Weisenburger's Companion to Gravity's Rainbow

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Because we inaugurated the Gravity's Rainbow wiki with the porting over of Professor Don Larsson's "Companion's Companion to Gravity's Rainbow, we should explain that the original purpose of Professor Larsson's Companion was to correct the many errors and oversights in the original Steven Weisenburger's A Gravity's Rainbow Companion (1988). In 2006, a second edition was published in which Weisenburger appropriated most of Professor Larsson's corrected references. However, to the astute eye, there still remain, in the second edition, errors and oversights which will be corrected in this wiki and elsewhere over time. But in entries where Weisenburger's interpretations are challenged, they do for the most part refer to the original edition, of which there are probably thousands still in circulation and being used.

Steven Weisenburger’s A Gravity’s Rainbow Companion (Athens, Ga: University of Georgia Press, 1988) was an important contribution to understanding basic elements of Thomas Pynchon’s complex and controversial novel. As readers of Gravity’s Rainbow know, the text is rich in allusion to a wide array of people, places, events, ideas and cultural artifacts. Weisenburger did a great service for readers and scholars in explicating and clarifying many references and issues in the book. However, as Weisenburger himself acknowledges, there are gaps and errors in his guide, many of them having to do with film and other aspects of popular culture.

Professor Donald Larsson's "A Companion's Companion to Gravity's Rainbow" website filled in many of the "misses" in Weisenburger's original Companion and Weisenburger appropriated (and gratefully acknowledged) most of Professor Larsson's website (as well as others' websites) into his second edition (Athens, Ga: University of Georgia Press, 2006). However, Weisenburger has still missed a number of connections and references, as he would probably again acknowledge.

Professor Larsson has graciously allowed this Gravity's Rainbow wiki to copy over the content of his Companion's Companion to the wiki's page-by-page annotation section, thus allowing the hundreds of fine Pynchon Wiki contributors to bring to bear their collected knowledge and insight to continually expand the novel's interpretations and reveal its seemingly endless structures.

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