Start of a Duel (Buried in The Sun)
February 10, 2013 11:42 AM   Subscribe

For years, rumors have swirled about a picture of Richard Fariña and Thomas Pynchon dueling in a cemetery. We heard about this rumor, dug around, and found that the picture is hidden in plain site on the Internet.
posted by chavenet (12 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
hidden in plain site

posted by sweetkid at 12:06 PM on February 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

This is the best of the web. Thanks for posting it.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 2:14 PM on February 10, 2013

The pictures won't load. I am giddy with happiness.
posted by From Bklyn at 3:23 PM on February 10, 2013

'Fame is a debt to Nurture due
Which Dick has paid, and so must You.'
posted by jamjam at 4:38 PM on February 10, 2013

I finished reading the unedited version of Gravity's Rainbow just to say i had read it.

Was an edited version ever released?
posted by Colonel Panic at 8:11 PM on February 10, 2013

Is that really an épée? Looks like a sabre.
posted by chapps at 9:18 PM on February 10, 2013

Is that really an épée? Looks like a sabre.

I'm embarrassed to ask this, chapps, but where did it say "épée"? I remember reading that, but I don't remember where.

I don't know anything about sabres/épées and appreciate whatever you can offer!

(Full disclosure: I co-wrote the article about finding the picture, hence, my embarrassment at not recognizing the reference.)

(And thank you, chavenet for posting this!)
posted by agog at 10:17 PM on February 10, 2013

Great post. Thanks for putting this up.

Also, as chapps said, those are definitely sabres, but I don't see any references to them being épées either.

Agog, you can tell they are sabres by the guard above the handle. Sabres are what we typically associate with pirates and other "swashbucklers". Epées have more of a bell-shaped guard above the handle. The style of dueling is also very different; sabres involve slashing, whereas épées involve more thrusting. I fenced épée in high school, but would have chosen sabre had I put more thought into it at the time (the team was short on épée fencers so I just went with it). So much fun either way.
posted by staccato signals of constant information at 10:53 AM on February 11, 2013

Fantastic post/article; thanks to both chavenet and agog!
posted by languagehat at 12:03 PM on February 11, 2013

buried in the links:

"The Methodist movement and the American Great Awakening were only two sectors on a broad front of resistance to the Age of Reason, a front which included Radicalism and Freemasonry as well as Luddites and the Gothic novel. Each in its way expressed the same profound unwillingness to give up elements of faith, however "irrational," to an emerging technopolitical order that might or might not know what it was doing. "Gothic" became code for "medieval," and that has remained code for "miraculous," on through Pre-Raphaelites, turn-of-the-century tarot cards, space opera in the pulps and comics, down to Star Wars and contemporary tales of sword and sorcery."
posted by warbaby at 11:50 AM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

Re the épée comment... It's in the description under the photo in the news clipping in the third link. So no worries... The fault of the editors of yesteryear!
posted by chapps at 11:13 PM on February 12, 2013

Here's the follow-up post: Teacup in a Tempest

"The reference we found was from from a 2010 questionnaire for Cornell alumni. The answers were, oddly, posted online. One of the responses was:

Outstanding Cornell memory: President Deane Waldo Malott was burned in effigy, and a photo of Tom Pynchon, Kirk Sale, Richard Farina and Todd Perry made the front page of the NY Daily News under the Headline “Coeds Riot for Sex.”

This is not, as far as we know, something that has been mentioned in any rumor of Pynchon photos, much less something that has been "found" or discussed."
posted by chavenet at 12:32 PM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

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