The biggest un-asked literary question of all time is;
Did Ken Kesey and Thomas Pynchon ever meet?
Of course, this question spawns a slew of other un-asked questions, does it not. Like;
Did they ever swap wives? After all, there was this thing called Free Love, and the Summer of Love. And, Ken and Tom are the greatest hip/beat/bohemian writers of all time. Surely their coming together would have changed the course of Hippie History.
It might not be too late! The far-out literary world may not have come to an end. Life goes on. The pen moves across the paper omitting sparks of cosmic stars.
I was married to Pynchon’s wife.
In my review of the Kesey mural, I said the image was un-balanced, and, what it needed was a figure standing on the other side of the bookcase, with their arm resting atop it. The figure I chose was Venus by Botticelli. But, it now occurs to me Thomas Pynchon would be the wiser, and less selfish choice. The bookshelf would now hold the books of both literary giants. They would be shuffled together to make one Big Book, a Hippie Bible if you will. What I pointed out to Charles Shield, and Boris Kachka, was that being a hippie was not about – standing alone! It was about seeking new ways to interact with fellow human being so we can change the world, stop humanity from going off a cliff. Is ‘Catcher in the Rye’ on Ken’s shelf?
What the balanced mural would look like is a Cote of Arms! We could redo the mural and title it ‘The Book Ends of the Literary Gods’. Didn’t Tom win a spelling bee trophy? You can see there is room there on the wall. The question is, will Pynchon be wearing a paper bag over his head? This will tie in nicely with the Simpson mural two blocks away.
Before we tarry forth, let me say this, there is no evidence whatsoever that Leonardo Da Vinci belong to a mysterious society. Here is evidence my ancestor belonged to the mysterious Swan Brethren, who commissioned Bosch to render very mysterious works of art. Rosemondt was a great Renaissance Man.
As to who got ripped off, and who is ripping off whom, the creative estate of my late sister, the world-famous artist ‘Rosamond’, was decimated by parasites, outsiders who wrote two terrible books and a screenplay. To keep depicting The True Victim, as a Victimizer, is pure evil!
This brings me to that wonderful man who gave me rest in the Wilderness. Michael Powell was a perfect gentleman and host, who knew what I was searching for. I chose to sit outside so I could look at his wondrous chair, and get a betting read on it. For, I had a vision when I walked down the walk. I saw Thomas Pynchon sitting in that chair. When Michael read this, I hope it jars his memory, because he came knocking, and asked;
“I heard Ken Kesey lived around here when he wrote Sunset…….. Is this true?”
“Why yes, he lived over there! Can I make you a mint julep. You look like a parched and cultured man. Have a seat. It will only take a minute. I can see my cat likes you. Smokey doesn’t take to people. She’s a Loner!” Michael lied, because he loves to make all his guests feel special.
Here is Thomas Pynchon’s ex-wife (and mine) recreating Poussin’s ‘The Arcadian Shepherds’. Mary Ann gave me a hand-signed copy of V to read. I got to page thirty-eight and put it down. Now, I am poised to pick it up again, because I realized Tom was on to the Venus in Retrograde Crisis that is decimating Western Culture. The symbol for our ruin is…………
V for Venus! Inehernt V……Trouble in Retrograde. Above is a photo of Belle crossing Ken Kesey Square minutes before I tell her she reminds me of Botticelli’s VENUS!
Here is the Vision I had while staring at Michael’s rusty chair on Columbia Street.
Someone handed Pynchon ‘Holy Blood, Holy Grail’ to read, or, discypher, because that handee knew Pynchon loves codes. When Tom saw this, he fell backyards in his chair and almost broke his neck.
O U O S V A V V
Three V’s. Tom went to work, and four days later he finished ‘Da Vinciville’. It was so convoluted, that a ghost writer was hired to tone it down so it was palatable to the common man.
As a profound coincidence, Erin Sullivan stopped reading the Da V-inci Code on page thirty-eight! The question is, who handed Tom ‘Holy Blood, Holy Vice’ knowing Pynchon would get hooked – like a big fish?
Here is Tracy Twyman’s treatment of Poussin’s puzzle. We were members of several yahoogroups. We fought, and I invited her to come to Eugene and try out for the Slug Queen. She said she would if I paid her exprences.
“By the way. How’s Frog? Is that freak still there!”
‘Inherent Vice’ is code for a secret bloodline. I now wonder if Tom and Mary Ann had a child together. Consider ‘Vineland’. My ex descends from Eric ‘The Red’
One story involved the book jacket photographer for “V” going to Pynchon’s only known address, a hotel room in Mexico City, for a picture of the young author. The man who answered the door said Pynchon would be back in an hour, but when the photographer returned, the room was barren.
Et in Arcadia ego (also known as Les bergers d’Arcadie or The Arcadian Shepherds) is a 1637-38 painting by Nicolas Poussin (1594–1665). It depicts a pastoral scene with idealized shepherds from classical antiquity clustering around an austere tomb. It is held in the Louvre, Paris.
