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Thomas Pynchon’s “Gravity’s Rainbow” Quotes (32 Quotes)


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  • But it is a curve each of them feels, unmistakably. It is the parabola. They must have guessed, once or twice -- guessed and refused to believe -- that everything, always, collectively, had been moving toward that purified shape latent in the sky, that shape of no surprise, no second chance, no return. Yet they do move forever under it, reserved for its own black-and-white bad news certainly as if it were the rainbow, and they its children. . . .
    (Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow")

  • So generation after generation of men in love with pain and passivity serve out their time in the Zone, silent, redolent of faded sperm, terrified of dying, desperately addicted to the comforts others sell them, however useless, ugly or shallow, willing to have life defined for them by men whose only talent is for death.
    (Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow")

  • But Lord Blatherard Osmo was able at last to devote all of his time to Novi Pazar. Early in 1939, he was discovered mysteriously suffocated in a bathtub full of tapioca pudding, at the home of a Certain Viscountess. Some have seen in this the hand of the Firm.
    (Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow")

  • The hand of Providence creeps among the stars, giving Slothrop the finger.
    (Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow")

  • Colonies are the outhouses of the European soul, where a fellow can let his pants down and relax, enjoy the smell of his own shit.
    (Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow")


  • The magic in these Masonic rituals is very, very old. And way back in those days, it worked. As time went on, and it started being used for spectacle, to consolidate what were only secular appearances of power, it began to lose its zip. But the words, moves, and machinery have been more or less faithfully carried down over the millennia, through the grim rationalizing of the World, and so the magic is still there, though latent, needing only to touch the right sensitive head to reassert itself.
    (Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow")

  • Danger's over, Banana Breakfast is saved.
    (Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow")

  • The Man has a branch office in each of our brains, his corporate emblem is a white albatross, each local rep has a cover known as the Ego, and their mission in this world is Bad Shit. We do know what's going on, and we let it go on. As long as we can see them, stare at them, those massively moneyed, once in a while. As long as they allow us a glimpse, however rarely. We need that. And they know it - how often, under what conditions...
    (Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow")

  • Darkness invades the dreams of the glassblower. Of all the unpleasantries his dreams grab in out of the night air, an extinguished light is the worst. Light in his dreams, was always hope: the basic moral hope. As the contacts break helically away, hope turns to darkness, and the glassblower wakes sharply tonight crying, Who? Who?
    (Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow")

  • The Santa Monica Freeway is traditionally the scene of every form of automotive folly known to man. It is not white and well-bred like the San Diego, nor as treacherously engineered as the Pasadena, nor quite as ghetto-suicidal as the Harbor. No, one hesitates to say it, but the Santa Monica is a freeway for freaks.
    (Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow")

  • Fickt nicht mit dem Raketemensch!
    (Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow")

  • There is no real direction here, neither lines of power nor cooperation. Decisions are never really made - at best they manage to emerge, from a chaos of peeves, whims, hallucinations and all around assholery.
    (Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow")

  • He gazes through sunlight's buttresses, back down the refectory at the others, wallowing in their plenitude of bananas, thick palatals of their hunger lost somewhere in the stretch of morning between them and himself. A hundred miles of it, so suddenly. Solitude, even among the meshes of this war, can when it wishes so take him by the blind gut and touch, as now, possessively. Pirate's again some other side of a window, watching strangers eat breakfast.
    (Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow")

  • There is nothing so loathsome as a sentimental surrealist.
    (Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow")

  • If there is something comforting - religious, if you want - about paranoia, there is still also anti-paranoia, where nothing is connected to anything, a condition not many of us can bear for long.
    (Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow")


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