2006-06-03 05:25

In the Zone

GR is still going strong: Slothrop is about to ditch his pig suit, so Marvy’s castration and the bombing of Hiroshima are only hours away; it so much richer than I ever appreciated when last I read it, in the late 80s. Amazing what a difference of 19 years can make. The collective cultural deathwish; dehumanization thru the industrialization of everything; apocalyptic obsession with polarities: themes that have only gotten more terrifyingly relevant since August 6th, 1945. Only thru gentleness, thru staying on the edges, thru pledging allegience to softness, diversity, complexity, can we even begin to hope to find some unmarked exit out of this nightmare. I remain hopeful only because (as Tolkien points out) despair assumes a foreknowledge that is by definition impossible, and is therefore as hubristic as that of the masters of war, who cling to deathlike certainties as fearfully as do the pacifist nihilists… Time isn’t a line, or even a thing (tho saying can make it seem so); history cannot come to an end (tho histories can); ideas can (and indeed must) be forgotten, and the mountains and rivers persist; the cosmos (or what you will) is fleeting: it flows, and moves on, and we can scarcely step into it even once.

Also:

  • Writing like mad. Three irons in the fire. Or maybe one iron in three different fires. Nuff said about that.
  • I got certified, so now I’m really dangerous.
  • Freetime? We don’t need no stinkin’ freetime.
  • “Take up and read; take up and read.” Read what? Well, y’know. Whatever. (As always, extra credit to those who can identify my source.)
  • Also (random thought here, just cuz): the 20th century ended at the END of the year 2000. Seriously. Look at a calendar. It’s the same reason why we called it the “20th” century even though all the actual years began with a 19… Think about it: 1 to 10, 11 to 20. Get it? Okay, I just thought I’d remind y’all. It’s not important, really, but it’s just kinda annoying, like referring to Leonardo as “Da Vinci” (as if “Da Vinci” were his last name or something. Which it isn’t. You knew that too, right? Of course. Just keep nodding like you know what I’m talking about; I’ll shut up now).
  • You know how when sometimes you’re in a good mood, I mean a really good mood, and you get kind of pissy, almost mean? a sort of cranky, pissed off joy? Sure sure, sometimes you’ll be all, “I love everything, butterflies and gumdrops for everyone, it’s on me” — but sometimes you’ll be like, “fuck all the drooling morons and ignorant fools: they can’t slow ME down! Ra Ra for Red Rockinghorse! Contra mundum!” Well… guess which sort of good mood I’m in right now.
  • The small rain down can rain.
  • (Oh jeez, I think I better get back to Proust soon, b/c I can’t avoid the inevitable forever: Mason & Dixon, The Recognitions, Finnegans Wake…)

pynchon


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Rocketman Was Here So. The Proust has stalled. This is okay with me; I need time to digest all that has happened. I reached the end of Vol 3 at the end of January, and
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Keep Cool, but Care So, I finished GR last night. So much more beautiful and obscene than I could possibly have fathomed as a callow teenager. And I have glimpsed more