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(EN) 🏙Batumi is located in western Georgia, in Adjara. It is a beautiful seaside town with a fascinating history and brilliant architecture. As soon as the edge of the sun disappears behind the horizon at sunset, the lights of Batumi windows, shop windows are lit, a stream of car headlights begins to flow through the streets and avenues of the city. 🌃 The more night falls on the city, the brighter the lights of the capital of Adjara burn. Belated passers-by can calmly admire Batumi at night, sparkling chains of lanterns, LED signs, magnificent buildings and Skyscrapers decorated with bright night illumination. ℹ Mount Feria attracts night romantics with stunning views that open from the height of the observation deck. For everyone who decides to make a night promenade, Batumi offers unforgettable views of the alphabet tower illuminated by lights, the Radisson Blue hotel and one of the most famous Batumi skyscrapers - the Porta Batumi Tower. You can spend the whole night on the streets of Batumi, admiring the bell tower in Piazza Square and the Medea statue in Europe Square, enjoying the play of colored lights by the dancing fountains. Surrounded by a halo of mysticism, the water surface of Lake Nurigel retains the silence and faint light of the stars, and Old Batumi expires with the bright light of night windows. 🏖The embankment of the new boulevard amazes with the splendor and power of modern architecture. Sailing past, like bright lanterns, boats and boats give liveliness and original flavor. The silver heart of the new boulevard is full of romance and love. The fountains and lawns of the park attract all lovers and light the evening lights for them. 👉Place to Stay: 🏨5️⃣ Star Hotel Sheraton is located in the center of Batumi, 200 meters from the Black Sea coast. ✅Hotel Services: ➕Pool➕Spa zone-Sauna-Jacuzzi➕Restaurants and Lounge bars➕Fitness center➕Children's playground➕Entertainment center ➕Parking➕Casino. 👉 Awesome place, great view,great staff and delicious food - what else is needed for a wonderful recreation⁉ 🅿Privileged package- 4️⃣ Days- 2️⃣ Persons- 6️⃣8️⃣0️⃣ 💲 = Meeting at the airport and transfer to the hotel (5️⃣ Stars) ➕all inclusive➕ Ajara (Batumi) tour ➕ Personal driver. ✅Your relaxation and your well-being is number 1 priority for us, travel with us❗ (DE) 🏙Batumi liegt in Westgeorgien in Adjara. Es ist eine wunderschöne Küstenstadt mit einer faszinierenden Geschichte und brillanter Architektur. Sobald der Sonnenrand bei Sonnenuntergang hinter dem Horizont verschwindet, die Lichter der Batumi-Fenster und der Schaufenster angezündet werden, beginnt ein Strom von Autoscheinwerfern durch die Straßen und Alleen der Stadt zu fließen. 🌃 Je mehr Nacht auf die Stadt hereinbricht, desto heller brennen die Lichter der Hauptstadt Adjara. Verspätete Passanten können Batumi nachts ruhig bewundern, funkelnde Laternenketten, LED-Schilder, prächtige Gebäude und Wolkenkratzer, die mit heller Nachtbeleuchtung geschmückt sind. ℹ Berg Feria zieht Nachtromantiker mit atemberaubenden Ausblicken an, die sich von der Höhe der Aussichtsplattform aus öffnen. Für alle, die sich für eine Nachtpromenade entscheiden, bietet Batumi einen unvergesslichen Blick auf den von Lichtern beleuchteten Alphabet-Turm, das Radisson Blue Hotel und einen der berühmtesten Batumi-Wolkenkratzer - den Porta Batumi Tower. Sie können die ganze Nacht auf den Straßen von Batumi verbringen, den Glockenturm auf dem Piazza-Platz und die Medea-Statue auf dem Europa-Platz bewundern und das Spiel der bunten Lichter an den tanzenden Brunnen genießen. Umgeben von einem Hauch von Mystik behält die Wasseroberfläche des Nurigel-Sees die Stille und das schwache Licht der Sterne bei, und Alter Batumi erlischt mit dem hellen Licht der Nachtfenster. 🏖Der Damm des neuen Boulevards besticht durch die Pracht und Kraft moderner Architektur. Vorbeifahrende Segel wie helle Laternen, Boote und Yachten verleihen Lebendigkeit und originellen Geschmack. Das silberne Herz des neuen Boulevards ist voller Romantik und Liebe. Die Brunnen und Rasenflächen des Parks ziehen alle Liebhaber an und zünden die Abendlichter für sie an. 👉Platz zum bleiben: Das 🏨5️⃣ Star Hotel Sheraton befindet sich im Zentrum von Batumi, 200 m von der Schwarzmeerküste entfernt. ✅Hotelservice: ➕Pool➕Spa Zone-Sauna-Whirlpool .Restaurants und Loungebars➕Fitness Center➕Kinderspielplatz➕Unterhaltungszentrum ➕Parking➕Casino. 👉Toller Ort, tolle Aussicht, tolles Personal und leckeres Essen - was sonst noch für eine wunderbare Erholung benötigt wird❗ 🅿Privilegiertes Paket- 4️⃣ Tage- 2️⃣ Personen- 6️⃣8️⃣0️⃣ 💲 = Treffen am Flughafen und Transfer zum Hotel (5️⃣ Sterne) ➕all inclusive➕ Ajara (Batumi) Tour ➕ Persönlicher Fahrer. ✅Ihre Entspannung und Ihr Wohlbefinden haben für uns oberste Priorität. Reisen Sie mit uns❗
