Gravity's Rainbow Quotes

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Gravity's Rainbow Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
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Gravity's Rainbow Quotes (showing 1-30 of 126)
“They're in love. Fuck the war.”
Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
tags: love, war
“If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.”
Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
“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.”
Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
“A screaming comes across the sky.”
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
“It all comes down, as it must, to the desires of individual men. Oh, and women too of course, bless their empty little heads.”
Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
“Through the machineries of greed, pettiness, and the abuse of power, love occurs.”
Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
“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.”
Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
“You may never get to touch the Master, but you can tickle his creatures.”
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
“Danger's over, Banana Breakfast is saved.”
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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“What more do they want? She asks this seriously, as if there's a real conversion factor between information and lives. Well, strange to say, there is. Written down in the Manual, on file at the War Department. Don't forget the real business of the 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 a spectacle, as a 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 stimulus 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. Organic markets, carefully styled "black" by the professionals, spring up everywhere. Scrip, Sterling, Reichsmarks, continue to move, severe as classical ballet, inside their antiseptic marble chambers. But out here, down here among the people, the truer currencies come into being. So, Jews are negotiable. Every bit as negotiable as cigarettes, cunt, or Hersey bars.”
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
“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
“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
“Once they have you asking the wrong questions. They don't have to worry about the answers.”
Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
“Jeremy will take her like the Angel itself, in his joyless weasel-worded come-along, and Roger will be forgotten, an amusing maniac, but with no place in the rationalized power-ritual that will be the coming peace. She will take her husband's orders, she will become a domestic bureaucrat, a junior partner, and remember Roger, if at all, as a mistake thank God she didn't make…. Oh, he feels a raving fit coming on—how the bloody hell can he survive without her? She is the British warm that protects his stooping shoulders, and the wintering sparrow he holds inside his hands. She is his deepest innocence in spaces of bough and hay before wishes were given a separate name to warn that they might not come true, and his lithe Parisian daughter of joy, beneath the eternal mirror, forswearing perfumes, capeskin to the armpits, all that is too easy, for his impoverishment and more worthy love.
You go from dream to dream inside me. You have passage to my last shabby corner, and there, among the debris, you've found life. I'm no longer sure which of all the words, images, dreams or ghosts are 'yours' and which are 'mine.' It's past sorting out. We're both being someone new now, someone incredible….”
Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
tags: love
“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
“the one Word that rips apart the day...”
Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
“Oh, this beer here is cold, cold and hop-bitter, no point coming up for air, gulp, till it's all--hahhhh.”
Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
“Young Tchitcherine was the one who brought up political narcotics. Opiates of the people.

Wimpe smiled back. An old, old smile to chill even the living fire in Earth’s core. "Marxist dialectics? That’s not an opiate, eh?"

"It’s the antidote."

"No." It can go either way. The dope salesman may know everything that’s ever going to happen to Tchitcherine, and decide it’s no use—or, out of the moment’s velleity, lay it right out for the young fool.

"The basic problem," he proposes, "has always been getting other people to die for you. What’s worth enough for a man to give up his life? That’s where religion had the edge, for centuries. Religion was always about death. It was used not as an opiate so much as a technique—it got people to die for one particular set of beliefs about death. Perverse, natürlich, but who are you to judge? It was a good pitch while it worked. But ever since it became impossible to die for death, we have had a secular version—yours. Die to help History grow to its predestined shape. Die knowing your act will bring will bring a good end a bit closer. Revolutionary suicide, fine. But look: if History’s changes are inevitable, why not not die? Vaslav? If it’s going to happen anyway, what does it matter?"

"But you haven’t ever had the choice to make, have you."

"If I ever did, you can be sure—"

"You don’t know. Not till you’re there, Wimpe. You can’t say."

"That doesn’t sound very dialectical."

"I don’t know what it is."

"Then, right up to the point of decision," Wimpe curious but careful, "a man could still be perfectly pure . . ."

"He could be anything. I don’t care. But he’s only real at the points of decision. The time between doesn’t matter."

"Real to a Marxist."

"No. Real to himself."

Wimpe looks doubtful.

"I've been there. You haven't.”
Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
“This spiritualist, this statistician, what are you anyway?”
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

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