Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Chapter 37: Two Ships, One Wave (or Particle)

We return to Dally, and to Kit whose stories merge aboard the cruise ship Stupendica. We see Dally begin to interact with Erlys, who tells her the story of her meetup with Merle, and with her sister Bria. A relationship, even a romance seems to develop between Dally and Kit, but it is interrupted by a bilocation. Kit, going down into the engineroom of the ship, “A ‘deeper level’ where dualities are resolved” (519) finds himself in an engineroom where the Stupendica, transformer like, becomes a warship of the Austrian Navy, the Emperor Maximilian.

At first, I thought this was a joke, Austria being a land-locked nation. However Pynchon has done his research—Austria did have a navy, and the Italian port city of Trieste, 70 miles east of Venice was its home. The Stupendica arrives in Trieste, but Kit, unable to get from the Maximilian to the bilocated Stupendica, eventually escapes into Africa, where he becomes a good/bad luck charm aboard a fishing vessel.


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