Twenty-Eight: Welcome, Good Luck

04.02: Gravity’s Rainbow

In which we kick off season four with the first four episodes of Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow.

Note: For this season, when we refer to “episodes” we mean a section beginning with the seven squares.

5 thoughts on “Twenty-Eight: Welcome, Good Luck

  1. Hi guys,

    First off, its my first comment to you all so I just wanted to say that I’ve been really enjoying the podcast! I was about halfway through the Zone when the covid quarantine started and as an American stranded in Europe GR started to feel too close to reality. So I put it down for a while and without the podcast I think it would have been for good!

    I learned something interesting recently about bananas that I wanted to share. Im posting here since I think it was in this ep when Irish fella mentioned that England rationed Bananas during the war, and they became a symbol of some sort of lost luxury. A colonial luxury, no less.

    Ok but what I learned is that bananas are genetically identical, which means any (genetic) causality established transfers to all bananas. This makes them extremely susceptible to disease since something deadly to one banana is deadly to ALL bananas. This happened in the 1950s when the Gros Michel species — which was *the* banana of the times — went beyond the zero thanks to the “Panama disease” fungal infection. So the bananas in the breakfast scene here are probably Gros Michels and this scene could be their swan song.

    By the way, the Cavendish — the banana that we all enjoy today — replaced the Gros Michel shortly after its commercial extinction. Recently (August 2019 recently) a similarly untreatable deadly banana fungus has finally made its way into farms in the Caribbean after a decade of counter measures. So the Cavendish could now be facing its own extinction.

    1. I’ve never met anyone who’s gone as deep into bananas as you. Thanks for the info, and thanks for listening!

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