Literary Criticism

Download e-book for kindle: A Gravity's Rainbow Companion: Sources and Contexts for by Steven C. Weisenburger

By Steven C. Weisenburger

ISBN-10: 0820328073

ISBN-13: 9780820328072

Including a few 20 percentage to the unique content material, it is a thoroughly up-to-date version of Steven Weisenburger's crucial advisor to Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow. Weisenburger takes the reader web page via web page, frequently line via line, in the course of the welter of old references, medical facts, cultural fragments, anthropological examine, jokes, and puns round which Pynchon wove his tale. Weisenburger absolutely annotates Pynchon's use of languages starting from Russian and Hebrew to such subdialects of English as Forties road speak, drug lingo, and armed forces slang in addition to the extra vague terminology of black magic, Rosicrucianism, and Pavlovian psychology.

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

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

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

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A critique of unquestioned Western assumptions about human nature was needed, but the anthropological critique extended by Bar� thes and Michel Foucault in the 1960s and dogmatized over the following de�cades was shortsighted. It did not look nearly far enough. While structuralism and its more or less rebellious offspring continued in the direction set by early twentieth-�century social sciences, the natural sciences moved in the opposite direction, toward the first comprehensive sci�en�tific attempt to understand human nature in the context of evolution and human, animal, and ar�ti�fi�cial cognition and behavior.

But no, there is a world outside language, and that world does call out for substantive social change. An evolutionary view allows for informed social change. Understanding biological conditions, what causes lead to what effects, makes it more possible to change conditions to achieve desired effects. 32 27 On the Or ig in of Stor ies Nature and Power Some think that the idea of “Nature, red in tooth and claw” must valÂ� orize power and class. 34 Nature versus Human Singular it y? Humans have language, advanced technology, and high culture.

2 This happens to be false: our minds and behavior are always shaped by the interaction€of€nature and nurture, or genes and environment, including the cultural environment. 3 Even on an evÂ�eryday level we could not engage with other humans without an implicit theory of human 19 On the Or ig in of Stor ies nature. We do not respond to other people as if they were dogs, mice, or chimpanzees. Bared teeth on a Rottweiler mean one thing but something very different on a smiling human face. 4 Evolutionary aspects of mind may not be as accessible in the fossil record as we would like, but evidence has converged from many sources across species, cultures, eons, and life-Â�stages—from evolutionary theory; from observation and experiment with animals and human infants, children, and adults; from game theory, arÂ�tiÂ�fiÂ�cial intelligence, and computer simulations; from clinical and cognitive psychology and neuroimaging—that many aspects of our minds and behavior have been conÂ�figÂ�ured over evolutionary time.

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A Gravity's Rainbow Companion: Sources and Contexts for Pynchon's Novel (Revised 2nd Edition) by Steven C. Weisenburger


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