Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow (1973)

Gravity's Rainbow

Don't miss this amazing video about Gravity's Rainbow winning the National Book Award, including a recording of Professor Irwin Corey's hilarious acceptance speech.

Read Professor Irwin Corey's acceptance speech for Pynchon's 1974 National Book Award for Gravity's Rainbow.

Also, have a look at Douglas Kløvedal Lannark's exhaustive documenting of "love" in Gravity's Rainbow.

Kirghiz Light

"In the ancient tales it is told [...] that a land far distant/Is the place of the Kirghiz Light. [...] It comes as the Kirghiz Light--There is no other way to know It. [...] The flash of Its light is blindness [...] And a man cannot be the same/After seeing the Kirghiz Light. [...] For the Kirghiz Light took my eyes/Now I sense all Earth like a baby. [...] It is north, for a six-day ride [...] And if you have passed without danger/The place of the black rock will find you. [...] But if you would not be born/Then stay with your warm red fire [...] And the Light will never find you, And your heart will grow heavy with age [...]" 358-59

"Tchitcherine will reach the Kirghiz Light, but not his birth. He is no aqyn, and his heart was never ready. He will see It just before dawn [...] he will hardly be able to remember It. But in the Zone [...] the Rocket is waiting. He will be drawn the same way again...." 359

"VON GÖLL (shaking his head): I just don't know, Klaus. Ever since what happened in Central Asia [...] NÄRRISCH: You mean--VON GÖLL: Yes...the Kirghiz Light." 500

"In fact, no two people have been so ill-equipped to approach a holy Center since the days of Tchitcherine and Dzaqyp Qulan, hauling ass over the steppe [...] to find their Kirghiz Light. " 508

"But oh, Egg the flying Rocket hatched from, navel of the 50-meter radio sky, all proper ghosts of place [...] Forgive him as you forgave Tchitcherine at the Kirghiz Light" 509-10

"It happened first with the Kirghiz Light, and his only illumination then was that fear would always keep him from going all the way in. He will never get further than the edge of this meta-cartel which has made itself known tonight [...] He will miss the Light, but not the Finger." 566

"leaving in his elliptical field a scene with the same structure as the male-female singing contest in the middle of a flat grassland in Central Asia well over a decade ago--a coming-together of opposites that signaled then his own approach to the Kirghiz Light." 610-11

"'Remember the Kirghiz Light? [...] Well, they found out about that. I didn't tell them, but they got to somebody.' 'It's ancient history. Why bring it up now?'" 611

"You've heard of the Kirghiz Light? well that's the ass end of a firefly compared to what we're gonna--oh, you haven't heard of the--oh, well, too bad." 649

"For danger and enterprise they send you west, for visions, east. But what's north? The escape route of the Anubis. The Kirghiz Light." 706

 

Gravity's Rainbow
Gravity's Rainbow - Thomas Pynchon