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sologdin

sologdin

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Middlemarch: An Authoritative Text, Backgrounds, Reviews and Criticism (A Norton Critical Edition)
Bert G. Hornback, George Eliot
The Magic Mountain
Thomas Mann, John E. Woods
Love in the Time of Cholera
Gabriel García Márquez
The City and the City - China Miéville It's a lengthy derridean joke, right?

Copula Hall pulls us into Margins of Philosophy regarding the "supplement of copula," which opines that the "fusion of the grammatical and lexical functions of 'to be' certainly bears an essential relation to the history of metaphysics and to everything coordinated to this history in the West," or so. We see therein also the "barely repressible temptation to consider the growing predominance of the formal function of the copula as a process of falling, an abstraction, degradation, or emptying of the semantic plentiude of the lexeme 'to be' and of all lexemes which, likewise, have let themselves dwindle or be replaced."

So, i.e., the city "is" the city, one reducible to the other as a grammatical identity, despite their purported differences. The novel defers the differential significance of the coupling, first, to a third term, "the Breach," which remains undefined and undefinable, and thence to another, and thence, it appears, to yet another. We don't ever get a solution to the central mystery, except that it boils down to market mechanisms, which is a fine answer from my perspective (and from the author's, I suspect).

Very much reminded me of The Crying of Lot 49, except in this one the narrative continues after the crying of the lot and our Oedipa outs the conspiracy, only to find that the conspiracism is just a cover for some globalizers' antiquities thefts, if that interior narrative is to be believed over the competing claims that the setting attempts to repress, through paradigmatically derridean notions such as closure made manifest.

The novel also presents a lengthy joke at Foucault's expense, vis-a-vis archaeology. Otherwise, the setting might as well be post-civil war Yugoslavia.

Recommended for people who think Pynchon has hidden away a longer, fuller, more robust draft of The Crying of Lot 49, for those obsessed with post-cold war neo-colonialisms & the restoration of capitalism, and for schroedinger's readers--who simultaneously comprehend and willfully fail to understand.