Pynchon Wiki: Gravity's Rainbow

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Welcome to the Gravity's Rainbow Wiki!

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Order Gravity's Rainbow

This is the wiki for Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow. Besides using the Alphabetical Index and the page-by-page annotation, you can also take a look at Gravity's Rainbow covers, read the reviews, or entertain some theories on the source of the title.

Great article in Wired about Gravity's Rainbow on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of its publication. Check it out!

Review of Weisenburger's 2nd ed. of A Gravity's Rainbow Companion
Professor Don Larrson, he of the Companion's Companion to
Gravity's Rainbow (which was rolled into this wiki), reviews Steve Weisenburger's the second, revised edition of A Gravity’s Rainbow Companion: Sources and Contexts for Pynchon’s Novel. Read it....

Marc Getter - Designer & Illustrator
Marc Getter (1947-2008) illustrated and designed the original covers for Gravity's Rainbow, in 1972 (published in 1973). Read his bio, as well a pictures of Marc, his wife, and some of his watercolors from the 1990s.

Hawaiian cultural references in Gravity's Rainbow

How to Use this Wiki

There are two major ways to use this wiki. The first is the Gravity's Rainbow Alphabetical Index, used to keep track of the myriad characters, real and imagined, as well as events, arcana, and lots of other stuff. The second is the Spoiler-Free Annotations by Page, which allows the reader to look up and contribute allusions and references while reading the book, in a convenient and spoiler-free manner. These two sections are so far almost entirely different, but we're working on integrating them.

Apart from those, it's up to you.

Alphabetical Index

Information on the characters, events, and everything else in Gravity's Rainbow, organized alphabetically:
Gravity's Rainbow Alpha Guide
A·B·C·D·E·F·G·H·I·J·K·L·M·N·O·P·Q·R·S·T·U·V·W·XYZ top of page

Page by Page Annotations

Beyond the Zero

3-7, 7-16, 17-19, 20-29, 29-37, 37-42, 42-47, 47-53, 53-60, 60-71, 71-72, 72-83, 83-92, 92-113, 114-120, 120-136, 136-144, 145-154, 154-167, 167-174, 174-177

Un Perm' au Casino Herman Goering

181-189, 189-205, 205-226, 226-236, 236-244, 244-249, 249-269, 269-278

In the Zone

279-295, 295-314, 314-329, 329-336, 336-359, 359-371, 371-383, 383-390, 390-392, 392-397, 397-433, 433-447, 448-456, 457-468, 468-472, 473-482, 482-488, 488-491, 492-505, 505-518, 518-525, 525-532, 532-536, 537-548, 549-557, 557-563, 563-566, 567-577, 577-580, 580-591, 591-610, 610-616

The Counterforce

617-626, 626-640, 640-655, 656-663, 663-673, 674-700, 700-706, 706-717, 717-724, 724-733, 733-735, 735-760

Character Map

**Contains Spoilers**
A character map showing how most of the major characters connect together (PDF).

Pynchon Wiki Help and Contributor Guidelines

Click here for help with editing and creating pages.

We have a few conventions we ask that you follow:

  • When creating a new page, if its information pertains to one (and only one) specific Pynchon novel, please categorize it with the appropriate identifier. For example, a page pertaining to Gravity's Rainbow, should use the syntax [[Category:GR]].
  • To open a discussion on an individual listing of the Alpha Index, create one using the entry on Peter Tait as an example. Basically, give it a name that identifies the alpha listing (eg [[Name Discussion|DISCUSSION]]) and notice that the visible name will be "DISCUSSION" in full caps, so it stands out a bit.

External Links

The Modern Word: Gravity's Rainbow
The Fictional Woods - a Pynchon forum
Zak Smith's Illustrations for Each Page of Gravity's Rainbow

Featured Article

"Rocket Power" a review of Gravity's Rainbow by Richard Poirier — One of the best!

Illus. - Charles Shields
American literary critic Richard Poirier's (1925 - 2009) review of Gravity's Rainbow -- one of the first to appear in print -- in the March 3, 1973 issue of The Saturday Review, is one of the most well written and insightful of all the many reviews Pynchon's third novel garnered. In fact, it's an excellent way to prepare for the actual experience of reading the novel, providing a great overview of the novel's structure and plot.

"At thirty-six, Pynchon has established himself as a novelist of major historical importance. More than any other living writer, including Norman Mailer, he has caught the inward movements of our time in outward manifestations of art and technology so that in being historical he must also be marvelously exorbitant. It is probable that he would not like being called "historical." In Gravity's Rainbow, even more than in his previous work, history -- as Norman 0. Brown proposed in Life Against Death -- seen as a form of neurosis, a record of the progressive attempt to impose the human will upon the movements of time. Even the very recording of history is such an effort. History-making man is Faustian man. But while this book offers such Faustian types as a rocket genius named Captain Blicero and a Pavlovian behaviorist named Edward Pointsman, it is evident that they are slaves to the systems they think they master."

Read it...

Marc Getter
Marc Getter, Designer & Illustrator of the original Gravity's Rainbow Cover

Last year, Tim Ware decided to find out more about Marc Getter who did the original Gravity's Rainbow cover design and illustration — the city silhouette with sunburst sky. He wanted to ask Marc about the process of creating that beautiful cover. unfortunately, Marc had died in 2008. However, Tim was able to get in contact with his wife, Linda, who really wanted to assist in creating a page about Marc for the Gravity's Rainbow wiki. Read about Marc Getter and view his wonderful paintings.

Digitization: Progression from Physical to Cyber Space Via Gravity’s Rainbow, and What Meaning We May Find There


At Sixes and Sevens
To be "at sixes and sevens" is an English phrase and idiom, common in the United Kingdom. It is used to describe a state of confusion or disarray.

"He'd never told her, he avoided telling himself, but that was the measure of his faith, as this seventh Christmas of the War came wheeling in another charge at his skinny, shivering flank..." - Gravity's Rainbow, p.126

"A miscount" - Steven C. Weisenburger, A Gravity's Rainbow Companion

Um, not so fast there, Steve...


Below are some of the images you will find on Pynchon Wiki.

Thanks, and enjoy...

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