sex

Adding a touch of incest.

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So page 552 was...aaawwwwkkkwwwwaaaarrrrdddd

The football fetish. John Wayne doesn't play football, but Orin does. Hm.....maybe Avril really "misses" Orin? If this family and book were less crazy then I wouldn't consider it easily, but who can say with these people.

I also notice that Pemulis overhears Rusk's silly Oedipal mother speech right before stumbling across John Wayne and Avril.

mario's awkward "romantic experience"

Okay, I just have to say that I thought this entire section was ludicrous (and I loved it). The title, USSMK's hair and soggy bathmat-hand, a crossdressing father, ticklish body parts....

One question I had: Why is she called U.S.S. Millicent Kent? Does it have anything to do with her missile-like coiffure? (MORE missiles!!)

On a more serious note, though, this section also really reminded me of how characters from Underworld sought intimacy through impersonal sex.

Marriage Theatrics

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The marriage and sexual politics in this book continue to be very oddly soap-operalike and filmic to me. Or at least, the characters want their sex lives/marriages to be like a film.

Remember the part we discussed in class about Nick confronting Marian about her closeness with Brian? He wished he'd stood at the door so he could say something ominous about the potential affair and then walk away.... as if he wanted to make their marriage to play out like a drama. Nick wants to perfect the theatrics of domestic life.

Well it seems his brother is trying to do the same with Janet before their marriage, hoping she'll ask him to leave her job and get married.

oh, sex!

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On page 412, Matt has a fantasy about having a sexual fling with the protester he drives by. It reminded me of Nick's fantasy about the girl he meets at Klara's project place. These random desires strike me as strange for men who also talk about their relationship with their wife/girlfriend--I must seem very innocent in thinking this strange. I'm not sure why these two men have this tendency to think this way. It's like they all oh so connected to another person, then they see another chick and get at once sidetracked. It's sort of pathetic.

latex

This was supposed to be a comment on kettledrum's post, but it got a little long:

Condoms and gloves made of latex are used for the purpose of protecting oneself against humans, and more specifically their waste. They also provide a barrier to real interaction by 2 people: while touching someone with latex gloves feels real, it's not skin-to-skin contact.

There seems to be a disconnect between the two people involved in an interaction where latex is involved because both sides feel that they're making a human connection when technically that's not the case. This emphasizes the disconnect in human relationships that I think is evident in both Underworld and GR. In both books characters go about searching for love (both romantic and platonic) in ways that they seem to think will ultimately bring them what they want, but that end up just leaving them feeling isolated though they are surrounded by people.

Mushy stuff

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I've noticed Slothrop undergoing some interesting character changes as we've continued. (Note: I'm not referring to the reading for today, which I haven't yet begun. Go go speed reading!) When we first meet him, he doesn't really seem emotionally connected to anyone; though he definitely has his share of human interactions, they don't seem to mean anything to him.

That starts changing when he gets to the Riviera, specifically once people start leaving him. He pines after Katje, and his anger over Tantivy's death drives him out of France. He starts to realize this change when he says goodbye to Geli: "It is taking him longer, the longer he's in the Zone, to remember to say aw quit being a sap. What is this place doing to his brain?" (338) He sticks with Margherita, despite being frightened by her obvious batshit insanity, and gets immediately and deeply attached to Bianca.

women and Slothrop

I notice that Slothrop's constant sexual encounters make me take him less seriously as a character. This is not just because it makes him, as my friends and I like to say, a "man whore".

Slothrop's relationship to Katje was set up as "special". That is, he seemed to really care about her and Pynchon spent more time talking about them. Slothrop even talks about missing her. Yet he goes on to have sex with anything (female and human) that moves. So this means he has a complete disconnect between sex and emotional attachment, or he really doesn't care that much. I think it's amusing that, for someone so paranoid, he doesn't really hesitate to have sex...well, I guess since it seems meaningless to him in the long run, it does make sense.

Moments of Peace in War

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On page 172, just after Pointsmen has recieved oral sex from Maud, it says, "But no one saw them, then or ever, and in the winter ahead, here and there, her look will cross his and she'll begin to blush red as her knees, she'll come to his room off the loab once or twice perhaps, but somehow they're never to have this again, this sudden tropics in the held breath of war and English December, this moment of perfect peace." Typically oral sex is not seen as an act of emotional intimacy, but rather as an erotic sexual act. I think it's interesting that Pynchon has chosen this as the perfect moment of peace.

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