Sunday, October 12, 2014

Death is Pervasive

I found the title of this story quite funny since currently we are testing over Entropy, Thermodynamics, and Energy (ATP) in my biology course so somethings others might not pick up on like a law of thermodynamics being that energy can not be created or destroyed of entropy in essences being the measure of chaos in a system most likely in molecular biology. Hence when atoms or molecules split and are less ordered and more chaotic entropy goes up, just some fun fact. But this connection was important to me as the connection between both readings, this story was complex. I had to reread portions because the sheer genius of Pynchon is a lot to take in especially for someone who's never read anything by him before (but plans to read more). "He was aware of the dangers of the reductive fallacy and, he hoped, strong enough not to drift into the graceful decadence of an enervated fatalism" (3026). That's one of those I had to reread to fully understand. But this complex line is exactly what this story and Gorey's children's alphabet book are about...DEATH. The uncontrollable, ever impending idea of death. Entropy is always increasing in our cosmos, because things are constantly falling apart including ourselves. This concept must be accepted, it's something Gorey expressed to children and it's something Callisto is and has accepted for himself. 

This story is incredibly deep and there is so much more to it, the music for instance. There is a clear difference between upstairs and downstairs music and how it relates to what's happening to the, a level of education and the idea of what's happening outside of themselves. Never once do the people downstairs have a thought for their neighbors and how they must be disrupting them and yet the noise intrusion isn't something the upstairs neighbors can easily ignore. I enjoyed this story and it's depth but this is definitely something I will need to reread a few times to fully absorb and this author is most certainly someone that I would enjoy looking into for more of their work. 

ps. I loved that their was a Navy Boatswain mate in this story since that's what my husband does for a living and most people can't even pronounce his job much less spell it correctly and understand what it is. Just a cool little blurb I thought neat. 

1 comment:

  1. Kayla,
    Oh good! You can fix my science explanation on the presentation then! :)
    This is a hard story. I had to read it several times and actually draw myself a picture to keep everything straight...
    I agree that Pynchon is exploring the inevitability of death, but also the way we respond to that inevitability- with enervated fatalism or wholesale acceptance of chaos? We see this exploration play out in the two systems of the apartments in the story. He is also considering the notion of the death of ideas, a common theme in postmodern lit. And both Pynchon and Gorey approach this subject in a very playful way that is also characteristic of postmodernism.