(RU) 🏙Батуми находится в западной Грузии, в Аджарии. Это красивый приморский город с очаровательной историеи и блестящеи архитектурои. ✅Стоит только краю солнца на закате скрыться за горизонтом, как зажигаются огни Батумских окон, витрин, по улицам и проспектам города начинает течь поток света автомобильных фар. 🌃Чем больше ночь наступает на город, тем ярче горят огни столицы Аджарии. Запоздалые прохожие могут спокойно любоваться ночным Батуми , сверкающей цепочками фонарей, светодиодными вывесками, великолепными зданиями и Небоскребами, украшенными яркой ночной подсветкой. ℹГора ''Ферия'' привлекает к себе ночных романтиков потрясающими видами, которые открываются с высоты смотровой площадки. Всем, кто решил совершить ночной променад, Батуми дарит незабываемые виды на освещенную огнями алфавитную башню, на гостиницу Рэдиссон блю и одну из самых знаменитых батумских высоток - на Порта Батуми Тауэр. Можно всю ночь провести на улицах Батуми, любуясь колокольней на площади Пьяцца и статуеи Медеи на площади Европы, наслаждаясь игрой разноцветных огней у танцующих фонтанов. Окруженная ореолом мистики, водная гладь озеро Нуригель хранит в себе тишину и слабый свет звезд, а Старый батуми истекает ярким светом ночных витрин. 🏖Набережная нового бульвара поражает великолепием и мощью современои архитектуры. Проплывающие мимо, словно яркие фонарики, катера и кораблики придают живость и своеобразный колорит. Серебряное сердце нового бульвара полно романтики и любви. Фонтаны и лужайки парка притягивают к себе всех влюбленных и зажигают для них вечерние огни. 👉Mесто проживания: 🏨5️⃣ Здочный Отель Шератон расположен в центре города Батуми, в 200 метрах от берега Черного моря. ✅К услугам гостей:➕Бассейны➕Спа зона-Сауна-Джакузи➕Рестораны и Лаундж бары➕Фитнес центр➕Детская площадка➕Pазвлекательный центр ➕Парковка➕Казино. 👉Потрясающее место, шикарный вид,oтличный персонал и вкусная еда-что ещё надо для прекрасного отдыха⁉ 🅿Привилегированный пакет-4️⃣Дня-2️⃣ Человека- 6️⃣8️⃣0️⃣ 💲 = Встреча в аэропорту и трансфер в гостиницу (5️⃣ Звезд)➕всё включено➕Тур по Аджарии (Батуми)➕ Персональный водитель. ✅Ваш отдых и ваше благополучие приоритет номер 1 для нас, путешествуйте с нами❗
Pavlov was fascinated with “ideas of the opposite.” Call it a cluster of cells, somewhere on the cortex of the brain. Helping to distinguish pleasure from pain, light from dark, dominance from submission... . But when, somehow—starve them, traumatize, shock, 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 imbecile—However, for much of the history, particular that regarding intelligence agencies (whether that is WWII activity such as the O.S.S. or the S.O.E., or CIA activity in the 60s and 70s around the time that Pynchon was writing GR in a Californian beach house, very near where groups such as the Black Panthers were operating, targets of programs such as COINTELPRO and Operation CHAOS), the books had not even been written yet. I think the first few pages, with the carriage full of evacuees, can be interpreted as moving into the darkest parts of lost or repressed history, e.g.:
