A partial newbie to Pynchon: I've readGR 3 times, Crying of Lot 49 twice, Vineland once, got halfway through MD (the mechanical duck found my off switch) and I am now two-thirds of the way through V. and my second round of AtD.
Si_de_ming is my Chinese name from college, For the exact reasons Pynchon mentions in AtD, my nickname was "Mr. Death."
An economist by training, my current interests are Sanskrit/Jyotish and Proust. I have an MDiv from Harvard Divinity School where I studied Gnosticism under His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, current Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America; and Islamic Mysticism under Annemarie Schimmel, may God's peace be upon her -- but I personally do not practice.
AtD hits close to home. My father's people were from the hill country across the Ohio from the Mason-Dixon line, and Webb Traverse talks and thinks very much like my beloved grandfather, not a miner but a steel worker -- though in a very similar place to Webb's. And like Webb's sons Frank, who thought to become an engineer, and Kit, who later works on planes, my father indeed became an engineer working on jet engines at GE, a leading character in GR.
My mother's family are all Serbian. Serbo-Croatian was her first language, and I still have cousins in Belgrade, Novi Sad, Subotica. I was raised in the Serbian Orthodox Church. With an engineer father and a Serbian mother, Tesla was like a patron saint in our family. I have travelled in the Balkans, Greece and Turkey (where my wife works as an archaeologist), and spent some time in the monasteries of Mt. Athos.
I have had dinner with the current pretender to the Serbian throne, Crown Prince Alexander and his family. I just can't ring him up to say hello.
Like Blinky Morgan and Vera Meroving I have a damaged left eye from a childhood knife accident. While it doesn't have a clock or astrological symbols inscribed on it, nor does it allow me to be a walking interferometer, it does have a pupil that resembles the Mandlebrot Set. Call me Squinty.
Lastly I grew up in Ohio, Cincinnati -- Pynchon seems to have spent some time there. It probably doesn't hurt that the city has winged-pigs for civic statuary along the river, at the airport, and hosts the annual Flying Pig Marathon.
I now live in the San Francisco Bay area where I read Pynchon and Proust.
Sid, Tell me, what is Pynchon's meaning in the Pokler scene in GR wherein he says that he, [Pokler] "missed the Director's clever Gnostic symbolism in the lighting scene of the two shadows, Cain's and Abel's? MKOHUT 11:22, 3 August 2007 (PDT)
It's OK. No need to research for me. It will all unfold in time, as AtD predicts. When I read about your gnostic studies, I thought this particular paragraph might have jumped out at you. I have just read it. MKOHUT 16:07, 3 August 2007 (PDT)
Perhaps 'trans' as I posted has larger possible meanings than the one you posit? Just also to say: The D & D stuff is an ingenious find but I can't see how it really applies. Just my two cents.MKOHUT 13:21, 17 August 2007 (PDT)
Thanks for the response. Yea, imagery is Pynchonian in D & D post. I am not going to edit it or erase it...I, too, have made some associations most will not find relevant but TRP is wider than both of us. I have erased somne of mine when someone 'refutes' to my satisfaction. Who knows. Please don't spend any time trying to answer the GR question..one of your gnosticism posts and my further reading added some illumination, I think. Keep reading and posting. MKOHUT 08:38, 20 August 2007 (PDT)