Kechagiar has written 15 posts for Seven Steps Back

Breath as Inherent Vice, pt. five (of five)

(continued from pt. four) What is different, and important, in this illustration on the principles of approaching death, is that Pynchon went once more against the grain. Now that entropy has gotten his body by the balls (his brain sadly included in the package), he set down to write a novel that is distinctly different … Continue reading

Breath as Inherent Vice, pt. four (of five)

Vineland, then, is the descent into hell, the triumph of police, the demise of free dope growers, the application of Reaganomics, the construction of a privatized prison system, the Rise of the Right, Wall-Street-funded icicles made with ice taken from up to then pristine Alaskan glaciers, the ugly face of Republicanism, Fear, the fear of … Continue reading

Breath as Inherent Vice, pt. three (of five)

(continued from pt. two) An element that points to the book’s (near-)finality is that the cloud of buzz surrounding the book had something Pynchon fanatics were not used to. His voice in the book trailer (he sounds like an aging California hippie, a more robust and composed Zoyd Wheeler). This could signify a newfound laxness … Continue reading

Breath as Inherent Vice, pt. two (of five)

(continued from pt. one) Pynchon is back with his latest novel and on the surface it contains everything we have come to expect: the sentences multiplying like fractals upon the page; the elliptical dialogue; the unfathomable structure that extends between parts, paragraphs and chapters, passages that no-one can see, but travels through nonetheless; a system … Continue reading

Breath as Inherent Vice, pt. one (of five)

What we can learn about the exit strategy of Thomas Pynchon through the pot-addled California avenues of Inherent Vice. The term “inherent vice” derives from maritime law terminology, and pertains to something in the nature of the transported article(s) potentially harmful to the article itself. According to statutes in the same legal vicinity, these “flaws” … Continue reading

Herzog Asks a Question

Has anyone heard rocks sigh? ―Werner Herzog, Conquest of the Useless, 138  

Important Announcement

Dear reader, the first part of our next installment in this positively marvelous essay series will be broadcast sometime between the 10th and 20th of November 2011.

Beyond the Pale, pt. eight (of seven)

(An Appendix for Depressives) watch 00:35-00:45 DFW’s Papers at the Harry Ransom Center // Dynamite Box at Indianapolis from the Library of Congress’ photostream The Howling Fantods, the biggest DFW site on the web // The Stockholm Library The New York University’s instructions for handling incendiary devices (such as footnotes) // He didn’t invent it, … Continue reading

Beyond the Pale, pt. seven (of seven)

(continued from pt. six) At times, his writing and the stories he chooses to tell feel like the protective rituals of a severe OCD sufferer. The thing with Wallace is that reading him demands, or else incites, the use of the word ever, as in §46 is one of the best pieces of dialogue ever … Continue reading

Beyond the Pale, pt. six (of seven)

(continued from pt. five) Pg. 229 is essentially the fulcrum, the crux, the beating heart of the entire book. A description of what life actually is, of what true courage and true heroism is, the countless misconceptions and grand misinformations that help shape us into hazy and fuzzy-limited characters; that making a choice is choice-limiting … Continue reading


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