Pleasure as a source of suffering – population control in ‘Brave new world’, ‘Naked Lunch’ and ‘Infinite Jest’.

<some paper I’ve written for classes, why not post?>

„For the first time it was inside, do you see.

The control is put inside. No more need to suffer

passively under ‘outside forces’ – to veer into any wind.”

– Thomas Pynchon ‘Gravity’s Rainbow’

 

 

I. Introduction

 

The main question that we would like to deal with in this paper is whether pleasure plays an instrumental role in controlling the way people act. This is neither a new idea, nor is it groundbreaking, and as we will see, there are at least a few major examples of literature works that explore the said topic. However, as we would like to take a look on novels written in quite different moments in history, that is, more or less, in: the beginning (1931), the middle (1959) and the end (1996) of the 20th country, it might be a move resulting in some interesting conclusions. The specific way that the pleasure is used, the way people react to it, the effects of such enterprise and finally the way in which the great authors chose to write about it are all subject to considerable and meaningful changes. It is understood by us that even though literature may not always hold the key to the ultimate truth, it does vividly show how we, collectively, think about certain issues at certain points in time. In other words, it is to be more of a hermeneutic work, than a rigorous, scientific securitizing of the possible ways our present civilization might develop.

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Thomas Pynchon as a hacker

(Here’s another entry from the other blog, originally posted 05/02/2012)

You know the Anonymous. A mysterious, yet quite popular, loose collective of hackers/activists. That are to be expected or so they say. Since Pynchon’s identity is in fact unknown and his person is unreachable consequently that makes him as anonymous as it gets. However important is the case of reclusiveness and trying to hide from everyone for decades, this is not the main argument here. The point is that he invented a model of  ‘Anonymous network’ before they could ever learn what Linux was.

<read on>

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D. DeLillo – Cosmopolis

People in free societies don’t have to fear the pathology of the state. We create our own frenzy,
our own mass convulsions, driven by thinking machines that we have no final authority over. The
frenzy is barely noticeable most of the time. It’s simply how we live.

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