The Vineland of Pynchon and Sinclair

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bookvThomas Pynchon wrote Vineland in 1990. It takes place in Vineland the last stronghold of the last hippies that are doomed with the election of Ronald Reagan who went after the Evil Red Empire of the Rus (red) who were Vikings.

Mythical Vineland is in Northern California, a composit of Sonoma, Mendocino, and the Russian (Rus) river area where I took Rena Christiansen, a beautiful Norse Goddess who became my Muse, and the Muse of the famous artist, Christine Rosamond. The Rosemond cote of arms depicts a dancing wolf that was found on the banners of several famous Sea-Rovers, including Rollo.

My ex-wife, Mary Ann Tharaldson, is kin to Eric the Red who came to America before the Sinclairs, and named it Vineland. Mary Ann and her husband adopted two boys. One was a Inuit Eskimo from Alaska, and the other was a blonde boy they named Erik. They had a daughter they named Britt.

I was living in the woods of Oregon when Reagan was elected. Many of my neighbors were the last of the hippies. Eugene Oregon is Vineland, the Norse Valhalla where the Hip Hobbits come to die. My daughter has singed aboard a Viking ship and gone off drinking with a bunch of boozers, losers, and dudes.
who hate the Vippies of Vineland, and are turning Northern California and Alaska into the Land of the Nascar Rednecks.

Nancy the Prankster suggested I write the history of the Hippies. I began ‘The Gideon Computer’ that is about the Last of the Hippies – in the future – who removes the Guilt-Virus put in the Computer Mundi. Pynchon missed the boat in Gravity’s rainbow, where he FOOLS around with a V2 rocket, the same way the Sinclair clan FOOLS around with the most stupid idea ever born in the brain of man, being, Leonardo Da Vinci went to great lengths to hide a W in the Last Supper that is two Vs entwined, and a upside down M, that stands for Mary Magdalene, two Ms that are four upside down V V V V s – and thus proof Jesus sired a daughter – The Daughter of God! This stupid idea spawned a hudred books and a thousand websites, that slammed – MY counter cutlure on the jagged rocks off the coast of the Island of Orkeny, where nothing has happended – ever! The Sinclair Son of God and his wife – ARE BORING!

I pray Redneck Nascar boozers come ashore, set up a dirt track, and drive their Confederate flag – that contains the Union Jack – in the heart of stupid white folk land!

Two people were removed from Bosch’s ‘The Wedding Freat at Cana’. One was a Pope, and the other a possible descendant of Rollo, or, Wolf Krake.

For two years I have wondered if Pynchon the recluse reads my blog, he googling his name, and reading about his ex-lover, who may have inspired Vineland.
I suspect Thomas is living in a igloo near the North Pole.

I am the last Vippie of Vineland! I own the greatest cultural movement the world has ever known. Screw Pinkham and Ian Sinclair, and that V-shaped rocket at Gnosshead, that will never get off the ground! Every gnostic V-ulture, has their day!

“Got a gnostic rocket in my pocket!”

I gave my grandson, Tyler Hunt, the nickname – Sceaf.

Jon Presco

Copyright 2013

http://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=4776

Vineland, the central locale of the novel, is a fictional small town in California’s Anderson Valley (perhaps based upon Boonville). Vineland may be a play on the word “Hollywood”, a reference to the first Viking settlement in North America, Vinland, or a reference to Andrey Vinelander, a character in Vladimir Nabokov’s Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle. Still others contend that the title refers to Vineland, New Jersey or a “Vinland the Good” mentioned in a Frank O’Hara poem. However, the most obvious explanation is that the title is a reference to the area in which the novel is set, which is near California’s grapevine-filled Wine Country.

