September 26, 2013

"Such a captive maiden, having plenty of time to think, soon realizes that her tower, its height and architecture, are like her ego only incidental..."

"... that what really keeps her where she is is magic, anonymous and malignant, visited on her from outside and for no reason at all. Having no apparatus except gut fear and female cunning to examine this formless magic, to understand how it works, how to measure its field strength, count its lines of force, she may fall back on superstition, or take up a useful hobby like embroidery, or go mad, or marry a disk jockey. If the tower is everywhere and the knight of deliverance no proof against its magic, what else?"

Thomas Pynchon, "The Crying of Lot 49."

1 comment:

Mitch H. said...

Lot 49 is the only Pynchon novel I've finished, but it's been years since I've read it, and I can't remember this passage to save my life. What I do remember is that it was readable (the other Pynchon novels I started and put aside were high-modern gibberish leavened heavily with irrelevant filth) and paranoid in that Robert Anton Wilson Illuminati-Trilogy fashion that characterizes late-period hippiedom.