Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A brief note on the Super Traverse Bros.

Yeah I know, Against the Blog badly needs updating. WILL DO! But now I just want to note a brief thought.

So basically, Reef Traverse will fuck anything that moves. I was bemused by the attempted bestiality scene a while back, but that scene--along with many others on the same theme, albeit less over-the-top--that he's more or less a slave to urges, and he doesn't care much about what the target is. In the chapter I just read he enthusiastically broke the homosexuality barrier with Cyprian. Pynchon puts a lot of sort of crude American vernacular in his mouth, which clashes noticeably with the sensibilities of the European characters around him, and Yashmeen even refers to him as a cowboy with very uncomplicated sexual desires. So is it fair to say that this represents a view of America--running roughshod over the world, fucking the shit out of everything without much concern for the consequences? Reef does exhibit some remorse over abandoning his infant son, but it's kind of too little too late. It seems like a fair hypothesis.

By contrast, Frank seems sort of asexual--Pynchon may have alluded to him having a partner or two earlier; I don't remember--but it's certainly not a big part of his life. Kit is somewhere in the middle. Lake--who knows? She hasn't gotten a lot of screentime compared to her brothers.

So: Reef, id; Frank, ego; Kit, super-ego. Is that overly reductionist? Nonetheless, it sort of rings true to me.



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