and it is poorer the deeper they go... ruinous secret cities of poor, places whose names he has never heard..These names he has never heard could range from the Herero tribe whose genocide he discovered while writing V. ten years before, to Novi Pazar (with the Adenoid passage), to the all other hidden history in the book. I have also read people remarking on how in The Crying of Lot 49 it seems like Pynchon was somehow aware of MK-Ultra (which Dr Hilarius was involved with) before well the documents were leaked and the program confirmed. However, fortunately, many these history books have since been written. If anyone is interested, a great place to start is The Devil's Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America's Secret Government, published in 2016, which follows Dulles from his time at the Wall Street law firm Sullivan and Cromwell to his time in the O.S.S. in Switzerland, working with Nazis in Operation Paperclip, to his directorship of the CIA through the 50s and 60s. Reading about this Cold War history, and also the writing of Huey Newton (who I strongly believe Enzian is in part based on), made a lot of GR far clearer. It is important to recognise that these histories of intelligence agencies contain irrefutable documented facts that the public at large is collectively in denial about - because they are too dark for them to acknowledge and face. For them to acknowledge these facts requires integrating that darkness into their conscious minds, before anything can be done about it on the political level. I think that, through the incorporation of all the world's darkness, from politics to history to sexual and paedophilic fantasies to etc..., this is the Secret Integration that Pynchon is trying to accomplish, and which concept he wrote a story about, published in Slow Learner. Reading this book causes the beginnings of this process, as all of the darkness is brought into one's mind by reading it.
The trouble with Sigmund was the place he happened to be living in, a drafty, crenelated deformity overlooking a cold little lake in the Bavarian Alps. Parts of it must have dated back to the fall of Rome. That was where Sigmund brought her.This is a similar process to what Slothrop goes through in the Abreaction Ward, when under sodium amytal ("truth serum") and the supervision of psychoanalysts, Slothrop explores the parts of his unconscious that he has repressed, including his feelings towards race and homosexuality.
She had got the idea somewhere that she was part Jewish. Things in Germany by then, as everyone knows, were very bad. Margherita was terrified of being “found out.” She heard Gestapo in every puff of air that slipped in, among any of a thousand windways of dilapidation. Sigmund spent whole nights trying to talk it away. He was no better at it than Rollo. It was around this time that her symptoms began.
However psychogenic these pains, tics, hives and nauseas, her suffering was real. Acupuncturists came down by Zeppelin from Berlin, showing up in the middle of the night with little velvet cases full of gold needles. Viennese analysts, Indian holy men, Baptists from America trooped in and out of Sigmund’s castle, stage-hypnotists and Colombian curanderos slept on the rug in front of the fireplace. Nothing worked. Sigmund grew alarmed, and before long as ready as Margherita to hallucinate. Probably it was she who suggested Bad Karma. It had a reputation that summer for its mud, hot and greasy mud with traces of radium, jet black, softly bubbling. Ah. Anyone who’s been sick in that way can imagine her hope. That mud would cure anything. Where was anybody that summer before the War? Dreaming. The spas that summer, the summer Ensign Morituri came to Bad Karma, were crowded with sleepwalkers. Nothing for him to do at the Embassy. They suggested a holiday till September. He should have known something was up, but he only went on holiday to Bad Karma—spent the days drinking Pilsener Urquelle in the cafe by the lake in the Pavilion Park. He was a stranger, half the time drunk, silly beer-drunk, and he hardly spoke their language. But what he saw must have been going on all over Germany. A premeditated frenzy.
PISCES: We want to talk some more about Boston today, Slothrop. You recall that we were talking last time about the Negroes, in Roxbury. Now we know it’s not all that comfortable for you, but do try, won’t you. Now—where are you, Slothrop? Can you see anything?By the presence of Red (Malcolm X) in the scene where Slothrop flees the black men at the jazz club trying to rape him down the toilet (which leads through a trip not only through Slothrop's own unconscious racism but also through the repressed histories, all the Preterite lost and forgotten.
Slothrop: Well no, not see exactly...
