Wait, What?

Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon

If you manage to read this book, you automatically enter an elite brotherhood (sisters welcomed, too). As soon as you flip over the final page, sigh, and ask "What the hell?" a courier arrives with a shiny medal emblazoned with a flaming book. This signifies your burning love for literature.

Gravity's Rainbow has been hailed (by some) the 20th century's greatest postmodern work. It has also been branded (by some others) as "unreadable." And while there are over 400 characters, oh-so-many plots and subplots, uncountable references to science and culture and history, you could get your kicks out of just reading the wonderful prose (and not actually trying to draw anything from it.)

It is about 800 pages of...topsy-turvy this-and-that madness, topped with humor and crazy scenarios and images. It is the hardest book I have ever read. I have also read Pychon's The Crying of Lot 49, which I found was a little easier. Maybe that was because it was a LOT shorter?

OK. So, anyway. This sketch is from one of the few scenes that I was actually able to retain. One of the main characters, Slothrop, aka "Rocketman," aka a bunch of other things, drops his harmonica in a restroom at a ballroom. He really doesn't want to lose it, so he dives in the toilet after his beloved harmonica. He enters a world inside the toilet, with all sorts...toilet world things. There are all sorts of symbols and parallels and what-have-you down there. The movie of Trainspotting even pays homage to this with a similar scene!

Ah, my head hurts just thinking about this book again. But as I type this companion text to my sketch, I look up at my coveted Fiery Book award, and smile proudly.


lucky said...

Hi Burt!

I really like the composition of this.
And the colors...
and the textures!
Textures ARE fun aren't they?

Have a great day and
thanks for your comments!


Tim said...

Holy crap. That's not what you "churned out" last night, is it? It once took me a year to draw an equilateral triangle. And even that was isosceles.

Burt said...

Tim, it is what I churned out. It actually took longer than I wanted, too. But I like how it came out!

Denise, thanks! Textures always lend a helping (and textural) hand, haha. Too bad it doesn't look anything like this in my sketchbook! Just imagine all that color as flat black.

Matthew said...

LA artist zak smith made a drawing for every page of gravity's rainbow- if you go to his site you can check em out, they're pretty fantastic-

congrats on finishing this one, i didnt make it