http://www.nytimes.com/books/97/05/18/reviews/pynchon-rainbow.html

It could have been titled “V-2.” In the Paris 1913 section of “V.” there is a passage that states a major theme in Pynchon’s work. The heroine, V., is meditating on her lesbian passion for a young ballerina: “It was a variation on . . . the Tristan-and-Iseult theme, indeed, according to some, the single melody, banal and exasperating, of all Romanticism since the Middle Ages: ‘the act of love and the act of death are one.’ Dead at last, they would be one with the inanimate universe and with each other. Love-play until then thus becomes an impersonation of the inanimate, a transvestism not between sexes but between quick and dead, human and fetish.” In the new novel this theme is given Mahlerian orchestration; World War II in Europe is the stage, and the universal object of passion is a fetish of universal death: the V-2 rocket.
“Gravity’s Rainbow” is set in England, France and Occupied Germany in 1944 and 1945. It is thick with references and flashbacks to World War I and Weimar days, to England and America in the twenties and thirties, to early experiments with genocide and concentration camps in German South-West Africa during the Herero uprising of 1904-7, which played a part in “V.” as well. Such characters from “V.” as Seaman “Pig” Bodine, Kurt Mondaugen and Clayton “Bloody” Chicklitz (who also figured in “The Crying of Lot 49”) reappear in relatively minor roles. A central character of “Gravity’s Rainbow” is the German Lieutenant Weissmann, who had been V.’s sado-masochistic lover in Africa in 1922 (he had deciphered the mysterious atmospheric radio signals that spelled out Wittgenstein’s proposition “the world is all that is the case”).

This intricate plotting and world-annihilating, phallic, homosexual imagery are well-known characteristics of paranoia. Indeed, an explicit project in all of Pynchon’s works is the exploration, celebration, condemnation and proliferating dramatization of paranoia. In an essay on “The Mechanism of Paranoia” (1911) Freud himself discusses a classic case and connects his clinical observations with the tendencies in German literature (“Faust”) and music (“Tristan and Isolde”) that Pynchon draws on in his novel. “We should be inclined to say,” writes Freud, “that what was characteristically paranoic about the illness was the fact that the patient, as a means of warding off a homosexual wish-phantasy, reacted precisely with delusions of persecution . . . . At the climax of his illness, under the influences of visions which were ‘partly of a terrifying character, but partly, too, of an indescribable grandeur,’ [the patient] became convinced of the imminence of a great catastrophe, of the end of the world . . . . [Soon he believed] he himself was “the only real man still surviving,’ and the few human shapes that he still saw–the physician, the attendants, the other patients–he explained as being . . . ‘cursory contraptions.'”
Such is the mental world of “Gravity’s Rainbow.” Pynchon has brilliantly combined German political and cultural history with the mechanisms of paranoia to create an exceedingly complex work of art. The most important cultural figure in “Gravity’s Rainbow” is not Goethe or Wagner, however, but Rainer Maria Rilke, Captain Blicero’s favorite poet. In a way, the book could be read as a serio-comic variation on Rilke’s “Duino Elegies” and their German Romantic echoes in Nazi culture. The “Elegies” begin with a cry: “Who, if I screamed, would hear me among the angelic orders? And even if one of them suddenly pressed me against his heart, I would fade in the strength of his stronger existence. For Beauty is nothing but the beginning of Terror that we’re still just able to bear, and why we adore it is because it serenely disdains to destroy us.”
http://www.nytimes.com/books/97/05/18/reviews/pynchon-rainbow.html

Vineland is, of course, the name of the physical setting of the book, but it’s also the name given to this continent by Leif Ericsson, the Norseman who is presumed to be the New World’s first European visitor. It is a name older than America and it was that of a land untouched by the hands of the ancestors of its present inhabitants.

But there is nothing untouched about 1984 California. In one of the more courageous moves he makes, Pynchon deliberately uses a shriveled language in this novel. There is none of the experimental prose that made Gravity’s Rainbow such a wonder of modern literature. Even in a relatively accessible novel of his like The Crying of Lot 49 there is a plentitude of subtle pun and ribbing for those who can get it. But Vineland’s prose is so flat and simple that it actually looks different on the page from a distance.

And it’s perfect. As mentioned earlier, Vineland acts as a corollary to Gravity’s Rainbow. Pynchon certainly didn’t try to top his earlier work, but Vineland is still a wholly remarkable book. Where Gravity’s Rainbow was about resisting ordered systems of thought (which he sees as both dehumanizing and dangerous to human perceptions of truth), Vineland is about the aftermath that seems all too inevitable now. In that way Vineland is Pynchon’s darkest book.

Over and over again in the book there is the juxtaposition of promise and reality. Pynchon celebrates the 60’s but laments its aftermath. Pynchon celebrates America yet condemns what we have been doing to ourselves in recent years.

Then the meaning of the title becomes clear. Vineland is the story of ideals sacrificed, revolutions betrayed, and it’s a step further down the path to hell than Gravity’s Rainbow. Hippies became Yuppies. Virgin Vineland became America under the Reagan Administration. The frontier became Vineland Mall. The Wizard of Oz became the Boob Tube.