Either he lets the harp go, his silver chances of song, or he has to follow. Follow? Red, the Negro shoeshine boy, waits by his dusty leather seat. The Negroes all over wasted Roxbury wait. Follow? “Cherokee” comes wailing up from the dance floor below, over the hi-hat, the string bass, the thousand sets of feet where moving rose lights suggest not pale Harvard boys and their dates, but a lotta dolled-up redskins. The song playing is one more lie about white crimes. But more musicians have floundered in the channel to “Cherokee” than have got through from end to end.Here, among other things, if we consider Slothrop's mouth harp a (Rilke-referencing) metaphor, in part, for Pynchon's own tools of artistry, I feel like these floundering musicians can be seen as other writers who have not come to terms with the darkest parts of history, and thus their own unconscious. And the decision to delve into these things as an artist necessitates exposing one's own unconscious repressions, which causes you to be in a vulnerable position - particularly since They like to use these aspects of people to control them, as with Prentice and the drawing of the Scorpia Mossmoon lookalike he is given to activate the Kryptosam. In Pynchon's case, this means exposing his own racism and homophobia:
If Slothrop follows that harp down the toilet it’ll have to be headfirst, which is not so good, cause it leaves his ass up in the air helpless, and with Negroes around that’s just what a fella doesn’t want, his face down in some fetid unknown darkness and brown fingers, strong and sure, all at once undoing his belt, unbuttoning his fly, strong hands holding his legs apart—and he feels the cold Lysol air on his thighs as down come the boxer shorts too, now, with the colorful bass lures and trout flies on them. He struggles to work himself farther into the toilet hole as dimly, up through the smelly water, comes the sound of a whole dark gang of awful Negroes come yelling happily into the white men’s room, converging on poor wriggling Slothrop, jiving around the way they do singing, “Slip the talcum to me, Malcolm!” [*] And the voice that replies is who but that Red, the shoeshine boy who’s slicked up Slothrop’s black patents a dozen times down on his knees jes poppin’ dat rag to beat the band... now Red the very tall, skinny, extravagantly conked redhead Negro shoeshine boy who’s just been “Red” to all the Harvard fellas—“Say Red, any of those Sheiks in the drawer?” “How ’bout another luck-changin’ phone number there, Red?”—this Negro whose true name now halfway down the toilet comes at last to Slothrop’s hearing—as a thick finger with a gob of very slippery jelly or cream comes sliding down the crack now toward his asshole, chevroning the hairs along like topo lines up a river valley—the true name is Malcolm, and all the black cocks know him, Malcolm, have known him all along—Red Malcolm the Unthinkable Nihilist sez, “Good golly he sure is all asshole ain’t he?” Jeepers Slothrop, what a position for you to be in! Even though he has succeeded in getting far enough down now so that only his legs protrude and his buttocks heave and wallow just under the level of the water like pallid domes of ice. Water splashes, cold as the rain outside, up the walls of the white bowl. “Grab him ’fo’ he gits away!” “Yowzah!” Distant hands clutch after his calves and ankles, snap his garters and tug at the argyle sox Mom knitted for him to go to Harvard in, but these insulate so well, or he has progressed so far down the toilet by now, that he can hardly feel the hands at all...GR can be seen even as a process of abreaction that Pynchon underwent. If the rumours that he used drugs through writing it are true, then that would mean exposing things in him unconscious even to himself while writing it. Worth at this point also to note Jung's criticisms of Freud's use of abreaction, and thus the possible dangers of doing this.
Though traumata of clearly aetiological significance were occasionally present, the majority of them appeared very improbable. Many traumata were so unimportant, even so normal, that they could be regarded at most as a pretext for the neurosis. But what especially aroused my criticism was the fact that not a few traumata were simply inventions of fantasy and had never happened at all.However, as Daoism asserts, light and darkness is in everything. For the Pavlovian Pointsman, who views things in binary, this is impossible to accept - the idea that for between every extreme - like black and white - lies a spectrum, a continuous rainbow. As Western humans understand things through this differentiation and analysis, this continuity causes an inherent conflict. Pointsman, the pure cause-and-effect man, the "Antimexico" (since Mexico, the statistician who thinks all can be explained through independent variables and probability distributions, takes the opposite position), says this on Daoist thinking early on.
