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


    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...


    It's been a prevalent notion. Fallen sparks. Fragments of vessels broken at the Creation. And someday, somehow, before the end, a gathering back to home. A messenger from the Kingdom, arriving at the last moment. But I tell you there is no such message, no such home -- only the millions of last moments . . . nothing more. Our history is an aggregate of last moments.

    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.

    All the animals, the plants, the minerals, even other kinds of men, are being broken and reassembled every day, to preserve an elite few, who are the loudest to theorize on freedom, but the least free of all.



    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.

    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. . . .



    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.



    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.






    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?

    Shit, money, and the World, the three American truths, powering the American mobility, claimed the Slothrops, clasped them for good to the country's fate. But they did not prosper... about all they did was persist



    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.

    What's this? What are the antagonists doing here - infiltrating their own audience? Well, they're not really. It's somebody else's audience at the moment, and these nightly spectacles are an appreciable part of the darkside hours of life of the rocket capital. The chances for any paradox here, really, are less than you think.

    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.


    You are off on a winding and difficult road, which you conceive to be wide and straight, an Autobahn you can travel at your ease. Is it any use for me to tell you that all you believe real is illusion? I don't know whether you'll listen, or ignore it. You only want to know about your path, your Autobahn.

    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.

    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.


    More Thomas Pynchon Quotations (Based on Topics)


    World - War & Peace - Chance - Power - Love - Man - Time - Cry - Home - Morning - Fate & Destiny - Books - Decision Making - Listening - America - Solitude - Library - Christmas - Letters - View All Thomas Pynchon Quotations

    More Thomas Pynchon Quotations (By Book Titles)


    - Gravity's Rainbow
    - The Crying of Lot 49

    Related Authors


    O. Henry - Napoleon Hill - Thomas Paine - Henry Lawson - George Axelrod - Dr. Seuss - Bill Bryson - Antiphanes - Anthony Hope - Abraham Polonsky


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