If Gravity’s Rainbow was three parts apocalypse and one part hope, Vineland is nine parts suicide and one part wistful nostalgia. But even here there is a spark of hope that makes Vineland worth reading. Prairie carries a lot of emotional baggage around, but she never stops striving for what would be mawkish ideals if presented by any other writer: courage, kindness and intelligence.

Pynchon spends a lot of time establishing Prairie’s redemptive nature with a Wizard of Oz fixation that shows itself several times in his works. (The quote “Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore” introduces section 3 of Gravity’s Rainbow.) One time he tells us that a snapshot of California “couldn’t have been Kansas anymore (120).” He uses Kansas to represent the ideals America has sold away.

The book begins with Zoyd Wheeler waking up one summer morning with some Froot Loops with Nestle’s Quick on top. He lives in Vineland County, a foggy, fictional expanse of Northern California which makes a great refuge for wilting flower children. Zoyd is one of them-a part-time keyboard player, handyman and marijuana cultivator who acts publicly crazy (he jumps through glass windows once a year on television) to qualify for mental disability benefits. He and his teenage daughter Prairie both mourn the disappearance of Frenesi Gates, who was mother to one and wife to the other. Frenesi was a radical filmmaker during the 60’s until she was seduced by Brock Vond, a federal prosecutor and overall bad-guy/nutcase who turns her from hippie radical to FBI informant. With her help he manages to destroy the People’s Republic of Rock and Roll.

http://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=4776

Vineland, the central locale of the novel, is a fictional small town in California’s Anderson Valley (perhaps based upon Boonville). Vineland may be a play on the word “Hollywood”, a reference to the first Viking settlement in North America, Vinland, or a reference to Andrey Vinelander, a character in Vladimir Nabokov’s Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle. Still others contend that the title refers to Vineland, New Jersey or a “Vinland the Good” mentioned in a Frank O’Hara poem. However, the most obvious explanation is that the title is a reference to the area in which the novel is set, which is near California’s grapevine-filled Wine Country.

The story is set in California, United States, in 1984, the year of Ronald Reagan’s re-election.[1] After a scene in which ex-hippie Zoyd Wheeler dives through a window, something he is required to do yearly in order to keep receiving mental disability checks, the action of the novel opens with the resurfacing of DEA agent Brock Vond, who (through a platoon of agents) forces Zoyd and his 14-year-old daughter Prairie out of their house. They hide from Brock, and from Hector Zuñiga (a drug-enforcement federale from Zoyd’s past, who Zoyd suspects is in cahoots with Brock) with old friends of Zoyd’s, who recount to the mystified Prairie the story of Brock’s motivation for what he has done.
This hinges heavily on Frenesi Gates, Prairie’s mother, whom she has never met. In the ’60s, during the height of the hippie era, the fictional College of the Surf seceded from the United States and became its own nation of hippies and dope smokers, called the People’s Republic of Rock and Roll (PR³). Brock Vond, working for the DEA, intends to bring down PR³, and finds a willing accomplice in Frenesi. She is a member of 24fps, a militant film collective (other members of which are the people telling Prairie their story in the present day), that seeks to document the “fascists’ ” transgressions against freedom and the hippie ideals. Frenesi is uncontrollably attracted to Brock and the sex he provides, and ends up working as a double agent to bring about the killing of the de facto leader of PR³, Weed Atman (a math professor who accidentally became the subject of a cult of personality).

In 1993, when I first read Vineland, Thomas Pynchon’s great novel about washed-up 60s radicals, I was living in northern California with two middle-aged hippies. A certain bohemianism and lawlessness still lingered in their creaking house in Berkeley. The cable TV service was siphoned off from a neighbouring property. One housemate drank rank-smelling wheatgrass for her breakfast. The other disappeared at weekends on unspecified operations against the logging companies in the redwood forests up near the Oregon border. When she was home, she almost never left her basement room. She emphatically instructed me to deny her existence if anyone called.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/jul/31/thomas-pynchon-vineland-rereading

Leif Ericson[3] (pron.: /ˈleɪf/ LAYF or /ˈliːf/ LEEF; Old Norse: Leifr Eiríksson; Icelandic: Leifur Eiríksson; Norwegian: Leiv Eiriksson c. 970 – c. 1020) was a Norse[4] explorer regarded as the first European to land in North America (excluding Greenland), nearly 500 years before Christopher Columbus.[5] According to the Sagas of Icelanders, he established a Norse settlement at Vinland, tentatively identified with the Norse L’Anse aux Meadows on the northern tip of Newfoundland in modern-day Canada.
It is believed that Leif was born around the 970s—the son of mother Thjodhild and father Erik the Red, an explorer and outlaw from Western Norway.[6] Erik founded the first Norse colonies in Greenland, and was based at the family estate Brattahlíð in the so-called Eastern Settlement, where Leif had his upbringing. Leif had two known sons: Thorgils, born to noblewoman Thorgunna in the Hebrides; and Thorkell, who succeeded Leif as chieftain of the Greenland settlement.

