Sixty-Three: Smegma for a Bit of Cookery

04.36: Gravity’s Rainbow

In which we continue our discussion of The Counterforce section of Gravity’s Rainbow with a look at chapters seven and eight.

At one point, Bo mentions an idea that no one in the book sings songs all on his or her own. This turns out not to true when, later in the book, Big Podine will sing a song by himself. This may or may not support his argument, however. We’ll leave it to you to decide.

3 thoughts on “Sixty-Three: Smegma for a Bit of Cookery

  1. I’ve been listening along for a while and been extremely surprised that you haven’t discussed the clear allusions to Marxism throughout the novel. Now I know why!

      1. Knowing everything would be quite boring so it’s probably for the best.

        Gravity’s Rainbow is vast enough and structured in a way that any reader can find a lot in that reflects their own range of interests but I think there are a lot of clear references to Marx and later writers inspired by him, especially the Frankfurt School and the Situationists. I think that an understanding of Marxist theory is essential for a coherent conception of the relationship between Preterite and Elect, it makes a lot more sense as a dynamic of class relations rather than a conspiracy or a higher power.

        Since i’m here I might as well mention that I’ve always thought that the episode with the homosexual former concentration camp victims setting up their own camp which troubled Bo so much was an allusion to fact that some Holocaust survivors participated in the Nakba in 1948.

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