Ok, so a few days ago i finished reading this book and I would like to
discuss a few points, if anyone's interested.
WARNING: I intend to talk about the ending and various plot details so if you haven't read the book i suggest you avoid this thread (or at least my posts).
Here's some points id like to discuss:
-The Ending: does anyone feel like there was no closure for Stencil nor for Profane? That's probably the point of the book: Profane keeps yo-yoing and Stencil keeps searching... but still.
-does anyone find a parallel between Old Stencil's demise and the story told by the ship captain Mehemet about Mara, the sort of women patron of Malta? Maybe the parallel is also between V and Mara.
-This brings me to discuss what I consider one of the main themes of the novel: the relationship between the inanimate world and the human world; how Profane feels menaced by inanimate things. I find it as a metaphor for the development of society in the twentieth century in a way, although I can't exactly explain how at the moment. The reflections that Pynchon makes around this points are some of the highest points of the novel (tough call though: the whole novel is amazing). Anyway, i see V in the end turning to a sort of ambassador for the inanimate in the human world, as she more and more becomes inanimate by mechanizing her own body. A certain contradiction is to be found in her i feel cause she's sometimes insinuated as a reaper of death or decadence or revolution or... i don't know those three words are pretty dissimilar... but at some point in the epilogue she mentions her desire to do good to old Stencil, yet i cant help seeing her as some sort of reaper for the inanimate world. There is also the matter that she (V) is supposed to be the same as Victoria Wren and the german woman in Mondaguen's story but I find their attitudes or their personalities very different. I saw Victoria as a sort of sweet but not-so-innocent young girl; then we hear she turned to the german woman and that she flirted with old Stencil in Florence... Not to mention the affair with the ballet dancer! did her attitudes change as she became more and more mechanical, more and more an emissary for the inanimate? I don't know, maybe there's something I missed.
Anyhow, I know this was a sort of shallow assessment of the book, and there's lots to talk about, I just wanted to get some plot details out of the way and get the ball rolling.