The Shugborough Inscription is a sequence of letters – O U O S V A V V, between the letters D M – carved on the 18th-century Shepherd’s Monument in the grounds of Shugborough Hall in Staffordshire, England, below a mirror image of Nicolas Poussin‘s painting, the Shepherds of Arcadia. It has never been satisfactorily explained, and has been called one of the world’s top uncracked ciphertexts. The inscription became widely known after being mentioned in the 1982 book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln.
The novel alternates between episodes featuring Benny, Stencil and other members of the Whole Sick Crew (including Profane’s sidekick Pig Bodine) in 1956 (with a few minor flashbacks), and a generation-spanning plot that comprises Stencil’s attempts to unravel the clues he believes will lead him to “V.” (or to the various incarnations thereof). Each of these “Stencilised” chapters is set at a different moment of historical crisis; the framing narrative involving Stencil, “V.”, and the journals of Stencil’s British spy/diplomat father threads the sequences together. The novel’s two storylines increasingly converge in the last chapters (the intersecting lines forming a V-shape, as it were), as Stencil hires Benny to travel with him to Malta.
Another story involved the typically aggressive Normal Mailer, who after making numerous requests to have a drink with Pynchon, finally tracked him to an address and began pounding on the door. after a while, Mailer gave up, only to learn from neighbors that a strange tall man had jumped from the second story window and skittered off down the sidewalk.
Pynchon siting pop up every now and then. One moment, he is rumored to be involved in the writing of a television show. The next, he is penning a tribute to his favorite rock band.
Rumors, of course, exist that Pynchon doesn’t exist at all. Or if he does exist, that he didn’t write the books. In 1976, an article in the Soho News announced that Pynchon was in fact J.D. Salinger. Soon after the article came out, Pynchon sent a note to the author to the effect that he did exist and did write the books.
(“Do you have any claim to fame . . . other than having had Pynchon bonk your wife?”).
This morning I discovered Jules Siegel and his ex-wife, Christine Wexler, wrote a book about Siegel’s experiences when he went online and chatted with Pynchon Freaks. One could say I have picked up the gauntlet, the topic that was exploited when this book came into print. Funny, why didn’t my ex-Facebook friends, and my ex-wife, tell me about this book? Boris Kachka, Charles Shields, and Mary Ann Tharaldsen, remain tight Facebook buddies, I no longer privy to their conversations. With this discovery, I can now fish more directly for the answer to this question;
Do you have any claim to fame……other than having bonked Pynchon’s ex-wife?
But, the new question I am mining, like a vein of gold, is;
Is Thomas Pynchon exaggerating his drug experience and expertise, like Brian Willams, who was dismissed by NBC News? Is it time to take the old Acid Test out of its crate and hook Pynchon up to it – and his circle of friends?
Below is part of an interview with Christine Siegel. Who came up with Lineland which is a take-off of Vineland?
Wait a minute! Why didn’t I see this before? Doc is giving the V sign that stands for Vineland and Pynchon’s novel V. I think this movie is showing us THE WAY to the last Hippie reservation.
Here is the only psychedelic movie worthy to be connected with Pynchon. If you freeze the frames you see The Pig (Pynchon) devouring people in order to appear hip. Even th0ugh Mary Ann told me she tripped many times, only this video proves it. This the only real Acid Flick, until others pass the test. This is Vintage stuff.
‘Cautionary Kitty’ is full of acid-soaked apocalyptic messages. And, it is just oozing with ripe, un-rehearsed sexual innuendos, not like the contrived crap Pynchon’s Hollywood crew delivered on the silver screen. This is a – get behind the toilet – masterpiece, something Warhol would have put in the can at The Factory.
“I feel kitty! Oh so kitty!”
It appears Thomas Pynchon is in my Family Tree, as is Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor who may have been jealous of Sue Lyon who played Lolita, who is running around half-naked in front of Richard Burton on the set of ‘The Night of the Iguana’. Sue Lyon was best friends of Patty Presco, the ex-wife of my brother. Mark Presco, who drove Sue Lyon to Santa Monica City College five days a week in his GTO Mustang that he bought from his wages earned by helping put men in space V-ia rockets. Mark was Mary Ann Tharaldsen’s brother-in-law, and the famous artist ‘Rosamond’ was her sister-in-law.
Rosamond took up art after seeing my painting of Rena Easton, who walked about California half-naked. She was seventeen, a real nymph I drove around in my 1950 Dodge.
My brother held our wedding reception at his house, and took the photos of Mary Ann and I. His eyes fell upon Sue Lyon for a semester. Stanley Kubrick worked with Vladimir on the Lolita script. Above is a letter from Vladimir to Kubrick. Did the Vlad have anything to do with casting Sue Lyon? Was he hidden behind two way mirror – with Pynchon during audition?
I am now running The Most Outrageous Pynchon Guess Contest. Send me you entries.
In the article in the New York magazine Boris (and Vlad) says Pynchon encouraged folks to keep on guessing about who he is, and what he is all about. My guess is, Thomas was an avid fan of the BBC series Connections, and might own this series on video tape. Anyone who has read a biography of a famous artist or musician, has read a book about Connections. With the addition of Pynchon in my family tree, so grows the Creative People therein. The relationship between Thomas and Mel Lyman, is amusing. As is the relation to Sir Richard Burton, the man who could not get enough attention, and the man who did not want any! I see a play on par with Waiting For Gadot.
