Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Against the Blog: 4-7

If I can manage one a day, I'll be done, oh, probably by the end of the month. I'm not sure how many more sections there are. Big fat fuckin if, though.

Chums of Chance. Shambhala! It has been revealed by the Tunguska Event. There's also some talk about the Event maybe having destroyed the temporal barrier sort of thing between them and the rest of the world.

They arrive at the scene of the event shortly after the Russians. The Trespassers, speculates Lindsay, little realizing that Pynchon inexplicably DROPPED that particular storyline and is never gonna pick it back up. Somewhat baffling, unless there's something I'm missing. Which is very possible.

Vanderjuice contacts them from Tierra del Fuego--apparently, that's on precisely the opposite side of the globe from Tunguska, and all sorts of crazy shit went down there as well. Darby namechecks Tom Swift (794). Tee hee.

They meet with the Russians to consult. They end up talking about investment schemes, which seems to lend credence to the whole "mortality" thing. More involved in worldly concerns, and that.

They find that the Siberian wilderness has become an industrial wasteland, and the sky is filled with commercial airships. A vision of the future? I have no idea what Siberia's like nowadays.

Ominous foreshadowings:

Was it Tchernobyl, the star of Revelation? An unprecedented harrowing of the steppe by cavalry in untold millions, flooding westward in a simultaneous advance? German artillery of a secret design more powerful by orders of magnitudes than any military intelligence office had ever suspected? Or something which had not quite happened yet, so overflowing the tidy frames of reference available to Europe that it had only seemed to occur in the present, though really originating in the future? Was it, to be blunt, the general war which Europe athis summer and autumn would stand at the threshold of, collapsed into a single event? (797)

Dally's still moping around about Kit. It's implied that she and the princess with whom she's boarding have had some sort of sexual contact. Hunter's off messing around with his own ghosts.

Meanwhile, at Trieste, Cyprian is consulting with a cryptologist named Bevis Moistleigh. A porn name if ever I heard one. I'll let you in on a little secret: Cyprian, in whom I had little interest at first, ends up becoming the most interesting character in the novel.

Bevis is decrypting stuff. As you do if you're a cryptologist, I reckon. He's having trouble 'cause it's a complex code. Derrick Theign pops his head in to check on them. Theign ends up betraying the organization and getting tortured to death. Boy, I'm a regular Cassandra here, amn't I?

Reef meets up again with Ruperta at Marianbad (there's no indication of why exactly he's going where he's going, which I think is part of the point--Reef's turns out to be pretty interesting too). They fuck, but halfheartedly. One night, precipitously escaping from a jealous husband, he here's a voice from the heavens telling him to cut out all this crap and rededicate himself to actual real-world stuff--like revenge, for instance. Super wholesome!

Yashmeen's in Vienna. Boy, everyone's turning up in this chapter. She's working in a dress shop, where she runs into Noellyn, her friend and sometime lover from her English schoolgirl days. Noellyn is wearing a previously-alluded-to Silent Frock, that blots out all noise. I have NO idea what this particular contrivance is supposed to signify. It doesn't exactly DO a whole lot.

Anyway, they have sex. Big surprise. Something about the Tunguska Event is fucking with time, so it keeps being night.

All of this malarkey goes on for a month. Then, it stops. And so does the section.



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