By J. Kerry Grant

ISBN-10: 0820322504

ISBN-13: 9780820322506

To the uninitiated, Thomas Pynchon’s V. turns out to defy comprehension with its open-ended and fragmented narrative, large forged of characters (some one hundred fifty of them), and wide selection of usually vague references. J. Kerry Grant’s Companion to “V.” takes us throughout the novel bankruptcy through bankruptcy, breaking via its daunting floor via summarizing occasions and clarifying Pynchon’s many allusions. The Companion attracts generally from latest serious and explicative paintings on V. to indicate the variety of interpretations that the unconventional can support.

The countless numbers of notes that include the Companion are keyed to the 3 most generally stated variations of V. so much notes are interpretive, yet a few additionally supply historic and cultural contexts or support to resurrect different nuances of which means. since it doesn't represent a selected “reading” of, or “take” on, the radical, the Companion will entice a variety of clients. instead of trying to make ultimate feel of the unconventional, the Companion exposes and demystifies Pynchon’s rationale to play with our traditional attitudes approximately fiction.

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With a variety of forms of sexual expression, many of which might be termed "forbidden," reinforces this side of the ambiguity. 83 clownish Stencil Stencil's mocking self-characterization as the fool serves as our warning not to be too hasty in following his lead. As readers we are quite aware of being engaged in a quest not dissimilar from Stencil's, and Pynchon typically wants us to think about the implications of our need to make sense of the multiple strands of meaning that the novel spins for us to follow.

Like CHAD in Britain its origin is a matter of conjecture. One suggestion is that a certain shipyard inspector at Quincy, Mass, chalked up the words on equipment he had inspected" ("Kilroy," Brewer's Dictionary}. "The ubiquitous graffito of soldiers and sailors, Kilroy, an image of the schlemihl, will reappear in the novel [see, particularly, PC470], and here suggests that Profane is a weak deity" (Slade 95). 1 I the guts of something inanimate The contradictory juxtaposition of "guts" and "inanimate" may be read as an instance of that instinctively anthropomorphizing tendency which Profane evinces in his effort to fend off the fullest effects of his confrontations with the inanimate.

Surely the reverse would be the case, making Profane the prodigal son for disowning the voice that invites him home. Note that when Profane does respond to the voice, his parents are absent (PC408) and the fatted calf in the form of all the food that is in evidence turns out only to be the usual consequence of his mother's compulsion to feed. 4I Slab "Pynchon probably took Slab's name from Philosophical Investigations where Wittgenstein hypothesizes a minimal language between a builder and his assistant which would consist of nouns like 'block7 or 'slab7" (Seed 75).

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