Leif was the son of Erik the Red and his wife Thjodhild, and the grandson of Thorvald Asvaldsson. His year of birth is most often given as c. 970 or c. 980.[7] Though Leif’s birthplace is not accounted for in the sagas,[8] it is likely he was born in Iceland,[4] where his parents met[7]—probably somewhere in Breiðafjörður, and possibly at the farm Haukadal where Thjodhild’s family is said to have been based.[4] Leif had two brothers, Thorstein and Thorvald, and a sister, Freydís.[9]
Thorvald Asvaldsson was banished from Norway for manslaughter and went into exile in Iceland accompanied by young Erik. When Erik was himself banished from Iceland, he traveled further west to an area he named Greenland, where he established the first permanent settlement in 986.[8][10] Tyrker, one of Erik’s thralls, had been specially trusted to keep in charge of Erik’s children, as Leif later referred to him as his “foster father”.[11]
[edit] Discovering Vinland

Leiv Eiriksson discovers America, by Christian Krohg (1893).
Leif and his crew travelled from Greenland to Norway in 999. Blown off course to the Hebrides and staying for much of the summer, he arrived in Norway and became a hirdman of King Olaf Tryggvason. Leif also converted to Christianity, and was given the mission of introducing the religion to Greenland.[8][12] The Saga of Erik the Red and the Saga of the Greenlanders, both thought to have been written around 1200,[13] contain different accounts of the voyages to Vinland.[14][15] The two only known strictly historical mentions of Vinland are found in the work of Adam of Bremen c. 1075 and in the Book of Icelanders compiled c. 1122 by Ari the Wise.[16] According to the Saga of Erik the Red, Leif apparently saw Vinland for the first time after being blown off course on his way to introduce Christianity to Greenland.[12]

Leif is described as a strong man of striking appearance, who was wise and considerate.[25] During Leif’s stay in the Hebrides, he fell in love with noblewoman Thorgunna who gave birth to their son Thorgils.[9] Thorgils was later sent to Leif in Greenland, but he did not become popular.[25] After Leif’s first trip to Vinland, he returned to the family estate of Brattahlíð in Greenland, and started preaching Christianity to the Greenlanders. His father Erik reacted coldly to the suggestion that he should abandon his religion, while his mother Thjodhild quickly became a Christian and built a church called Thjodhild’s Church.[26] Leif is last mentioned alive in 1019, and by 1025 he had passed on his chieftaincy of Eiriksfjord[8] to another son, Thorkell.[25][27] Nothing is mentioned about Leif’s death in the sagas—he probably died in Greenland some time between these dates.[25][28] Nothing further is known about Leif’s family beyond the succession of Thorkell as chieftain.[25]

Thorvald Asvaldsson (Old Norse: Þōrvaldr Āsvaldsson) was the father of the colonizer of Greenland, Erik the Red, and grandfather of Leif Ericson, who visited North America centuries before Christopher Columbus. Thorvald’s father was Asvald Ulfsson, whose father was Ulf Oxen-Thorisson, whose father was Oxen-Thorir, brother of Naddodd, discoverer of Iceland.
Thorvald Asvaldsson was born in Norway. He was exiled from Norway c. 960, during the reign of King Harald Fairhair, because he had committed murder. He fled with his son Erik to northwest Iceland, where he died before 980.

Thorstein became a warrior king, and formed an alliance with Earl Sigurd the Great, son of Eystein the Rattler. They conquered Caithness, Sutherland, Ross, and Moray, and more than half Scotland. Over these Thorstein was king until the Scots plotted against him, and he fell there in battle.
Aud was in Caithness when she heard of Thorstein’s death. Then she caused a merchant-ship to be secretly built in the wood, and when she was ready, directed her course out into the Orkneys. There she gave in marriage Thorstein the Red’s daughter, Gro, who became mother of Grelad, whom Earl Thorfinn, the Skullcleaver, married.

