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Re: [johnbarth] Gravity's Rainbow (was: No Subject)

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  • scott wilkerson
    Indeed, the world is replete with hidden objects and also, as Beaudelaire reminds us, sweet mysteries and festival loves. Of course, he was speaking of The
    Message 1 of 11 , Jan 19, 2001

       Indeed, the world is replete with hidden objects and also, as Beaudelaire reminds us, "sweet mysteries and festival loves." Of course, he was speaking of The Isle of Cythera as a metaphor for the power of eros in human imagiantion. There exists a vast speculative literature on Pynchon's identity. Indeed, in the 70s and 80, certain groups propagated the idea that "he" was no person at all, but a colloquium of Ameican novelists, including Barth.

      As for Barth, he has his own sweet mystery in the rumor that he was once a CIA operative.  Critic Don Noble once approached Barth on this question and while Barth was comically elusive and turned in a great disquisition on Sabbatical and Tidewater, he did not finally answer question, that is, he neither confirmed nor denied.


       

        Mal McCormack <annemac@...> wrote:



      Kalyx,

      You and I have approvals in common.  But I think I would sleep better
      at night if I knew who Pynchon really was, or for that matter who
      Kalyx really is.  ;-)



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    • Mark Brawner
      ... I just found an interesting videocassette for sale: [John Barth Air Date: 07/16/98 Host Don Noble speaks with John Barth, one of the nation s most
      Message 2 of 11 , Jan 19, 2001
        >Critic Don Noble once approached Barth on this question...

        I just found an interesting videocassette for sale:

        [John Barth

        Air Date: 07/16/98

        Host Don Noble speaks with John Barth, one of the nation's most
        distinguished men of letters, about his preoccupation in his fiction
        with twins and Shahrazad, the enchanting storyteller from A Thousand
        and One Arabian Nights.]

        http://www.cptr.ua.edu/bookmark/98.htm
      • Mal McCormack
        ... Now, to my mind that gets a bit more nearer the mark, but there s still an unsatisfying sensation of incompleteness. ... Hmm. I once asked Barth very
        Message 3 of 11 , Jan 20, 2001
          --- In johnbarth@egroups.com, scott wilkerson <kalyx00@y...> wrote:
          >
          >There exists a vast speculative literature on Pynchon's identity.
          >Indeed, in the 70s and 80, certain groups propagated the idea that
          >"he" was no person at all, but a colloquium of Ameican novelists,
          >including Barth.

          Now, to my mind that gets a bit more nearer the mark, but there's
          still an unsatisfying sensation of incompleteness.

          > As for Barth, he has his own sweet mystery in the rumor that he was
          >once a CIA operative. Critic Don Noble once approached Barth on
          >this question and while Barth was comically elusive and turned in a
          >great disquisition on Sabbatical and Tidewater, he did not finally
          >answer question, that is, he neither confirmed nor denied.

          Hmm. I once asked Barth very directly if he was Luke Rhinehart,
          author of "The Diceman" (1971). I didn't get a straight answer to
          that one, either.
        • Kris Majer
          ... he was no person at all, but a colloquium of Ameican novelists, including Barth. What s this about Pynchon being a group of writers? Sounds crazy enough
          Message 4 of 11 , Jan 21, 2001
            > Indeed, in the 70s and 80, certain groups propagated the idea that
            "he" was no person at all, but a colloquium of Ameican novelists,
            including Barth.

            What's this about Pynchon being a group of writers? Sounds crazy
            enough to actually be true. Any sources (articles, etc. - preferably
            available from the net) on the subject? Much as I read and heard of
            Pynchon, that one piece of information never surfaced, and it is
            quite stimulating. Reminds me of Philip K. Dick and what he said
            about Stanisław Lem, Poland's best sci-fi writer - that LEM is an
            acronym for a secret subversive organisation, not a person. The
            difference being, of course, that Lem (if it is him, and not some
            Billy Shears-like deadringer or simply someone else) is available for
            viewing anytime, active and eagerly answering questions concerning
            his art. Perhaps too eagerly, even. But that's no matter.

            Anyway, interesting stuff. So long, amigos.
          • Mal McCormack
            Stanilaw Lem, yes. Solaris is a great story. The movie wasn t bad either.
            Message 5 of 11 , Jan 23, 2001
              Stanilaw Lem, yes.
              "Solaris" is a great story. The movie wasn't bad either.
            • Mal McCormack
              ... *Stanislaw* Forgive my typo, Kris. It s late at night . . .
              Message 6 of 11 , Jan 23, 2001
                --- In johnbarth@egroups.com, "Mal McCormack" <annemac@a...> wrote:
                >
                > Stanilaw Lem, yes.
                > "Solaris" is a great story. The movie wasn't bad either.

                *Stanislaw*
                Forgive my typo, Kris. It's late at night . . .
              • Kris Majer
                ... The book is good indeed, though I have to say that the original Polish version suffers a lot from stylistic trouble. What I m about to reveal here is that
                Message 7 of 11 , Jan 23, 2001
                  > "Solaris" is a great story. The movie wasn't bad either.

                  The book is good indeed, though I have to say that the original
                  Polish version suffers a lot from stylistic trouble. What I'm about
                  to reveal here is that Lem is perhaps not the greatest stylist - I
                  don't know how that comes across in translation (I am obsessed with
                  translation, by the way - hoping it will eventually be my primary
                  occupation). Anyhow, he has some great ideas and good stories to tell
                  and that's a lot already. Haven't seen the picture, but since it's
                  Tarkowski, I can imagine it being exceptional. As far as I know, Lem
                  disowned the film altogether or something like that - didn't like it,
                  that's for sure. Which doesn't prevent the film from being good,
                  obviously (ditto Forman's "Cuckoo's Nest"). As for typo, didn't see
                  it the first time anyway.

                  Barth-note: working on a translation of "Click" again. Started it
                  about half a year ago, so when I got back to it, it needed a whole
                  lot of polishing and rephrasing. The dictionary bit is the hardest
                  part, I mean the dictionary bit in the story, when the idea of
                  hypertexted words is explained. Another problem (one of literally
                  hundreds!) is whether the title should be a noun (the sound of
                  clicking) or an imperative ("Click!"): unfortunately the two cannot
                  blend into one in Polish. I will have to choose either: so far I've
                  been more or less defending the imperative, as the words on screen
                  encourage/invite the characters to click on them.

                  Wonder what I'll do with it when/if it's finished. Can't print it
                  anywhere, except a few copies for my friends (who have been waiting
                  patiently and can't enjoy the original due to language barriers), for
                  obvious reasons. Do you think obtaining the copyright would be a very
                  difficult business?

                  Well, I'd better finish it first. Hopefully, in a few weeks' time, in
                  between Giles. Ah! The agony of waiting.

                  K.
                • Mark Brawner
                  ... occupation). I recently corresponded with a translator, Doug Robinson (University of Mississippi), who is also a Barth enthusiast. He did a study of
                  Message 8 of 11 , Jan 23, 2001
                    >(I am obsessed with translation, by the way - hoping it will eventually be
                    >my primary
                    occupation).

                    I recently corresponded with a translator, Doug Robinson (University of
                    Mississippi), who is also a Barth enthusiast. He did a study of "Giles
                    Goat-Boy," and Barth figures in his book "American Apocalypses". Take a
                    look at his site; you may want to talk shop.

                    http://members.tripod.com/douglas.robinson/index.htm

                    -Mark
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