“Pierre Janet —sometimes the man talked like an Oriental mystic. He had no real grasp of the opposites. ‘The act of injuring and the act of being injured are joined in the behavior of the whole injury.’ Speaker and spoken-of, master and slave, virgin and seducer, each pair most conveniently coupled and inseparable—The last refuge of the incorrigibly lazy, Mexico, is just this sort of yang-yin rubbish.But by the end of Beyond the Zero, he's having a breakdown, as his unconscious is trying to tell him the truth of the Daoist wisdom he was so quick to reject in his scientific arrogance.
“Talking to myself, here. Little—sort of—eccentricity, heh, heh.”With all that out of the way, the plot of what GR is actually about can perhaps begin to be discussed. I'm going to make a lot of assumptions here that many of the male characters are based on Pynchon himself. You may disagree with this approach, which is very understandable, given my total lack of evidence. My justification for it is the following passages from Slothrop's trip down the toilet:
“Yang and Yin,” whispers the Voice, “Yang and Yin... .”
Here now is Crutchfield or Crouchfield, the westwardman. Not “archetypical” westwardman, but the only. Understand, there was only one. There was only one Indian who ever fought him. Only one fight, one victory, one loss. And only one president, and one assassin, and one election. True. One of each of everything. You had thought of solipsism, and imagined the structure to be populated—on your level—by only, terribly, one. No count on any other levels. But it proves to be not quite that lonely. Sparse, yes, but a good deal better than solitary. One of each of everything’s not so bad. Half an Ark’s better than none.Then slightly later on:
Isn’t there supposed to be only one of each?However, given the extent to which Pynchon has managed to keep his life quiet, I'm aware that this assumption could be projection from me. I think might be by design of the book though:
Q. Then one Indian girl...
A. One pure Indian. One mestiza. One criolla. [*] Then: one Yaqui. One Navaho. One Apache—
Q. Wait a minute, there was only one Indian to begin with. The one that Crutchfield killed.
A. Yes. Look on it as an optimization problem. The country can best support only one of each.
Q. Then what about all the others? Boston. London. The ones who live in cities. Are those people real, or what?
A. Some are real, and some aren’t.
Q. Well are the real ones necessary? or unnecessary?
A. It depends what you have in mind.
Q. Shit, I don’t have anything in mind.
A. We do.
“Pre cise-ly why,” leaps Rozsavolgyi, “we are now proposing, to give, Slothrop a com plete- ly dif-ferent sort, of test. We are now de sign- ing for him, a so called, ‘projec-tive’ test. The most famil-iar exam- ple of the type, is the Rorschach ink-blot. The ba- sic theory, is that when given an un struc-tured stimulus, some shape-less blob of exper-ience, the subject, will seek to impose, struc- ture on it. How, he goes a -bout struc-turing this blob, will reflect his needs, his hopes—will pro vide, us with clues, to his dreams, fan- tasies , the deepest re-gions of his mind.”With those disclaimers out the way, here's what I think. I think Mexico is the "cheap nihilist" of Pynchon as a younger man, before he's delved into his own darkness, and still very much without belief in any sort of spiritualism:
“It makes no sense unless we also consider those who’ve passed over to the other side. We do transact with them, don’t we? Through specialists like Eventyr and their controls over there. But all together we form a single subculture, a psychical community, if you will.”Pointsman is his analytical side, obsessed with cause-and-effect, which eventually, he comes to realise, necessitates delving in the darkest regions of Slothrop's mind, but still obsessed with control, never losing control:
“I won’t,” Mexico says dryly, “but yes I suppose someone ought to be looking into it.”
