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Thomas Pynchon quotes Showing 211-240 of 971

“It went on for a month. Those who had taken it for a cosmic sign cringed beneath the sky each nightfall, imagining ever more extravagant disasters. Others, for whom orange did not seem an appropriately apocalyptic shade, sat outdoors on public benches, reading calmly, growing used to the curious pallor. As nights went on and nothing happened and the phenomenon slowly faded to the accustomed deeper violets again, most had difficulty remembering the earlier rise of heart, the sense of overture and possibility and went back once again to seeking only orgasm, hallucination, stupor, sleep, to fetch them through the night and prepare them against the day.”
Thomas Pynchon, Against the Day
“San Narciso was a name; an incident among our climatic records of dreams and what dreams became among our accumulated daylight, a moment’s squall-line or tornado’s touchdown among the higher, more continental solemnities—storm-systems of group suffering and need, prevailing winds of affluence. There was the true continuity, San Narciso had no boundaries. No one knew yet how to draw them. She had dedicated herself, weeks ago, to making sense of what Inverarity had left behind, never suspecting that the legacy was America.”
Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49
“Not the first time Doc had run into girl-of-his-dreams unavailability.”
Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice
“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
“We live lives that are waveforms constantly changing with time, now positive, now negative. Only at moments of great serenity is it possible to find the pure, the informationless state of signal zero.”
Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
“What is most appealing about young folks, after all, is the changes, not the still photograph of finished character but the movie, the soul in flux.”
Thomas Pynchon, Slow Learner: Early Stories
“He had decided long ago that no Situation had any objective reality: it only existed in the minds of those who happened to be in on it at any specific moment. Since these several minds tended to form a sum total or complex more mongrel than homogeneous, The Situation must necessarily appear to a single observer much like a diagram in four dimensions to an eye conditioned to seeing its world in only three.”
Thomas Pynchon, V.
“To those of us who survived [...], it also means that we have learned to stand outside our history and watch it, without feeling too much. A little schizoid.”
Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
“One summer afternoon Mrs Oedipa Maas came home from a Tupperware party whose hostess had put perhaps too much kirsch in the fondue to find that she, Oedipa, had been named executor, or she supposed executrix, of the estate of one Pierce Inverarity, a California real estate mogul who had once lost two million dollars in his spare time but still had assets numerous and tangled enough to make the job of sorting it all out more than honorary.”
Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49
“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”
Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
“We are here among you as seekers of refuge from our present-your future-a time of worldwide famine, exhausted fuel supplies, terminal poverty-the end of the capitalistic experiment. Once we came to understand the simpl...truth that earth's resources were limited, in fact soon to run out, the whole capitalistic illusion fell to pieces. Those of us who spoke this truth were denounced as heretics, as enemies of the prevailing economic faith. Like religious Dissenters of an earlier day...”
Thomas Pynchon
“Hey. Nobody has any trouble believing in the internet, right, which really is magic. So what's the problem believing in a virtual private network for Santa's business? It results in real toys, real presents, delivered by Christmas morning, what's the difference?”
Thomas Pynchon, Bleeding Edge
tags: horst
“Well, and keep in mind where those Masonic Mysteries came from in the first place. (Check out Ishmael Reed. He knows more about it than you’ll ever find here.)”
Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
“Though she knew even less about radios than about Southern Californians, there were to both outward patterns a hieroglyphic sense of concealed meaning, of an intent to communicate.”
Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49
“Holy shit.” This is the kind of sunset you hardly see any more, a 19th-century wilderness sunset, a few of which got set down, approximated, on canvas, landscapes of the American West by artists nobody ever heard of, when the land was still free and the eye innocent, and the presence of the Creator much more direct. Here it thunders now over the Mediterranean, high and lonely, this anachronism in primal red, in yellow purer that can be found anywhere today, a purity begging to be polluted…of course Empire took its way westward, what other way was there but into those virgin sunsets to penetrate and to foul?”
Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
“Because everybody on the school board, and the railroad, and the PTA and paper mill had to be somebody’s mother or father, whether really or as a member of a category; and there was a point at which the reflex to their covering warmth, protection, effectiveness against bad dreams, bruised heads and simple loneliness took over and made worthwhile anger with them impossible.”
Thomas Pynchon, Slow Learner: Early Stories
“What Jessica said—hair much shorter, wearing a darker mouth of different outline, harder lipstick, her typewriter banking in a phalanx of letters between them—was: "We're going to be married. We're trying very hard to have a baby."
All at once there is nothing but his asshole between Gravity and Roger. "I don't care. Have his baby. I'll love you both—just come with me Jess, please... I need you...."
