Friday, December 29, 2006

Chapters 22 and 23: More Revenge in Colorado

There is no plot device for a revenge tale quite like having the daughter of the deceased fall in love with one of her father’s killers. Lake not only falls in Love with Deuce Kindred, but, in some of the kinkier sex you will read in a novel this year, ends up in bed with both of her father’s killers simultaneously.

The previous chapter ends with Miles Blundell observing that “Bells are the most ancient objects. They call us out of eternity” (259). Lake’s sudden fall for Deuce begins with the question “WHAT WAS IT. Exactly, that had started in to ringing so inside Lake, tolling bone deep, invisible in the night” (262).

The break between Mayva and Lake is heartbreaking. Pynchon’s development of female characters has certainly improved!

Chapter 23 continues the revenge tale, this time turning to Frank and his developing relationship with a (bisexual) Radcliffe grad student, Wren Provenance., a girl anthropologist. Is she somehow related to Victoria Wren, the mysterious woman in V? By the end of the chapter she seems ready to head off to the South Pacific to do anthropological work (seems to be an allusion to Margaret Mead’s groundbreaking work in the South Pacific.

A humorous note: Franks and Wren’s whorehouse visit is ostensibly for “research.” Their final drinking night on the town in Leadville is similarly described.


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