Sign and symptoms. Was Spectro right? Could Outside and Inside be part of the same field? If only in fairness... in fairness... Pointsman ought to be seeking the answer at the interface... oughtn’t he... on the cortex of Lieutenant Slothrop. The man will suffer—perhaps, in some clinical way, be destroyed—but how many others tonight are suffering in his name? For pity’s sake, every day in Whitehall they’re weighing and taking risks that make his, in this, seem almost trivial. Almost. There’s something here, too transparent and swift to get a hold on—Psi Section might speak of ectoplasms—but he knows that the time has never been better, and that the exact experimental subject is in his hands. He must seize now, or be doomed to the same stone hallways, whose termination he knows. But he must remain open—even to the possibility that the Psi people are right. “We may all be right,” he puts in his journal tonight, “so may be all we have speculated, and more. Whatever we may find, there can be no doubt that he is, physiologically, historically, a monster. We must never lose control. The thought of him lost in the world of men, after the war, fills me with a deep dread I cannot extinguish...”Prentice, the employee, the seasoned intelligence veteran, strikes me as a maturation from Pynchon's earlier Mexico phase, into a more realistic and experienced person and, by the time he gets into the Counterforce, "activist". This could be projection but given that the book was written from around the mid-60s until 1973, and how much changed in that time, I feel like this could be based on his own experiences with political activism in California around that time. Might be totally wrong about that, but I just got that impression from reading the weird "interview" towards the end of the book with the Wall Street Journal between the interviewer and the "spokesman for the Counterforce". Who knows, read it again and see what you think.
Slowly then, a revelation through the nacreous film of his seed, in Negro-brown, comes his message: put in a simple Nihilist transposition whose keywords he can almost guess. Most of it he does in his head. There is a time given, a place, a request for help. He burns the message, fallen on him from higher than Earth’s atmosphere, salvaged from Earth’s prime meridian, keeps the picture, hmm, and washes his hands. His prostate is aching. There is more to this than he can see. He has no recourse, no appeal: he has to go over there and bring the operative out again. The message is tantamount to an order from the highest levels.This "highest orders" thing can be compared with Slothrop seeing the hand of God pointing down at him.
There is in his history, and likely, God help him, in his dossier, a peculiar sensitivity to what is revealed in the sky. (But a hardon?) On the old schist of a tombstone in the Congregational churchyard back home in Mingeborough, Massachusetts, [*] the hand of God emerges from a cloud, the edges of the figure here and there eroded by 200 years of seasons’ fire and ice chisels at work, and the inscription reading:...
In Memory of Constant
Slothrop, who died March
ye 4th 1766, in ye 29th
year of his age.
Death is a debt to nature due,
Which I have paid, and so must you.
6:43:16 BDST—in the sky right now here is the same unfolding, just about to break through, his face deepening with its light, everything about to rush away and he to lose himself, just as his countryside has ever proclaimed... slender church steeples poised up and down all these autumn hillsides, white rockets about to fire, only seconds of countdown away, rose windows taking in Sunday light, elevating and washing the faces above the pulpits defining grace, swearing this is how it does happen—yes the great bright hand reaching out of the cloud...I think Pynchon recognised that with his unique abilities, perception, intelligence, and even privilege, it was his duty to delve into these hidden histories and play his role in bringing about this integration of the darkest levels of the unconscious. But Beyond the Zero is all about systems, and as Pynchon is well aware all systems are inherently limited because there are irrational elements in the world. So after this we have the briefer section in the Casino Hermann Goering, where the role of chance - or fate, depending on your interpretation - is recognised, and systems are examined, particularly language systems, like the drinking game Prince. So after that, with the third part, In the Zone, I think he may have been using drugs and various other techniques to bring out unconscious things in himself, to get past these conscious systems. And then completed with the Tarot reading performed at the end, where it says "here are the cards, exactly as they came up" - I think it's very possible that he did an actual Tarot reading at this point. Maybe I'm wrong about this though, I don't want to make too many assumptions given the lack of information we really have on him. If that thing with the drugs is true, it would explain that infamous quote Jules Seigal attributed to him, "I was so fucked up while I was writing it... that now I go back over some of those sequences and I can't figure out what I could have meant." But it's unclear whether that quote is real or not.
