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xml:lang="en" lang="en" dir="ltr"> Pages 700-706 - Thomas Pynchon Wiki | Gravity's Rainbow

Pages 700-706

This page-by-page annotation is organized by sections, as delineated by the seven squares (sprockets) which separate each section. The page numbers for this page-by-page annotation are for the original Viking edition (760 pages). Editions by other publishers vary in pagination — the newer Penguin editions are 776 pages; the Bantam edition is 886 pages.

Contributors: Please use a 760-page edition (either the original Viking edition with the orange cover or the Penguin USA edition with the blue cover and rocket diagram — there are plenty on Ebay for around $10) or search the Google edition for the correct page number. Readers: To calculate the Bantam edition use this formula: Bantam page # x 1.165. Before p.50 it's about a page earlier; as you get later in the book, add a page.

Finally, profound thanks to Prof. Don Larsson for providing the foundation for this page-by-page annotation.

Page 701

701.01 Drunkards Three
The title echoes Sergeants 3, a 1962 film starring Frank Sinatra and other Rat Pack members. It is a remake of Gunga Din set in the west, with Sammy Davis, Jr. in the Sam Jaffe role.

Page 702

702.15 recalling Tchaikovsky
Wimpe’s recollection of the composer is prompted by one of the stories concerning his rather mysterious death: that Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) had drunk a glass of unboiled water during a cholera epidemic. While another story had the composer committing suicide because of the supposedly unfavorable reception of his 6th ("Pathetique") Symphony, it is now generally believed that he actually was forced to take poison to avoid the exposure of his love affair with a male member of the imperial family — or maybe it was just kidney failure! Whatever the actual case, Pynchon's reference might have been prompted by Ken Russell's film The Music Lovers (1971), with Richard Chamberlain as Tchaikovsky and which makes pointed reference to the contaminated water story.

Page 703

703.05 Jeaach
The name is another pseudo-German phonetic rendering of an expression of disgust.

Page 705

functions of Moslem angels

The belief in angels is one of the central articles of faith in Islam. Indeed, the Archangel Gabriel dictated the Qur'an to Muhammad. Angels are ministers of God and agents of revelation, who are made of smokeless fire or Divine Light. They have no free will as they follow God's will exclusively. Their functions include recording every human being's actions, placing a soul in a newborn child, maintaining certain environmental conditions of the planet (such as nurturing vegetation and distributing the rain), taking the soul at the time of death and more. They guard the gates of heaven and hell.

Beneath the order of angels is the order of jinn. Jinn have free will.

In 1991, some 17 years after GR appeared, the Russian physicists Igor Novikov and Andrei Lossev published a paper in the journal Classical and Quantum Gravity entitled "The Jinn of the Time Machine: Non-trivial Self-Consistent Solutions" concerning some theoretical issues in time travel. They use the jinn in their thought experiment in a particularly Pynchonian way -- though probably without knowing anything about Pynchon or GR. The jinn essentially move in a circular timespace which at some point make them appear to move against the second law of thermodynamics. As they move forward in time they self-organize and instead of gaining entropy, they lose entropy. (cf. Toomey, David: The New Time Travelers, 2007, pp. 196-202.)

Taking this idea back to GR, it may be that the function of Moslem Angels is to serve as "The Counterforce" that is, to restore order to a world run down to ruin through entropy. An Anti-Slothrop of sorts.



1
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

2
Un Perm' au Casino Herman Goering

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

3
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

4
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

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