She flips a red lever on her intercom. Far away a buzzer goes off. "Security." Her voice is perfectly hard, the word still clap-echoing in the air as in through the screen door of the Quonset office wth a smell of tide flats come the coppers, looking grim. Security. Her magic word, her spell against demons.”
Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
“A phrase (it often happened when he was exhausted) kept cycling round and round, preconsicously, just under the threshold of lip and tongue movement: “Events seem to be ordered into an ominous logic.” It repeated itself automatically and Stencil improved upon on it each time, placing emphasis on different words—“events seem”; “seem to be ordered”; “ominous logic”—pronouncing them differently, changing the “tone of voice” from sepulchral to jaunty: round and round and round. Events seem to be ordered into an ominous logic.”
Thomas Pynchon, V.
“If there is any political moral to be found in this world,” Stencil once wrote in his journal, “it is that we carry on the business of this century with an intolerable double vision. Right and Left; the hothouse and the street. The Right can only live and work hermetically, in the hothouses of the past, while outside the Left prosecute their affairs in the streets by manipulated mob violence. And cannot live but in the dreamscape of the future.
“What of the real present, the men-of-no-politics, the once-respectable Golden Mean? Obsolete; in any case, lost sight of. In a West of such extremes we can expect, at the very least, a highly ‘alienated’ populace within not many more years.”
Thomas Pynchon, V.
“Don't forget the real business of the war is buying and selling. The murdering and the violence are self-policing, and can be entrusted to non-professionals.”
Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
“They are approaching now a lengthy brick improvisation, a Victorian paraphrase of what once, long ago, resulted in Gothic cathedrals—but which, in its own time, arose not from any need to climb through the fashioning of suitable confusions toward any apical God, but more in a derangement of aim, a doubt as to the God’s actual locus (or, in some, as to its very existence), out of a cruel network of sensuous moments that could not be transcended and so bent the intentions of the builders not on any zenith, but back to fright, to simple escape, in whatever direction, from what the industrial smoke, street excrement, windowless warrens, shrugging leather forests of drive belts, flowing and patient shadow states of the rats and flies, were saying about the chances for mercy that year.”
Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
“...film and calculus, both pornographies of flight.”
Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
“Run away with me,” said Roseman when the coffee came. “Where?” she asked. That shut him up.”
Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49
“It was not an act of treason, nor possibly even of defiance. But it was a calculated withdrawal, from the life of the Republic, from its machinery. Whatever else was being denied them out of hate, indifference to the power of their vote, loopholes, simple ignorance, this withdrawal was their own, unpublicized, private. Since they could not have withdrawn into a vacuum (could they?), there had to exist the separate, silent, unsuspected world.”
Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49
“Remember, God didn't say, 'I'm gonna make light now,' he said, 'Let there be light.' His first act was to allow light in to what had been Nothing. Like God, you also have to always work with the light, make it do only what you want it to do.”
Thomas Pynchon, Against the Day
“Tito snored away on the other bed. Out there, all around them to the last fringes of occupancy, were Toobfreex at play in the video universe, the tropic isle, the Long Branch Saloon, the Starship Enterprise, Hawaiian crime fantasies, cute kids in make-believe living rooms with invisible audiences to laugh at everything they did, baseball highlights, Vietnam footage, helicopter gunships and firefights, and midnight jokes, and talking celebrities, and a slave girl in a bottle, and Arnold the pig, and here was Doc, on the natch, caught in a low-level bummer he couldn’t find a way out of, about how the Psychedelic Sixties, this little parenthesis of light, might close after all, and all be lost, taken back into darkness… ”
Thomas Pynchon
“You never want to see kids repeat your own mistakes.”
Thomas Pynchon, Bleeding Edge
“This advice has been given often and more compellingly elsewhere, but my specific piece of wrong procedure back then was, incredibly, to browse through the thesaurus and note words that sounded cool, hip, or likely to produce an effect, usually that of making me look good, without then taking the trouble to go and find out in the dictionary what they meant”
Thomas Pynchon, Slow Learner: Early Stories
“if you think you see no slaves in pennsylvania," replies capt. zhang, his face as smooth as suet, "why, look again. they are not all african, nor do some of them even yet know,--may never know,--that they are slaves. slavery is very old upon these shores,--there is no innocence upon the practice anywhere, neither among the indians nor the spanish nor in the behavior of the rest of christendom, if it come to that.”
Thomas Pynchon, Mason & Dixon
“The act of metaphor then was a thrust at truth and a lie, depending where you were: inside, safe, or outside, lost.”
Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49


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