February 17, 2013

Headline of the Year (So Far)


Who says a major in English Lit is wasted? The Boston Globe decided to use the first line from Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow: See the whole front page here.


"A screaming comes across the sky. It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now.

"It is too late. The Evacuation still proceeds, but it's all theatre. There are no lights inside the cars. No light anywhere. Above him lift girders old as an iron queen, and glass somewhere far above that would let the light of day through. But it's night. He's afraid of the way the glass will fall--soon--it will be a spectacle: the fall of a crystal palace. But coming down in total blackout, without one glint of light, only great invisible crashing." -- Thomas Pynchon: Gravity's Rainbow (opening)

Posted by gerardvanderleun at February 17, 2013 11:47 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Yeah, that's also about as far as I got into Gravity's Rainbow. Dull, dull, book. Is there a law that celebrated prose needs to be pointless, wordy, unlikely, and dull?

Posted by: chuck at February 17, 2013 12:59 PM

Why yes, there is such a law. It is known as "The Law of the Times' Boring Book Editor." And it is sacred.

Posted by: vanderleun at February 17, 2013 3:06 PM

God, this is great. I've been feeling like a hopeless naif ever since Thomas Pynchon put me to sleep in the '60s.

After failing to stay awake through Ayn Rand and James Joyce, I just figured it was a lost cause.

Posted by: Rob De Witt at February 17, 2013 5:58 PM

I can remember reading (more like skimming on my part) a short story called "The Dead" by James Joyce in college freshman English. We were required to write an essay about some aspect of the story. Man, I was straining to get a single page out of the topic I chose, "Theme and Symbolism in The Dead". I got a "D", and a written scolding from the teacher on my returned paper saying, "Much too broad a topic about this story" (or something to that effect). Thank God I studied engineering. Why waste time on Thomas Pynchon when you can read something truly entertaining by, say, Pat Conroy ("Lords of Discipline">>>>>anything by Pynchon or Joyce).

YMMV Chuck

Posted by: dhmosquito at February 18, 2013 3:03 PM

That was well played, even if that book sucks.

Turgid; meandering; pendulous; full of neither sound nor fury, signifying nothing that isn't tugid, meandering, and pendulous.

(Look on my Oxford comma ye mighty and despair...)

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