A Gravity's Rainbow Companion: Sources and Contexts for Pynchon's Novel

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University of Georgia Press, Mar 15, 2011 - Literary Criticism - 440 pages
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Adding some 20 percent to the original content, this is a completely updated edition of Steven Weisenburger's indispensable guide to Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow. Weisenburger takes the reader page by page, often line by line, through the welter of historical references, scientific data, cultural fragments, anthropological research, jokes, and puns around which Pynchon wove his story. Weisenburger fully annotates Pynchon's use of languages ranging from Russian and Hebrew to such subdialects of English as 1940s street talk, drug lingo, and military slang as well as the more obscure terminology of black magic, Rosicrucianism, and Pavlovian psychology. The Companion also reveals the underlying organization of Gravity's Rainbow--how the book's myriad references form patterns of meaning and structure that have eluded both admirers and critics of the novel.

The Companion is keyed to the pages of the principal American editions of Gravity's Rainbow: Viking/Penguin (1973), Bantam (1974), and the special, repaginated Penguin paperback (2000) honoring the novel as one of twenty "Great Books of the Twentieth Century."


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User Review  - dchaikin - LibraryThing

27. A Gravity's Rainbow Companion: Sources and Contexts for Pynchon's Novel, 2nd Edition by Steven Weisenburger published: originally 1988, 2nd edition is from 2006 format: 400 page paperback acquired ... Read full review

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Question its reliability: it was the "Office of Strategic Services" and not the "Office of Special Services." It was NOT renamed the CIA. The CIA was created in 1947, so saying "After V-E Day Dulles and Jackson both returned to the agency, renamed the CIA" is only correct if one wishes to bend the calendar. In between was the Strategic Services Unit (SSU) and the Central Intelligence Group (CIG). By the time the CIA was created, it didn't look very much like the OSS. 


Part 1 Beyond the Zero
Part 2 Un Perm au Casino Hermann Goering
Part 3 In the Zone
Part 4 The Counterforce

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About the author (2011)

Steven C. Weisenburger is Mossiker Chair in Humanities and chair of the English Department at Southern Methodist University. His books include Fables of Subversion: Satire and the American Novel, A Gravity's Rainbow Companion: Sources and Contexts for Pynchon's Novel (both Georgia) and Modern Medea.

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