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I came across the idea of 'psychochronography' the other day, not quite the same idea but interesting:

http://retromaniabysimonreynolds.blogspot.com/2015/03/psychochronography.html

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Ah, interesting. Pynchon is significant here because’s he’s uncannily adept at recreating past times and places he can’t possibly have experienced firsthand (like London in 1944/45). So is his writing an act of mediumship, where are these visions coming from?

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Thanks, I really enjoyed reading your comment. It was very succinct and enlightening, and I do feel that aura of a nocturne in both books; but it does get darker and more fragmented in GR. Have you tried writing on Joyce’s Ulysses? I’ve been reading it, but compared to Pynchon I’m having trouble grasping what’s going on.

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I've only ever read a few pages of Ulysses. Alongside GR and Moby Dick, it's probably the novel I most need to read. In the case of Ulysses, because I often comment on modernist literature, thus making Joyce's opus a pretty glaring hole in my reading!

Lately I've returned to Paul Auster, a couple of decades after first becoming acquainted with him. Been rereading The New York Trilogy, plus his early memoir The Invention of Solitude (this latter for the first time). These will provide the subject matter for my next piece.

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I don't know how you see it, but to me V is like Part I of Gravity's Rainbow. The V-2 Rocket being a continuation of V in a more complex, and perhaps sinister form. I don't know if you have listened to Terence Mckenna, but he has a talk where he mentions both of these novels and says they're utterly dark or something of that sort. I do get what TM meant by that, but I also see these novels as a way of synthesizing complexity of our days into something more graspable.

I had recently gone to Norfolk for the first time when I started V, so I immediately felt at home when reading it--especially with the bar scenes which seem burlesque and also remind of the Beat style of writing with profane as the main character.

Here's Mckenna's talk. I'd like to know your take on it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzWuNlADnWI&embeds_referring_euri=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.reddit.com%2F&feature=emb_logo

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Finally got to this. I found the talk really engaging, very interesting indeed. I'll have to relisten to it. But after the first listen, here are my thoughts.

V., the character / entity / phenomenon is certainly highly sinister and I think key to that is the elusiveness and slipperiness of V. She is perhaps more a bad spirit or curse than a person, allowing her to manifest as the V Note, Vheissu and so on. There are parallels with similar entities or forces in Lynch's films. I recall one critical essay that had V. as a representation of the century's death drive.

As for V. and Gravity's Rainbow making up a single continuum, essentially one long book, I can only speculate as I've only read a small portion of GR so far. My instinct is to say it's a plausible take, given the obvious repetition of the letter V, the return to southwest Africa, and the "nocturnal" quality of both books (to borrow from McKenna). I want to say they are nocturnes, albeit without the brevity usually implied by that term. Which may or may not be a silly assertion, but I'll go with it anyway.

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Thanks for this, very interesting observations. I’ll check out that video and let you know what I think.

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A close friend of mine, literary snob college kid, gave me his copy of V back around 2004. I started it, and just wasn't in the right mindset for it at that time. I put off Pynchon for almost two decades, until two summers ago I read Inherent Vice and loved it. So I picked up my copy of V and read it earlier this year. I'm not sure I understand it, not sure I even like it, but I know it's great. The sewer rat priest and the Germans in Africa were my favorite parts.

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