By J. Kerry Grant
To the uninitiated, Thomas Pynchon’s V. turns out to defy comprehension with its open-ended and fragmented narrative, large solid of characters (some one hundred fifty of them), and wide variety of frequently imprecise references. J. Kerry Grant’s Companion to “V.” takes us during the novel bankruptcy by way of bankruptcy, breaking via its daunting floor by way of summarizing occasions and clarifying Pynchon’s many allusions. The Companion attracts largely from current serious and explicative paintings on V. to signify the diversity of interpretations that the unconventional can support.
The hundreds of thousands of notes that include the Companion are keyed to the 3 most generally mentioned versions of V. such a lot notes are interpretive, yet a few additionally supply historic and cultural contexts or aid to resurrect different nuances of that means. since it doesn't represent a selected “reading” of, or “take” on, the radical, the Companion will attract quite a lot of clients. instead of trying to make ultimate experience of the unconventional, the Companion exposes and demystifies Pynchon’s reason to play with our traditional attitudes approximately fiction.
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Additional info for A Companion to V.
V. unites both the Dynamo and the Virgin, rendering the creative powers of the divine Feminine destructive" (Newman 35). According to Eddins, those "entropic prophecies" are embodied in "the metamorphosis of the life-affirming Virgin into the life-negating dynamo. Pynchon's stroke of inspiration is to personify the latter as a grotesque simulacrum of the former, a mechanized apostle of disorder and death" (Eddins 52). I9 B 5 I . I 3 Forcible dislocation of personality "Stencil's technique of 'forcible dislocation of personality' allows him to maintain a smug sense of superiority because he detaches 'Stencil' from most of what he does.
I 3 Forcible dislocation of personality "Stencil's technique of 'forcible dislocation of personality' allows him to maintain a smug sense of superiority because he detaches 'Stencil' from most of what he does. The real self remains private, but fades away,- the plastic self takes action. Such dissociation re- 40 ACOMPANIONTOV. lieves 'Stencil7 of responsibility and involvement, so that it becomes an equally artificial concept, an 'other7 removed from the experience of the self. "If Stencil represents one extreme of identity—its complete fragmentation—then Profane represents the other.
24 the Piraeus Piraeus is the port for the city of Athens. The para, judging from his song ("from the old to the new world"), is probably expecting to take ship for America. 8 P F I 9 . N. Front de Liberation National an Algerian nationalist organization formed to coordinate opposition to French colonial rule. 8 P F I 9 . 37 Miraculous Medal "An oval medal bearing on one side an image of our Lady standing on a globe with rays of light coming from her hands, surrounded by the words: 'O Mary conceived without sin!