Fifty-One: An Interpretation of the Bad Mother

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.


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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