Pynchon's Entropy

Topics: Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow, Postmodern literature Pages: 3 (1175 words) Published: August 9, 2012
"ENTROPY" by Thomas PynchonSummary:Meatball Mulligan throws a lease-breaking party at his apartment in Washington, D.C. in early February of 1957. His guests are a colorful bunch, including Sandor Rojas, an "ex-Hungarian Freedom fighter," and the avant-garde Duke di Angelis quartet comprised of Duke, Vincent, Krinkles and Paco who together perform an original piece in complete silence. Saul, a neighbor of Mulligan's, comes in through the window after an argument with his wife concerning communication theory and the tendency for noise to "screw up your signal," making for "disorganization in the circuit." The party degenerates during the course of the story into a chaotic mess: more guests arrive with more booze, drunken Navymen barge in mistaking the place for a 'hoorhouse,' a woman almost drowns herself in the shower, the fridge needs repair. Meatball, however, decides to take action rather than hide silently in the closet, and through the energy he exerts succeeds in minimizing the chaos of the party through the establishment of order, however temporary and fleeting. Meanwhile, upstairs in the apartment above Mulligan's lives a man named Callisto in a hermetically sealed hothouse with a half-alien woman named Aubade who perceives all sensory input as sound. Callisto clutches a dying bird to his chest while expounding on the nature of Thermodynamics and its theoretical extension beyond the limits of physics into the realms of society and culture as well: just as all closed systems lose energy over time until a 'heat-death' occurs wherein motion ceases, so too does culture have a tendency to lose differentiation and slide toward what Callisto terms 'the Condition of the More Probable.' Entropy, then, which Callisto defines as 'the measure of disorganization for a closed system,' is valuable in that it is "an adequate metaphor to apply to certain phenomena in [the] world" such as the consumerist trend away from difference and toward sameness. Often Aubade checks...
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