“According to the author of Remedios Varo: Unexpected Journeys, Pynchon saw Bordando el Manto Terrestre (“Embroidering Earth’s Mantle”) when, as part of the first full retrospective of the painter’s work, it was displayed at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City in 1964, a year after her death at the age of 55.
She was a regular visitor to the Prado Museum and took particular interest in the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch, most notably The Garden of Earthly Delights. Renaissance art inspired harmony, tonal nuances, unity, and narrative structure in Varo’s paintings. The allegorical nature of much of Varo’s work especially recalls the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch, and some critics, such as Dean Swinford, have described her art as “postmodern allegory,” much in the tradition of Irrealism.”
Here is astrologer, Jamie Kahl, on Venus in Retrograde, that resembles my relationship with my Bad Muse, Belle Burch.
Venus Retrograde 2009: Descent Into Love’s Darkness
Friday, March 6 through Friday, April 17, 2009
What Is Venus Retrograde?
When Venus goes retrograde, she takes our hand and pulls us into the darkness of our relationships. A retrograde period of any planet is a retrospective of that planet’s themes. It is like going into the deep, dark cave of oneself in whatever area of life is covered by the planet that is retrograde. It is a time of moving backward, perhaps of going back to pick up pieces lost in the past. It is a retrieval, a turning inward, perhaps a letting-go. Since Venus’ domain is relationships, this turning inward will happen in that domain.
Inanna’s Descent To The Underworld
The retrograde journey of Venus is depicted in the Mesopotamian tale of the descent of Inanna. To the people dwelling in the cradle of civilization several thousand years ago, Inanna was as Venus is to us: a goddess of love, a beautiful goddess, a heavenly queen. In the tale, she travels to the underworld to retrieve her dead love. The underworld is ruled by her sister, Ereshkigal. Inanna cannot enter the underworld without dying, but a goddess does not stay dead. A goddess is immortal and so, after her journey, she rises, just as the planet Venus, having completed her retrograde journey, must turn direct and return to the sunlit world.
Inanna prepares for her journey by putting on seven things: a crown on her head, a scepter in her hand, a necklace, gems for her breast, a ring on her finger, a breastplate and royal garments. As she descends, she passes through seven gates. At each gate, the gatekeeper requires her to remove one of these items before allowing her to pass. In passing the seventh gate, she comes before her sister (think of them as two aspects of one goddess, light and dark) entirely naked and vulnerable. There she sickens and dies and her corpse is hung upon a stake. After three days and three nights have passed, she is revived and saved by the intercession of Ninshubur, a Mesopotamian Mercury. Mercury (Hermes to the Greeks), as messenger of the gods, is traditionally one of the few immortals who is able to travel between the under- and over-worlds without having to die to do it. The messenger-god sends two angels to feed Inanna the food and water of life. She is brought back to life and returns to the over-world, bringing a trail of the dead with her. The dead who return with her are not the restless dead, but those who died peacefully.
What Does The Story Mean?
Think of Inanna’s descent as a descent into deeper intimacy. She is attempting to bring her lover back from death and to revive her relationship. To do this, she must go into her relationship’s darkness; she must enter into deeper intimacy. This requires a vulnerability that she cannot comprehend at first, but learns to understand by experiencing it.
Inanna armors herself for the descent into the underworld. Her approach to the first gate is tinged with arrogance, but by the time she arrives at Ereshkigal’s throne she is stripped, literally and figuratively. She has no armor left. She is entirely vulnerable.
This tale is a classic one because Inanna’s behavior is so like our own, when faced with the prospect of real intimacy and the fear it brings up. When we go into an “intimate” conversation, don’t we gird ourselves for a fight we are secretly hoping to win? Don’t we decorate ourselves, hoping to charm our partner into agreement, or to entice them? Don’t we cover our breast, our heart, with hard armor in hopes that, while we may deliver a wound, we will escape without receiving one? We wish to make our point and to have an impact on our partner, without having to feel anything or make any change in ourselves.
Inanna shows us that vulnerability is the only approach that works when going into the dark places of love and relationship. If you find yourself in a relationship where you cannot ever be entirely vulnerable or your partner does not feel that they can be entirely vulnerable (at least some of the time), then real intimacy is not happening between you. Both partners must be capable of complete vulnerability and willing to stand emotionally naked before each other, and ready to let go of all armor, in order to reach true intimacy. At the very heart of intimacy is trust, without which a relationship has no foundation.
Seven Gates, Seven Sacrifices On The Way To Deeper Intimacy
Inanna must make a sacrifice at each gate on her way to the underworld. Each sacrifice has interesting possible meanings. During 2009’s Venus retrograde period (March 6 through April 17) I’ll be making one short blogpost about each of them. As I do that, I won’t be trying to interpret their meaning to the Mesopotamians who first told this story; I am looking for the meaning these symbols hold for you and me, today.