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Thomas Pynchon

“Pavlov was fascinated with the “ideas of the opposite”. Call it a cluster of cells, somewhere on the cortex of the brain. Helping to disintiguish pleasure from pain, light from dark, dominance from submission….but when somehow – starve them, traumatize, castrate them send them over into one of the transmarginal phases, past borders of their waking selves, past equivalent and paradoxical phases – you weaken this idea of the opposite, and here all at once is the paranoid patient, who would be master, yet now feels himself a slave…..who would be loved, but suffers his world’s indifference, and “I think”, Pavlov writing to Janet, “it is precisely the ultraparadoxical phase which is the base of the weakening of the idea of the opposite in our patients. Our madmen, , our paranoid, maniac, schizoid, morally imbecilic.
Spectro shakes his head. “You are putting response before stimulus. Not at all. Think about it. He is out there, he can feel them coming, days in advance, but it is a reflex. A reflex to something that is in the air right now, something were too coarsely put together to sense, but Slothrop can.”


Thomas Pynchon
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