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Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Pynchon

“The chief enemy of creativity is good sense”*…

 

* Pablo Picasso

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As we ideate up a storm, we might recall that it was on this date in 2012 that Thomas Pynchon agreed to allow his complete works to be published digitally for the first time; they were made available as e-books the following day.  Pynchon, typically, declined to comment on the move.

 source

 

Written by LW

June 14, 2016 at 1:01 am

“All investigations of Time, however sophisticated or abstract, have at their true base the human fear of mortality”*…

 

Thomas Pynchon’s earliest colonial ancestor, William Pynchon, was a key figure in the early settlement of New England (and, as the portrait above attests, less picture-shy than his descendant)… He was also the author of a book which became, at the hands of the Puritans against which it riled, one of the first to be banned and burned on American soil.

Read the extraordinary tale at “The Price of Suffering: William Pynchon and The Meritorious Price of Our Redemption.”

* Thomas Pynchon, Against the Day

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As we celebrate free speech, we might send recently-reformed birthday wishes to Augustine of Hippo, AKA St. Augustine; he was born on this date in 354.  Augustine famously came to his faith later in life, after a youth filled with worldly experience… including a long engagement (to an underaged girl– to wit the length), for which he left the concubine who was the love of his life, “The One”– and which he broke off just before the wedding.

Imagined portrait by Philippe de Champaigne (17th cen.)

 source

Written by LW

November 13, 2015 at 1:01 am

Living at the end of the Long Tail…

 

click here for video

YouTube suggests that under 30% of its videos account for over 99% of it’s traffic.  (The reigning champ:  Justin Bieber’s “Baby, featuring Ludacris,” with 598,457,143 views… and counting…)

But what of the rest?  Readers need no longer wonder.  Dadabot “randomly finds the least viewed videos on YouTube (for better or worse).”  Just click on over for selections that range from the poignant through the pointless to the putrid…

[TotH to Presurfer]

 

As we sit, transfixed, we might wish a responsive Happy Birthday to the Russian physiologist and psychologist Ivan Pavlov; he was born on this date in 1849.  Pavlov’s experiments with animals (most famously, with dogs) led him to develop the concept of the conditioned (or conditional) reflex (a specific behavioral response to a specific stimulus), and laid the foundation for Behaviorism.

(Lest readers think Thomas Pynchon’s imagination overheated, it is now known that Pavlov’s experimental “animals” included human children.)

Pavlov’s 1904 Nobel Prize portrait (source)

 

 

“A screaming comes across the sky”…

Long time readers know of your correspondent’s abiding affection for the works of Thomas Pynchon.  So readers can imagine his delight at discovering The Thomas Pynchon Fake Book, an online collaboration among 37 people (and three animals) that yielded 29 songs, all with lyrics appearing in Gravity’s Rainbow (a positively ditty-packed volume).

Readers can listen to streaming renditions of “Loonies on Leave,” “Byron the Bulb,” “The Penis He Thought Was His Own,” “Herman the German,” and over a score more.

Every weirdo in the world is on my wavelength.
– Thomas Pynchon

UPDATE to yesterday’s XXL:  MK reminds your correspondent that all readers might enjoy the exhibit, a collaboration between London’s Serpentine Gallery and EDGE, in which Kai Krause’s “Africa to Scale” features.  It can be found here or here.

 

As we stay alert to Inherent Vice, we might recall that it was on this date in 1959 that The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum opened in New York.  Frank Lloyd Wright was commissioned and designed the building in 1937; but construction was delayed until 1957.  The resulting gallery, which features a spiraling six-story ramp encircling an open center space lit by a glass dome, is home to a powerful contemporary art collection, strong in Klee, Kandinsky, Calder, Chagall, and Brancusi.

The Guggenheim (source)

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