A Gravity's Rainbow Companion: Sources and Contexts for by Steven C. Weisenburger

By Steven C. Weisenburger

Including a few 20 percentage to the unique content material, this can be a thoroughly up-to-date version of Steven Weisenburger's integral advisor to Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow. Weisenburger takes the reader web page by way of web page, frequently line through line, in the course of the welter of old references, clinical info, cultural fragments, anthropological learn, jokes, and puns round which Pynchon wove his tale. Weisenburger totally annotates Pynchon's use of languages starting from Russian and Hebrew to such subdialects of English as Nineteen Forties road speak, drug lingo, and army slang in addition to the extra vague terminology of black magic, Rosicrucianism, and Pavlovian psychology.

The Companion additionally finds the underlying association of Gravity's Rainbow--how the book's myriad references shape styles of that means and constitution that experience eluded either admirers and critics of the novel.

The Companion is keyed to the pages of the primary American variants of Gravity's Rainbow: Viking/Penguin (1973), Bantam (1974), and the precise, repaginated Penguin paperback (2000) honoring the unconventional as certainly one of twenty "Great Books of the 20 th Century."

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Additional resources for A Gravity's Rainbow Companion: Sources and Contexts for Pynchon's Novel (Revised 2nd Edition)

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It is therefore hardly a surprise when that same poet combines two other hitherto separate mysteries of the early thirteenth century: the Knights Templar and the Holy Grail.  King Baldwin II and the Patriarch of Jerusalem welcomed it in 1118, therefore, when Hugues of Payens (Champagne), who was born in a chateau only a few miles north of Troyes, offered his small band of knights— their initial number is traditionally given as nine—to protect pilgrims seeking to visit Jerusalem, the River Jordan, Galilee, and other places sacred to Christians.

As their influence in the East waned, their power shifted to Europe. While they fought without strategic sophistication, often outmaneuvered by the Arabs and notably by Saladin, they enjoyed enormous tax- and tithe-free success in finance and commerce, becoming as bankers to popes and monarchs more of an international financial organization than a military force. During the twelft h century their promissory notes provided the principal and safest means of transferring money from country to country while their castles and manors offered secure deposit vaults for goods and treasure.

A symptom of the widespread interest in the cult can be seen in Plutarch’s treatise (c. 120 CE). With the gradual victory of Christianity, the worship once again died out. The Mystery Cults of Antiquity 23 The Cult of Isis: Apuleius’s The Golden Ass Against this historical background we can now turn to the second major example from antiquity, in which the quest for forbidden knowledge involves a true cult and not simply a loose coven of frenzied women. Apuleius’s Metamorphoses, better known as The Golden Ass, the only detailed account of a mystery cult surviving from classical antiquity, while not wholly autobiographical, appears to be based on the author’s firsthand experiences with magic and cults—although there is no evidence that he was ever initiated into the cult of Isis.

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