Re: [johnbarth] Gravity's Rainbow (was: No Subject)
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:
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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>Critic Don Noble once approached Barth on this question...I just found an interesting videocassette for sale:
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.]
- --- In email@example.com, scott wilkerson <kalyx00@y...> wrote:
>Now, to my mind that gets a bit more nearer the mark, but there's
>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,
still an unsatisfying sensation of incompleteness.
> As for Barth, he has his own sweet mystery in the rumor that he wasHmm. I once asked Barth very directly if he was Luke Rhinehart,
>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.
author of "The Diceman" (1971). I didn't get a straight answer to
that one, either.
> Indeed, in the 70s and 80, certain groups propagated the idea that"he" was no person at all, but a colloquium of Ameican novelists,
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.
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Mal McCormack" <annemac@a...> wrote:
> Stanilaw Lem, yes.
> "Solaris" is a great story. The movie wasn't bad either.
Forgive my typo, Kris. It's late at night . . .
> "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
Well, I'd better finish it first. Hopefully, in a few weeks' time, in
between Giles. Ah! The agony of waiting.
>(I am obsessed with translation, by the way - hoping it will eventually beoccupation).
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.
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