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Thomas Pynchon quotes (showing 31-60 of 726)

“Danger's over, Banana Breakfast is saved.”
Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
“But with a sigh he had released her hand, while she was so lost in the fantasy that she hadn't felt it go away, as if he'd known the best moment to let go.”
Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49
“She may know a little, may think of herself, face and body, as ‘pretty’…but he could never tell her all the rest, how many other living things, birds, nights smelling of grass and rain, sunlit moments of simple peace, also gather in what she is to him.”
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
“Despair came over her, as it will when nobody around has any sexual relevance to you.”
Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49
“There is a theory going around that the U.S.A. was and still is a gigantic Masonic plot under the ultimate control of the group known as the Illuminati. It is difficult to look for long at the strange single eye crowning the pyramid which is found on every dollar bill and not begin to believe the story, a little. Too many anarchists in 19th-century Europe—Bakunin, Proudhon, Salverio Friscia—were Masons for it to be pure chance. Lovers of global conspiracy, not all of them Catholic, can count on the Masons for a few good shivers and voids when all else fails.”
Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
“Let the peace of this day be here tomorrow when I wake up.”
Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
tags: peace
“Kekulé dreams the Great Serpent holding its own tail in its mouth, the dreaming Serpent which surrounds the World. But the meanness, the cynicism with which this dream is to be used. The Serpent that announces, "The World is a closed thing, cyclical, resonant, eternally-returning," is to be delivered into a system whose only aim is to violate the Cycle. Taking and not giving back, demanding that "productivity" and "earnings" keep on increasing with time, the System removing from the rest of the World these vast quantities of energy to keep its own tiny desperate fraction showing a profit: and not only most of humanity—most of the World, animal, vegetable, and mineral, is laid waste in the process. The System may or may not understand that it's only buying time. And that time is an artificial resource to begin with, of no value to anyone or anything but the System, which must sooner or later crash to its death, when its addiction to energy has become more than the rest of the World can supply, dragging with it innocent souls all along the chain of life. Living inside the System is like riding across the country in a bus driven by a maniac bent on suicide . . . though he's amiable enough, keeps cracking jokes back through the loudspeaker . . .”
Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
“To have humanism we must first be convinced of our humanity. As we move further into decadence this becomes more difficult.”
Thomas Pynchon, V.
“He decided that we suffer from great temporal homesickness for the decade we were born in.”
Thomas Pynchon, V.
“The rest of us, not chosen for enlightenment, left on the outside of Earth, at the mercy of a Gravity we have only begun to learn how to detect and measure, must go on blundering inside our front-brain faith in Kute Korrespondences, hoping that for each psi-synthetic taken from Earth's soul there is a molecule, secular, more or less ordinary and named, over here - kicking endlessly among the plastic trivia, finding in each Deeper Significance and trying to string them all together like terms of a power series hoping to zero in on the tremendous and secret Function whose name, like the permuted names of God, cannot be spoken... plastic saxophone reed sounds of unnatural timbre, shampoo bottle ego-image, Cracker Jack prize one-shot amusement, home appliance casing fairing for winds of cognition, baby bottles tranquilization, meat packages disguise of slaughter, dry-cleaning bags infant strangulation, garden hoses feeding endlessly the desert... but to bring them together, in their slick persistence and our preterition... to make sense out of, to find the meanest sharp sliver of truth in so much replication, so much waste... [Gravity's Rainbow, p. 590]”
Thomas Pynchon
“. . . yet there is no avoiding time, the sea of time, the sea of memory and forgetfulness, the years of promise, gone and unrecoverable, of the land almost allowed to claim its better destiny, only to the claim jumped by evildoers known all too well, and taken instead and held hostage to the future we must live in now forever.”
Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice
“Don't forget the real business of war is buying and selling. The murdering and violence are self-policing, and can be entrusted to non-professionals. The mass nature of wartime death is useful in many ways. It serves as spectacle, as diversion from the real movements of the War. It provides raw material to be recorded into History, so that children may be taught History as sequences of violence, battle after battle, and be more prepared for the adult world. Best of all, mass death's a stimolous to just ordinary folks, little fellows, to try 'n' grab a piece of that Pie while they're still here to gobble it up. The true war is a celebration of markets.”
Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
“Next worst thing to unrequited Love, isn't it? Insufficient hate.”
Thomas Pynchon, Mason & Dixon
“I dream that I have found us both again,
With spring so many strangers' lives away,
And we, so free,
Out walking by the sea,
With someone else's paper words to say....

