By J. Kerry Grant
To the uninitiated, Thomas Pynchon’s V. turns out to defy comprehension with its open-ended and fragmented narrative, large forged of characters (some a hundred and fifty of them), and wide selection of usually vague references. J. Kerry Grant’s Companion to “V.” takes us in the course of the novel bankruptcy via bankruptcy, breaking via its daunting floor by means of summarizing occasions and clarifying Pynchon’s many allusions. The Companion attracts commonly from latest severe and explicative paintings on V. to signify the variety of interpretations that the unconventional can support.
The 1000's of notes that include the Companion are keyed to the 3 most generally mentioned variations 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 specific “reading” of, or “take” on, the radical, the Companion will entice quite a lot of clients. instead of trying to make ultimate experience of the unconventional, the Companion exposes and demystifies Pynchon’s rationale to play with our traditional attitudes approximately fiction.
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Extra info for A Companion to V.
22n. 38 Toledo Stencil is presumably drawn to Toledo by tales of the months-long siege of 1084-85, when Alfonso VI, emperor of Leon and Castile, returned the city to Christian control after three hundred and seventy years of Islamic rule (Fletcher 141-42). No explicit link to V is made, but the fact that the Moorish ruler of Toledo had Alfonso's Jewish emissary crucified has at least an echo in the crucifixions depicted on Victoria's ivory comb. 39 alcazar The fortress in the heart of the old city.
After a special blessing is recited, the mezuzah is firmly fixed to the main doorpost of the home (to the right as one enters)" ("mezuzah," Britannica Online). 14 the sizzle of chang music Da Conho is probably imagining here the sound of a small dulcimer, an instrument that would have found its way to the Middle East in the hands of Russian Jews. 34 Love for an object, this was new to him Given Profane's fearfulness in the face of the inanimate, this is hardly surprising. Da Conho's obsession with the machine gun and Rachel's with her MG are in a sense merely preparatory, laying the thematic groundwork for our encounter with the more complex fetishism of the lady V.
Whatever insight is afforded in either case appears to depend upon the suspension of the norms 24 ACOMPANIONTOV. of everyday experience, whether of the inexorable forward march of time or of the motion imparted by the earth's spin. Godolphin claims to have been given a glimpse of the existential abyss,- in Rachel's view, Schoenmaker's patients are actively seeking what amounts to the annihilation of the self beneath the trappings of cosmetic surgery. Cain sees the clock as "a metaphor for the closed system.
A Companion to V. by J. Kerry Grant