There doesn’t exactly dawn, no but there breaks, as that light you’re afraid will break some night at too deep an hour to explain away—there floods on Enzian what seems to him an extraordinary understanding. This serpentine slagheap he is just about to ride into now, this ex-refinery, Jamf Ölfabriken Werke AG, is not a ruin at all. It is in perfect working order. Only waiting for the right connections to be set up, to be switched on... modified, precisely, deliberately by bombing that was never hostile, but part of a plan both sides—”sides?” —had always agreed on... yes and now what if we—all right, say we are supposed to be the Kabbalists out here, say that’s our real Destiny, to be the scholar-magicians of the Zone, with somewhere in it a Text, to be picked to pieces, annotated, explicated, and masturbated till it’s all squeezed limp of its last drop... well we assumed—natürlich!—that this holy Text had to be the Rocket, orururumo orunene the high, rising, dead, the blazing, the great one (“orunene” is already being modified by the Zone-Herero children to “omunene,” the eldest brother)... our Torah. What else? Its symmetries, its latencies, the cuteness of it enchanted and seduced us while the real Text persisted, somewhere else, in its darkness, our darkness... even this far from Südwest we are not to be spared the ancient tragedy of lost messages, a curse that will never leave us... . But, if I’m riding through it, the Real Text, right now, if this is it... or if I passed it today somewhere in the devastation of Hamburg, breathing the ashdust, missing it completely... if what the IG built on this site were not at all the final shape of it, but only an arrangement of fetishes, come-ons to call down special tools in the form of 8th AF bombers yes the “Allied” planes all would have been, ultimately, IG-built, by way of Director Krupp, through his English interlocks—the bombing was the exact industrial process of conversion, each release of energy placed exactly in space and time, each shock-wave plotted in advance to bring precisely tonight’s wreck into being thus decoding the Text, thus coding, recoding, redecoding the holy Text... If it is in working order, what is it meant to do? The engineers who built it as a refinery never knew there were any further steps to be taken. Their design was “finalized,” and they could forget it. It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted... secretly, it was being dictated instead by the needs of technology... by a conspiracy between human beings and techniques, by something that needed the energy-burst of war, crying, “Money be damned, the very life of [insert name of Nation] is at stake,” but meaning, most likely, dawn is nearly here, I need my night’s blood, my funding, funding, ahh more, more... . The real crises were crises of allocation and priority, not among firms—it was only staged to look that way—but among the different Technologies, Plastics, Electronics, Aircraft, and their needs which are understood only by the ruling elite...Some words of wisdom from the seasoned veteran Prentice:
Yes but Technology only responds (how often this argument has been iterated, dogged and humorless as a Gaussian reduction, among the younger Schwarzkommando especially), “All very well to talk about having a monster by the tail, but do you think we’d’ve had the Rocket if someone, some specific somebody with a name and a penis hadn’t wanted to chuck a ton of Amatol 300 miles and blow up a block full of civilians? Go ahead, capitalize the T on technology, deify it if it’ll make you feel less responsible—but it puts you in with the neutered, brother, in with the eunuchs keeping the harem of our stolen Earth for the numb and joyless hardens of human sultans, human elite with no right at all to be where they are—”
We have to look for power sources here, and distribution networks we were never taught, routes of power our teachers never imagined, or were encouraged to avoid... we have to find meters whose scales are unknown in the world, draw our own schematics, getting feedback, making connections, reducing the error, trying to learn the real function... zeroing in on what incalculable plot?
Up here, on the surface, coaltars, hydrogenation, synthesis were always phony, dummy functions to hide the real, the planetary mission yes perhaps centuries in the unrolling... this ruinous plant, waiting for its Kabbalists and new alchemists to discover the Key, teach the mysteries to others...
And if it isn’t exactly Jamf Ölfabriken Werke? what if it’s the Krupp works in Essen, what if it’s Blohm & Voss right here in Hamburg or another make-believe “ruin,” in another city? Another country? YAAAGGGGHHHHH!
Well, this is stimulant talk here, yes Enzian’s been stuffing down Nazi surplus Pervitins these days like popcorn at the movies, and by now the bulk of the refinery—named, incidentally, for the famous discoverer of Oneirine—is behind them, and Enzian is on into some other paranoid terror, talking, talking, though each man’s wind and motor cuts him off from conversation.
“You’re a novice paranoid, Roger,” first time Prentice has ever used his Christian name and it touches Roger enough to check his tirade. “Of course a well-developed They-system is necessary—but it’s only half the story. For every They there ought to be a We. In our case there is. Creative paranoia means developing at least as thorough a We-system as a They-system—”And finally, amid all this darkness, in a superlatively dark book, some hope at last, to hold onto, that makes life worth living, and why I think that despite what many say, GR is not a nihilistic work at all (Tchitcherine, the born nihilist, is almost a parody of this position). It starts with Slothrop's awakening to nature:
“Wait, wait, first where’s the Haig and Haig, be a gracious host, second what is a ‘They-system,’ I don’t pull Chebychev’s Theorem on you, do I?”
“I mean what They and Their hired psychiatrists call ‘delusional systems.’
