Fifty-One: An Interpretation of the Bad Mother

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04.25: Gravity’s Rainbow

In which we continue our discussion of Gravity’s Rainbow with a look at chapters 17, 18 and 19 of Book Three.

Notes:

Alan and Liam mention the philosopher Herbert Marcuse. Here’s some information about him.

Michelle and Bo talk about the geography of Swinemünde. You can find a good map at Wikipedia.

Here’s a brief summary of the Stations of the Cross. Catholic churches usually have images of each station in some way, be they carvings, woodcuts, stained-glass, etc. Doing image searches on each of these should bring some artistic results.

2 thoughts on “Fifty-One: An Interpretation of the Bad Mother

  1. Re: the dissolution of Slothrop

    The lead character in “The Recognitions” disappears around a hundred pages before the end. He gets more and more fractured and vague and irrelevant. It’s not a mystery, with all the other characters looking for him. He just drops off the page. If I recall (from thirty years ago), if you read closely, he pops up briefly in a crowd scene, maybe a funeral, recognizable in the text by characteristic speech or clothing.

    Gaddis’ “The Recognitions” is a heavy influence on “V” and GR. It bears mentioning. Gaddis may have echoed a mystery of “Ulysses” — who is McIntosh? There is a man no one recognizes at Paddy Dignam’s funeral, a man in a mackintosh raincoat. Reading the newpaper later listing of the mourners present, a Mr. M’Intosh is included.

  2. Interesting, Tim – thanks! I haven’t read The Recognitions, but it’s been on my list for a while. I’ll try to remember to mention this reference before the end of the GR project. We’ll have a lot more discussion of Slothrop’s fate in “The Counterforce” discussions.

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