Saga of Erik the Red

      Eirik Thorvaldsson, known as Erik the Red, is remembered in medieval and Icelandic saga sources as having founded the first Norse settlement in Greenland.  “The Red” most likely refers to his hair color.  The Icelandic tradition indicates that he was born in the Jæren district of Rogaland, Norway, as the son of Thorvald Asvaldsson.  Erik therefore also appears as Erik Thorvaldsson (Eiríkr Þorvaldsson).  Erik’s father Thorvald was exiled from Norway for the crime of manslaugher and he settled on the island of Öxney (Iceland.)  
      The Icelanders later sentenced Erik to exile for three years due to “some killings” he committed around the year 982.  According to the Saga of Erik the Red, he spent his three years of exile exploring portions of the land he named “Greenland.”  Erik deliberately gave the land a more appealing name than Iceland in order to lure potential settlers.   Several thousand Vikings eventually moved from Iceland to Greenland, but Erik’s settlements failed for multiple reasons: an epidemic of disease, environmental damage from climate change, and attacks from the Inuit natives (also known as Eskimos).
      Leif Ericson, the famous Icelandic explorer, was Erik’s son.  Leif became the first Viking to explore the land of Vinland (part of North America, probably near modern-day Newfoundland). 

Viking Longhouse in Iceland
 
Chapter 1
Olaf, who was called Olaf the White, was styled a warrior king. He was the son of King Ingjald, the son of Helgi, the son of Olaf, the son of Gudred, the son of Halfdan Whiteleg, king of the Uplands (in Norway).
He led a harrying expedition of sea-rovers into the west, and conquered Dublin, in Ireland, and Dublinshire, over which he made himself king. He married Aud the Deep-minded, daughter of Ketil Flatnose, son of Bjorn the Ungartered, a noble man from Norway. Their son was named Thorstein the Red.
Olaf fell in battle in Ireland, and then Aud and Thorstein went into the Sudreyjar (the Hebrides). There Thorstein married Thorid, daughter of Eyvind the Easterling, sister of Helgi the Lean; and they had many children.
Thorstein became a warrior king, and formed an alliance with Earl Sigurd the Great, son of Eystein the Rattler. They conquered Caithness, Sutherland, Ross, and Moray, and more than half Scotland. Over these Thorstein was king until the Scots plotted against him, and he fell there in battle.
Aud was in Caithness when she heard of Thorstein’s death. Then she caused a merchant-ship to be secretly built in the wood, and when she was ready, directed her course out into the Orkneys. There she gave in marriage Thorstein the Red’s daughter, Gro, who became mother of Grelad, whom Earl Thorfinn, the Skullcleaver, married.

https://sites.google.com/a/email.vccs.edu/hanson-history/history-111/documents/printing-press

The Inuit (Inuktitut: ᐃᓄᐃᑦ, “People”) are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic regions of Greenland, Canada, the United States, and eastern Siberia. Inuit is a plural noun; the singular is “Inuk”. The Inuit languages are classified in the Eskimo-Aleut family.[10]
In the United States, the term Eskimo is commonly used in reference to these groups, because it includes both of Alaska’s Yupik and Inupiat peoples while “Inuit” is not proper or accepted as a term for the Inupiat. No collective term exists for both peoples other than “Eskimo”.[11] However, natives in Canada and Greenland view the name as pejorative and “Inuit” has become more common.[12][13] In Canada, sections 25 and 35 of the Constitution Act of 1982 named the “Inuit” as a distinctive group of aboriginal Canadians who are not included under either the First Nations or the Métis.[14]

The name “Anderson Valley” applies to a region stretching from Yorkville (located in a highland meadow straddling the upper Rancheria Creek and upper Dry Creek watersheds) through Boonville (located on Anderson Creek) and Philo (located on Indian Creek) to Navarro (located on Soda Creek). Rancheria, Anderson, Indian and Soda creeks are tributaries to the Navarro River, which flows north and west through the coastal range to the Pacific Ocean; Dry Creek flows south into the Russian River watershed in Sonoma County. The main stem of the Navarro River begins less than a mile south of Philo at the confluence of Anderson Creek and Rancheria Creek. The mouth of the Navarro is 10 miles (16 km) south of Mendocino, California. Encompassing 315 square miles[1] (816 km²), the Navarro River watershed is the largest coastal basin in Mendocino County.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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1 Response to The Vineland of Pynchon and Sinclair

  1. Reblogged this on Rosamond Press and commented:

    I believe Trump is destroying the World of Fiction – too! This is causing much grief and alarm, because Western Culture has forever straddled the fence between Truth and Folklore. Trump only wants his folkore to prevail. So did Hitler.

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