Needless to say, ‘delusions’ are always officially defined. We don’t 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. Your idea that Pointsman sent Gloaming takes a wrong fork. Without any contrary set of delusions—delusions about ourselves, which I’m calling a We-system—the Gloaming idea might have been all right—”
“Delusions about ourselves?”
“Not real ones.”
“But officially defined.”
“Out of expediency, yes.”
“Well, you’re playing Their game, then.”
“Don’t let it bother you. You’ll find you can operate quite well. Seeing as we haven’t won yet, it isn’t really much of a problem.”
Roger is totally confused.
Trees, now—Slothrop’s intensely alert to trees, finally. When he comes in among trees he will spend time touching them, studying them, sitting very quietly near them and understanding that each tree is a creature, carrying on its individual life, aware of what’s happening around it, not just some hunk of wood to be cut down. Slothrop’s family actually made its money killing trees, amputating them from their roots, chopping them up, grinding them to pulp, bleaching that to paper and getting paid for this with more paper. “That’s really insane.” He shakes his head. “There’s insanity in my family.” He looks up. The trees are still. They know he’s there. They probably also know what he’s thinking. “I’m sorry,” he tells them. “I can’t do anything about those people, they’re all out of my reach. What can I do?” A medium-size pine nearby nods its top and suggests, “Next time you come across a logging operation out here, find one of their tractors that isn’t being guarded, and take its oil filter with you. That’s what you can do.”And then, after Slothrop's harp makes its trip down the toilet, and through all of the darkness of the book until that point, where does it next show up? After he draws a rocket mandala, scrawls Rocketman was here on a wall, after the sequence with the Magician using black magic and a mandrake to multiply money, and a delegate from the Committee on Idiopathic Archetypes shows up to visit:
Crosses, swastikas, Zone-mandalas, how can they not speak to Slothrop? He’s sat in Säure Bummer’s kitchen, the air streaming with kif moires, reading soup recipes and finding in every bone and cabbage leaf paraphrases of himself... news flashes, names of wheelhorses that will pay him off enough for a certain getaway... . He used to pick and shovel at the spring roads of Berkshire, April afternoons he’s lost, “Chapter 81 work,” they called it, following the scraper that clears the winter’s crystal attack-from-within, its white necropolizing... picking up rusted beer cans, rubbers yellow with preterite seed, Kleenex wadded to brain shapes hiding preterite snot, preterite tears, newspapers, broken glass, pieces of automobile, days when in superstition and fright he could make it all fit, seeing clearly in each an entry in a record, a history: his own, his winter’s, his country’s... instructing him, dunce and drifter, in ways deeper than he can explain, have been faces of children out the train windows, two bars of dance music somewhere, in some other street at night, needles and branches of a pine tree shaken clear and luminous against night clouds, one circuit diagram out of hundreds in a smudged yellowing sheaf, laughter out of a cornfield in the early morning as he was walking to school, the idling of a motorcycle at one duskheavy hour of the summer... and now, in the Zone, later in the day he became a crossroad, after a heavy rain he doesn’t recall, Slothrop sees a very thick rainbow here, a stout rainbow cock driven down out of pubic clouds into Earth, green wet valleyed Earth, and his chest fills and he stands crying, not a thing in his head, just feeling natural...And later:
Slothrop moseys down the trail to a mountain stream where he’s left his harp to soak all night, wedged between a couple of rocks in a quiet pool. ... Through the flowing water, the holes of the old Hohner Slothrop found are warped one by one, squares being bent like notes, a visual blues being played by the clear stream.There's hope after all, and I think it's reflected in how much more positive all his later works have been. Thanks so much for reading, I hope it was at least vaguely interesting, not too much of an unstructured ramble. Also, this is such a great subreddit, really I love the community here. My very best to you all!
There are harpmen and dulcimer players in all the rivers, wherever water moves. Like that Rilke prophesied,
And though Earthliness forget you,
To the stilled Earth say: I flow.
To the rushing water speak: I am.
It is still possible, even this far out of it, to find and make audible the spirits of lost harpmen. Whacking the water out of his harmonica, reeds singing against his leg, picking up the single blues at bar 1 of this morning’s segment, Slothrop, just suckin’ on his harp, is closer to being a spiritual medium than he’s been yet, and he doesn’t even know it.
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