Has anyone seen or tried a chapter remix of Against the Day?

Yeah, I take that back already. I was just trying to locate any misgivings about the book, and I think I thought I was turned off of Deuce because pages 250-400-ish dragged a bit, but I think that was the most "realistic" part of the book and it felt like it did not have as much metaphorical content, but looking back I can see how wrong I was.

Let's see what metaphor, symbolism, and motif popped up with him (this starts kind of weak, but I think a little more concrete as I gave it more thought):

The conflict with mauve and green (and red) was never truly reconciled with me, with Deuce "I'm a mauve man, myself", the mother (or perhaps it was Sloat) partial to all things green, and Lake being double-teamed at the Four Corners with red dirt all over her. Green and Red were juxtaposed quite a bit in this book, and mauve only came up twice, I believe: Deuce saying he was a mauve man, and the person who shows up right before the seance (226) at the TWIT with a message about Renfrew/Werfner is wearing a mauve hat. Mauve, we all know by now, was the first aniline synthetically created dye, the 1890s were named the "mauve decade", and the color was worn by Queen Victoria at some major "look at Imperial Britain's progress" event, though it isn't the Crystal Palace Exhibition in '51 because mauve was developed a few years later, but as this crummy memory fails me, I will just say there was some connection between them.

I think the color wheel came in very handy while reading this book. Green and Red are complimentary, and so are Yellow/Gold and Purple, another common color code we see on people like Foley and Vibe in their checker'd get-ups. There is a pretty consistent use of the colors to the left or right of the complimentary color, so we would have Yellow and instead of Violet, we would have blue-violet or red-violet, which together as all three would have made what is called "split complimentary", but we only ever got Yellow and one of the split complimentary colors. This feels like an easy play into the themes of the book, and I could make out a lot of color implications in this manner, though I couldn't come up with a satisfactory meaning for them. Having split-complimentary but missing all three is clashing pretty badly. It is imbalanced without that trinity.

On the topic of color and fashion, there is a part where Thane tells Cyprian something along the lines of "Now I remember why I put up with you... it's the fashion advice." There were many times in the book where someone's lack of fashion, or even egregious insult against it, were commented on like on 619:

"...and nobody seemed to notice, despite Foley's telltale fatality for the garish, exhibited here in an outift no description of whose tastelessness can be comfortably set upon one's page... Well, actually, it was a three-piece sporting ensemble popular some years back, woven so as to present different colors depending on the angle it was viewed from, these including but not limited to brownish pink, saturated grape, and a certain necrotic yellow." emphasis mine

You can see on the color wheel that brownish pink, saturated grape, and necrotic yellow are sort of playing with not just split complimentary madness, but also the in-between colors of the wheel. This is again a clashing color scheme, and I began to wonder about how our connection to our own Time Period, or dimension, inform us of our fashion. Cyprian, our very stylish and eventually sexually liberated homosexual spy de internacional, seems to have a strong connection to what is "fashionable", or in tune with our time. Through his holy meshing trinity with Reef and Yashmeen however, Cyprian ends up being completely liberated from any sort of stringent codes of color, style, sex, or anything that I think might be related to being "In One's Time", and instead becomes a kind of exile outside of time. He pretty much disregards the World Situation when he stays behind at the convent, towards his likely dissolution, and yet that seems the journey many of our characters take in one way or another.

/r/ThomasPynchon Thread Parent