus, even) about the whole situation.

excellent wording and R&J

I find myself, like many of you, enjoying this book despite the density of every paragraph. Pynchon has done an amazing amount of research and frankly I'm a little embarrassed at the effort it takes me to read his book: I can't even imagine writing it.

One of the most rewarding things about reading this are the simple descriptions Pynchon provides. Often he couples a noun with an adjective that fits so perfectly that you wonder why the two words aren't used together more often. "A cold smear of sun", "slate shadows", "a silly bleeding smile".....they sound so natural and describe something so perfectly that I sometimes have to stop and think if I've heard them before.

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