Le dit du Pynch

« Unlike sound or light or one of them, news travel at queer velocities and not usually even in straight lines. » (p. 313)

« “I wish I were not here (…) I wish I had never seen these Halls of Night, that I were not cursed to return and return. You have been so easy to fool –most of you anyway- you are such simpletons at the fair, gawking at your Wonders of Science, expecting as your entitlement all the Blessings of Progress, it is your faith, your pathetic balloon-boy faith” » (p. 555)

« Reader, she bit him. » (p. 666)

« Hundreds, by now thousands, of narratives, all equally valid – what can this mean? » (p. 682)

« “Those poor innocents (…), back at the beginning of this… they must have been boys, so much like us… They knew they were standing before a great chasm nine could see the bottom of. But they launched themselves into it anyway. Cheering and laughing. It was their own grand ‘Adventure’. They were juvenile heroes of a World-Narrative – unreflective and free, they went on hurling themselves into those depths by tens of thousands until one day they awoke, those who were still alive, and instead of finding themselves posed nobly against some dramatic moral geography, they were down cringing in a mud trench swarming with rats and smelling of shit and death.” » (p. 1023-1024)

« “Gentlemen” Randolph pleaded. He gestured out the windows, where long-range artillery shells, till quite recently objects of mystery, glittering with the colors of late afternoon, could be seen just reaching the tops of their trajectories and pausing in the air for an instant before the deadly plunge back to Earth. Among distant sounds of repeated explosion could be heard the strident massed buzzing of military aircraft. Below, across the embattled countryside, the first searchlights of evening were coming on. “We signed nothing that included any of this”, Randolph reminded everyone. » (p. 1025-1026)

« May we imagine for them a vector, passing through the invisible, the “imaginary”, the unimaginable, carrying them safely into this postwar Paris where the taxis, battered veterans of the mythic Marne, now carry only lovers and cheerful drunks, and music which cannot be marched to goes on uninterrupted all night, in the bars and bals musettes for the dancers who will always be there, and the nights will be dark enough for whatever visions must transpire across them, no longer to be broken into by light displaced from Hell, and the difficulties they find are no more productive of evil than the opening and closing of too many doors, or of too few. A vector through the night into a morning of hosed pavements, birds heard everywhere but unseen, bakery smells, filtered green light, a courtyard still in shade… » (p. 1082-1083)

« They fly toward grace. » (p. 1085)

Thomas Pynchon, Against the Day, Penguin Press, $35.00


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