They took us at the gates of green return,
Too lost by then to stop, and ask them why-
Do children meet again?
Does any trace remain,
Along the superhighways of July?”
Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
“What are the stars but points in the body of God where we insert the healing needles of our terror and longing?
--Gravity's Rainbow, V699”
Thomas Pynchon
“Once they have you asking the wrong questions. They don't have to worry about the answers.”
Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
“It is simply wrong to begin with a theme, symbol or other abstract unifying agent, and then try to force characters and events to conform to it.”
Thomas Pynchon, Slow Learner: Early Stories
“Damned Beaver/Jeremy is the War, he is every assertion the fucking War has ever made--that we are meant for work and government, for austerity: and these shall take priority over love, dreams, the spirit, the senses and the other second-class trivia that are found among the idle and mindless hours of the day....Damn them, they are wrong. They are insane.”
Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
“Perhaps history this century, thought Eigenvalue, is rippled with gathers in its fabric such that if we are situated, as Stencil seemed to be, at the bottom of a fold, it's impossible to determine warp, woof, or pattern anywhere else. By virtue, however, of existing in one gather it is assumed there are others, compartmented off into sinuous cycles each of which had come to assume greater importance than the weave itself and destroy any continuity. Thus it is that we are charmed by the funny-looking automobiles of the '30's, the curious fashions of the '20's, the particular moral habits of our grandparents. We produce and attend musical comedies about them and are conned into a false memory, a phony nostalgia about what they were. We are accordingly lost to any sense of continuous tradition. Perhaps if we lived on a crest, things would be different. We could at least see.”
Thomas Pynchon, V.
“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
“Some typewriters in Whitehall, in the Pentagon, killed more civilians than our little A4 could have ever hoped to.”
Thomas Pynchon
“Fickt nicht mit dem Raketemensch!”
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
“Not me, paranoia's the garlic in life's kitchen, right, you can never have too much.”
Thomas Pynchon, Bleeding Edge
“Can't say it often enough - change your hair, change your life.”
Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice
“Laboring through a world every day more stultified, which expected salvation in codes and governments, ever more willing to settle for suburban narratives and diminished payoffs--what were the chances of finding anyone else seeking to transcend that, and not even particularly aware of it?”
Thomas Pynchon, Against the Day
“ ... as long as American life was something to be escaped from, the cartel would always be assured a bottomless pool of new customers.”
Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice
“In Mexico City they somehow wandered into an exhibition of paintings by the beautiful Spanish exile Remedios Varo: in the central painting of a triptych, titled “Bordando el Manto Terrestre,” were a number of frail girls with heart-shaped faces, huge eyes, spun-gold hair, prisoners in the top room of a circular tower, embroidering a kind of tapestry which spilled out the slit windows and into a void, seeking hopelessly to fill the void: for all the other buildings and creatures, all the waves, ships and forests of the earth were contained in the tapestry, and the tapestry was the world. Oedipa, perverse, had stood in front of the painting and cried. No one had noticed; she wore dark green bubble shades. For a moment she’d wondered if the seal around her sockets were tight enough to allow the tears simply to go on and fill up the entire lens space and never dry. She could carry the sadness of the moment with her that way forever, see the world refracted through those tears, those specific tears, as if indices as yet unfound varied in important ways from cry to cry. She had looked down at her feet and known, then, because of a painting, that what she stood on had only been woven together a couple thousand miles away in her own tower, was only by accident known as Mexico, and so Pierce had take her away from nothing, there’d been no escape. What did she so desire escape from? Such a captive maiden, having plenty of time to think, soon realizes that her tower, its height and architecture, are like her ego only incidental: that what really keeps her where she is is magic, anonymous and malignant, visited on her from outside and for no reason at all. Having no apparatus except gut fear and female cunning to examine this formless magic, to understand how it works, how to measure its field strength, count its lines of force, she may fall back on superstition, or take up a useful hobby like embroidery, or go mad, or marry a disk jockey. If the tower is everywhere and the knight of deliverance no proof against its magic, what else?”
Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49
“I mean what they and their hired psychiatrists call delusional systems. Needless to say, ‘delusions’ are always officially defined. We do not have to worry about questions of real or unreal. They only talk out of expediency. It’s the system that matters. How the data arrange themselves inside it. Some are consistent, others fall apart. ”
Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow


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