How old IS Bianca?

Slothrop thinks, "Bianca's a knockout, alright: 11 or 12, dark and lovely [...]" (p.463), but how old is Bianca, really? Well ...

  • Bianca is conceived during the filming of Alpdrücken ("I think Bianca is [Schlepzig's] child. She was conceived while we were filming this." - p.395)
  • Ilse was conceived after Franz Pökler saw Alpdrücken ("he knew that had to be the night, Alpdrücken night, that Ilse was conceived." - p.397)
  • Leni had already given birth to Ilse when she was seeing Peter Sachsa, e.g. "Ilse is awake, and crying. [...] They ought to try Peter after all. He'll have milk." (p.163); and Sachsa is killed during a street action in 1930 ("Taken forcibly over in 1930 by a blow from a police truncheon [...]" - p.152)
  • Placing Bianca's conception, say, 6 months to a year before Ilse's (depending on how long it took for Alpdrücken to reach the theatres and how long it took Franz Pökler to go see it), Bianca's birth would have been in 1928 or 1929.
  • Slothrop meets Bianca aboard the Anubis in 1945.

Thus Bianca must be 16 or 17, yes? (Thanks to John M. Krafft and to Bernard Duyfhuizen, of Pynchon Notes, for the above sleuthing.)

Gravity's Rainbow Alpha Guide
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