A Companion to V. by J. Kerry Grant

By J. Kerry Grant

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

The 1000's of notes that include the Companion are keyed to the 3 most generally stated variations of V. such a lot notes are interpretive, yet a few additionally offer historic and cultural contexts or aid to resurrect different nuances of which means. since it doesn't represent a selected “reading” of, or “take” on, the radical, the Companion will attract quite a lot of clients. instead of trying to make ultimate experience of the radical, the Companion exposes and demystifies Pynchon’s purpose to play with our traditional attitudes approximately fiction.

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Even supposing that Herbert was not conceived until eight months after Sidney meets Victoria for the first time, the young world adventurer would have had to linger in his mother's womb for more than a year in order to be born in 1901. Eddins steers a middle ground between the literal and the figurative in this matter, claiming that Victoria's "seduction of Sidney in 1899 is close enough to Herbert's birthdate to provide a significant maternal analogue, and the ominous gestation of the century to come" (83).

He found himself in a land no one had penetrated before; where order was an accidental relation obnoxious to nature; artificial compulsion imposed on motion; against which every free energy of the universe revolted; and which, being merely occasional, resolved itself back into anarchy at last" (quoted in Cooley 317). Cooley goes on to point out that Stencil's singular view of history indicates that his education is not that of the new century. "If [Stencil] is the 'century's child,'" Tanner argues, "then he is by the same token searching for the century's 'mother' or, more generally, who or what it was that gave birth to the twentieth century and caused it to move so rapidly towards world wars, genocide, nuclear bombs—a whole arsenal of events and inventions, and dehumaniza- C H A P T E R TWO 27 tions—which would indeed seem to be accelerating the approach of total entropy" (TP 45).

Dugdale, however, reminds us that, while "the Crew are degenerate representatives of their era, . . postwar culture proper consists of their heroes, who are either mentioned by name in the text (Varese, lonesco, de Kooning, Wittgenstein, Sartre, Beckett) or alluded to through parody (Pollock and Rauschenberg via the visual artists, Coleman and Coltrane via Sphere)" (101). Hawthorne finds a sexual pun in the name, asserting that the Crew are indeed "a 'hole7 sick crew" (83). 35 The word doesn't mean an/thing The novel would appear to bear Profane out, providing nothing much to help the reader retain any faith in the concept.

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