Friday, March 02, 2007

Against the Blog: 3-14

Frank on the Mexican border. He runs into Ewball Oust again (love that name), and the two of them get a little gunrunning business going. And whaddaya know, they happen to meet Günther.

Some old acquaintance of Ewball, formerly called "Steve," now "Ramón," invites them to a little party. There, he gets involved in some sort of gunrunning deal that involves a guy named Eusebio Gómez, who turns out to actually be Wolfe Tone O'Rooney, whom Reef knew in New Orleans. This is getting a bit soap operatic. He's looking for weapons to fight for Irish independence and whatnot.

Okay, ONE more old acquaintance, and THAT'S ALL! Dwayne Provecho. The guy who betrayed Frank and Ewball after their escape from the Mexican prison. He gets an initial hostile reception, as you might expect, but then he tells them about some heavy weaponry that they can make use of in their business.

And that's all. Short section. Is this becoming less coherent, or is it just me? Possibly both. I'm reading more slowly lately, but I'm still habitually a hundred pages behind where I am in reading, postwise. I'm enjoying it, but it's sort of difficult, as you would imagine, to really get a grip on such a long, unwieldy novel, especially when you have all these academic and social distractions breathing down your neck. But persevere we will!



Anonymous Anonymous pontificated to the effect that...

When you're done, could you write a post summarizing your reaction to the novel, as well as your opinion of what exactly it has achieved? I've never read anything by Pynchon, so feel free to ignore everything I say now, but from these short summaries that you've been posting, this particular novel appears to be a huge collection of smugly self-congratulating puns and references to various kinds of genre fiction and plot devices used therein. Like Kill Bill, but in novel form. Please, don't hesitate to explain how I am wrong.

- SK

4:08 PM  
Blogger GeoX, one of the GeoX boys. pontificated to the effect that...

There will definitely be some sort of summing up at the end, whenever that may arrive. I don't want to sell the novel short: it's got some really great stuff in it; it also, undeniably, contains some material that seems to this Earth human to be little more than meaningless self-indulgence. All of Pynchon's novels contain SOME goofy diversions, and that's part of the fun, but AtD DOES seem to take it a bit further. As I said, it's difficult to really get a handle on such a long novel, let alone when one has other obligations--and in spite of all of its what-may-be-problems, one DOES get really seriously wrapped up in its world. And the Chums of Chance are awesome, period, end of story.

I would strongly recommend V. as a Pynchon starting point--it is, in various parts, deeply evocative, funny, moving, and harrowing.

11:02 PM  

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