Saturday, February 27, 2016


Derived from Ancient Greek words βαθύς ‎(bathús, deep) and κόλπος ‎(kólpos, bosom).


  • enPR: băth-i-kol-pē-en


bathykolpian ‎(comparative more bathykolpian, superlative most bathykolpian)
  1. deep-bosomed.
  2. big-breasted.
    "The bathykolpian Heré ... sent down Iris" - Oliver Wendell Holmes, "Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table" (1858)

Quentin Tarantino

In the 1990s, Quentin Tarantino influenced a tremendous growth in nonlinear films with Reservoir Dogs (1992) and Pulp Fiction (1994). Here's a helpful infographic: Pulp Fiction in Order.

Gravity's Rainbow vs. Infinite Jest

And now to address the big, shiny, somewhat phallic V-2 rocket in the room.

Wallace wrote a big, funny post-modern book that skewers American civilization. So did Thomas Pynchon (c.f. Gravity's Rainbow). Aside from frequent parabola references, that's pretty much where the similarity ends.

Gravity's Rainbow is basically a pilgrimage. Pynchon's characters move from Point A to Point B.
Infinite Jest is static. Wallace's characters are locked in their own skulls, islands unto themselves.

Gravity's Rainbow had some long strange trips, baby. When faced with evil Nazi rocket scientists and the death cult techno-conspiracy of Western Civilization, why not get high?

Gravity's Rainbow thundered with the voice of the paranoid Author God. Infinite Jest doesn't.

Anthony Burgess

Anthony Burgess (1917-1993) was a novelist, poet, playwright, composer, linguist, translator and critic. He is best known for his novel A Clockwork Orange, but altogether he wrote thirty-three novels, twenty-five works of non-fiction, two volumes of autobiography, three symphonies, more than 150 other musical works, reams of journalism and much more. He was born in Manchester, England and grew up in Harpurhey and Moss Side, went to school in Rusholme, and studied at Manchester University. He lived in Malaya, Malta, Monaco, Italy and the US among other places, and is still widely read all over the world.

In addition to cooking up the Indo-European tongue of Quest for Fire and the nadsat slang of A Clockwork Orange, this wordy wordsmith peppered his books with near-forgotten slovos. For example ...

Said word pops up in his Malthusian SF novel, The Wanting Seed. To look it up, you used to have to crack open the unabridged Oxford English Dictionary or pay to use their website. It ain't in the collegiate dictionaries. But it is on Wiktionary.

There's a bloody essay out there somewhere chock full of Burgess' words. But I couldn't find it. Bathykolpian will have to do.


adjective: involuted
  1. complicated; abstruse.
    "his involuted prose"
    It is a fucking word, OK?

Interlace viewer

A television-based home entertainment system, ubiquitous in the time the novel is set, which plays copy-protected "cartridges" custom-ordered by viewers, invented by Noreen Lace-Forché


Critics speculate Himself created the Entertainment as a way of jolting his son Hal out of his low-affect, solipsistic self-involvement.