The Uncharted: Playing with Maps in Gravity's Rainbow and Infinite Jest.

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    • Abstract:
      This paper presents the thesis that character interaction with maps in post-modern texts is analogous to the act of reading on the part of the reader; and that in these novels the two are linked by a causal mechanism whereby readers of maps (or texts) are in fact implicated into the act of reading -- and are then somehow also interpreted -- by the map itself. A note of warning; the first part of the paper, which focuses on Gravity's Rainbow, does not purport to prove anything radically different than what can be found throughout Pynchon scholarship (and some may wish to skim through it) -- but because of this I took the liberty to re-frame the arguments a little more abstractly and with some added observations that I found surprising had not already occurred elsewhere. What I did attempt was to expand on Duyfhuizen's analysis of maps in Gravity's Rainbow to demonstrate that the maps and the text are organised along genealogical criteria. I have also added a discussion on uncharted space. The second half looks at the game of Eschaton in Infinite Jest, relies on a close reading of the passage and on the deployment of techniques I hope to have made visible and useful through this wider analysis of Gravity's Rainbow. My hope is to have shown how interaction with the game's board forces the characters to re-examine their present predicament in the same way interaction with a text forces the reader to re-evaluate their own experience of reality. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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