Pictures Showing What Happens on Each Page of Thomas Pynchon's Novel Gravity's Rainbow

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9780977312795: Pictures Showing What Happens on Each Page of Thomas Pynchon's Novel Gravity's Rainbow

Gravity's Rainbow Illustrated: One Picture for Every Page features the work of an Ivy League-educated, punk-rock, porn-star visual artist who has created a drawing for every page of a novel that is widely considered to be the most difficult work of literature ever produced in English.

Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow (1973) has been called a modernFinnegans Wake for its challenging language, wild anachronisms, hallucinatory happenings, and fever-dream imagery. With Pictures Showing What Happens on Each Page of Thomas Pynchon's Novel Gravity's Rainbow, artist Zak Smith at once eases and expands readers’ experience of the twentieth-century classic. Smith has created more than 750 pages of drawings, paintings, and photos―each derived from a page of Pynchon’s novel. Extraordinary tableaux of the detritus of war―a burned-out Konigstiger tank, a melted machine gun―coexist alongside such fantasmagoric Pynchon inventions as the “stumbling bird” and “Grigori the octopus.” Smith has said he aimed to be “as literal as possible” in interpreting Gravity’s Rainbow, but his images are as imaginative and powerful as the prose they honor.

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From the Publisher:

Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow (1973), set in an alternative-universe version of World War II, has been called a modern Finnegan's Wake for its challenging language, wild anachronisms, hallucinatory happenings, and fever-dream imagery. With Pictures Showing What Happens on Each Page of Thomas Pynchon's Novel Gravity's Rainbow, artist Zak Smith at once eases and expands readers' experience of the book. A leading exponent of punk-based, DIY art, Smith here presents his most ambitious project to date -- an art book exactly as long as the work it's interpreting: 760 drawings, paintings, photos, and less definable images in 760 pages. Extraordinary tableaux of the detritus of war -- a burned-out Königstiger tank, a melted machine gun -- coexist alongside such phantasmagoric Pynchon inventions as the "stumbling bird" and "Girgori the octopus." Smith has stated his aim to be "as literal as possible" in interpreting Gravity's Rainbow, but his images are as imaginative and powerfully unique as the prose they honor.

About the Author:

Zak Smith was born in Syracuse, New York, in 1976. In addition to theGravity’s Rainbow illustrations, which were shown in the 2004 Whitney Biennial and are now in the collection of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Smith’s recent projects include the multipanel painting 100 Girls and 100 Octopuses and an ongoing series of portraits of friends and acquaintances in the sex industry entitled Girls in the Naked Girl Business as well as a number of stand-alone paintings and drawings, abstract and otherwise. His work has appeared in numerous publications worldwide and is held in many public and private collections, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum. He is a frequent contributor to several independent comics and zines, including Papingand See How Pretty, See How Smart. His first monograph, Zak Smith: Pictures Of Girls, was published in 2005.

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