Quote #17

‘”These signs are real. They are also symptoms of a process. The process follows the same form, the same structure. To apprehend it you will follow the signs. All talk of cause and effect is secular history, and secular history is a diversionary tactic. Useful to you, gentlemen, but no longer so to us here. If you want the truth — I know I presume — you must look into the technology of these matters. Even into the hearts of certain molecules — it is they after all which dictate temperatures, pressures, rates of flow, costs, profits, the shapes of towers…”

“You must ask two questions. First, what is the real nature of synthesis? And then: what is the real nature of control?”

gravitys-rainbow“You think you know, you cling to your beliefs. But sooner or later you will have to let them go…”‘

– The séance-channeled spirit of Walther Rathenau in Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow. Rathenau also alludes to the mysteries of coal-tar chemistry, specifically Perkin’s synthesis of mauveine, used as mauve dye (“…the first new color on Earth, leaping to Earth’s light from its grave miles and aeons below.”) All in all it’s one of my all-time favorite scenes in a novel — a creepy, prophetic little slice of liminal horror that I’ve cracked open to read a hundred times since I first read it twenty-five years ago.

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2 Responses to Quote #17

  1. Interesting. This makes me want to take a look at the book.

  2. inthebrake says:

    It’s one of the greats.

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