[page 299 from zak smith’s Illustrations for Each Page of Gravity’s Rainbow]

A footnote to and above the last post: the submarine factory and base underneath built into and under the base of the mountain in Balaclava distinctly reminded me of the Mittlewerke in Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow, where the German V2 rockets were manufactured—

In under parabola and parable, straight into the mountain, sunlight gone, into the cold, the dark, the long echoes of the Mittelwerke. (299)

The shape of the two main tunnels, well over a mile into the mountain, is the shape of the letters SS strentched lengthwise, the double integral. I recall something (from somewhere) about the tunnels mimicking the helices of DNA but cannot find it in the text…. or quite on the internet…. anybody?

A while back I made a comment on the  underground musings of BLDGBLOG in which I mentioned Pynchon’s most recent novel and then went on:

On another note, Odessa, Ukraine was built of limestone mined around the city so there are catacombs all around the place. these create a giant labyrinth (i don’t know if it is connected; i doubt it) which was most famously inhabited by those resisting the Nazis during WWII. The point being people inhabited the place previously taken by the stone underground while others literally lived inside the stone in the form of houses above the stone. Wierdly enough, Odessa is not just a city name, it is also an acronym for Organisation der ehemaligen SS-Angehörigen, or “Organization of Former SS-Members”.

[Mittelwerke Map from HyperArts: “It appears to be a piece of evidence from the Nuernberg trials, or some similar proceeding, with English imposed over an original German map. It’s from Keith Mallory and Arvid Ottar, The Architecture of War (1973), p. 264. They credit the Institution of Royal Engineers.]

In reference to the elongated SS,

That is one meaning of the shape of the tunnels down here in the Mittelwerke. Another may be the ancient rune that stands for the yew tree, or Death. The double integral stood in Etzal Olsch’s subconscious for the method of finding hidden centres, inertias unknown, as if monoliths had been left for him in the twilight, left behind by some corrupted idea of “Civilisation” in which eagles cast in concrete stand ten metres high at the corners of the stadiums where the people, a corrupted idea of “the People” are gathering, in which birds do not fly, in which imaginary centers far down inside the solid fatality are thought of not as “heart”, “plexus”, “consciousness” (the voice speaking here grows more ironic, closer to tears which are not all theatre, as the list goes on…) “Sanctuary”, “dream of motion”, “cyst of the eternal present”, or “Gravity’s gray eminence among the councils of the living stone”. No, as none of these, but instead a point in space, a point hung precise as the point where burning must end, never launched, never to fall…

Doube integral is also the shape of lovers curled asleep…

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