Monday, September 28, 2009

Fiction Mondays: Brief Rainy September Update

I went away this weekend, so this post is going to be a little shorter than usual. First, my thoughts on pages 71-140 of Gravity's Rainbow (these thoughts are not very organized, but bear with me):

  • The whole section about Katje and Gottfriend in the cabin in the woods was way too long. The guy who keeps them trapped (was it Blicero?) was far too unpleasant a character to be stuck with for so many pages.
  • I really loved the whole scene with Roger Mexico and Jessica at the Advent Mass, and the whole world of associations it brings out as they consider Christmas at wartime.
  • Was the story behind "the White Visitation" (the Angel seen in the sky) revealed in this section or early in the next one? Either way: I think it's interesting that we know, in reality, that Hitler was interested in the occult, but the general belief seems to be that he was interested in the dark side of the pseudosciences and psychic abilities. So what Pynchon does with the Angel and the White Visitation is set up a binary relationship--which comes up throughout the entire first section of the novel.
And now, onto other things:

I went down to the National Book Festival this weekend, where I met Junot Diaz. He signed my copy of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and said I had a cool name. He was incredibly friendly and great to all of his readers--he signed for an hour longer than he was supposed to, just so everyone in line could get their book signed, and made sure as many people as possible got under his signing tent when it started to rain.

Since the novel I have been working on takes place in and around DC, I got to revisit some of the significant places from the story, including Whistler's Peacock Room, one of my all-time favorite places in the city. What was strange was that I felt this weird nostalgia for things that never actually happened. I remembered moment from my book like they were real life.

I know there was something on HTMLGiant last week about how we still need a word for this feeling--nostalgia for things we never actually experienced. After sitting in the Peacock Room, thinking about the scenes that take place there, I completely agree.

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