Log24

Monday, February 2, 2009

Monday February 2, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 10:30 AM

Against the Day

is a novel by Thomas Pynchon
published on Nov. 21, 2006, in
hardcover, and in paperback on
Oct. 30, 2007 (Devil's Night).

Perhaps the day the title
refers to is one of the above
dates… or perhaps it is–

Groundhog Day

The Candlebrow Conference
in Pynchon's Against the Day:

The conferees had gathered here from all around the world…. Their spirits all one way or another invested in, invested by, the siegecraft of Time and its mysteries.

"Fact is, our system of so-called linear time is based on a circular or, if you like, periodic phenomenon– the earth's own spin. Everything spins, up to and including, probably, the whole universe. So we can look to the prairie, the darkening sky, the birthing of a funnel-cloud to see in its vortex the fundamental structure of everything–"

Quaternion in finite geometry
Quaternion by
S. H. Cullinane

"Um, Professor–"….

… Those in attendance, some at quite high speed, had begun to disperse, the briefest of glances at the sky sufficing to explain why. As if the professor had lectured it into being, there now swung from the swollen and light-pulsing clouds to the west a classic prairie "twister"….

… In the storm cellar, over semiliquid coffee and farmhouse crullers left from the last twister, they got back to the topic of periodic functions….

"Eternal Return, just to begin with. If we may construct such functions in the abstract, then so must it be possible to construct more secular, more physical expressions."

"Build a time machine."

"Not the way I would have put it, but if you like, fine."

Vectorists and Quaternionists in attendance reminded everybody of the function they had recently worked up….

"We thus enter the whirlwind. It becomes the very essence of a refashioned life, providing the axes to which everything will be referred. Time no long 'passes,' with a linear velocity, but 'returns,' with an angular one…. We are returned to ourselves eternally, or, if you like, timelessly."

"Born again!" exclaimed a Christer in the gathering, as if suddenly enlightened.

Above, the devastation had begun.

 
Related material:
Yesterday's entry and
Pynchon on Quaternions.

Happy birthday,
James Joyce.

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress