p. 576 - Love his description of the painting area toward the bottom
of the page, very colorful then ;
". . . the cloaks and masks and thousand-named mists of Venezia"
Time machines and ghosts, wars that haven't happened yet - he
describes the collective psyche of pre-war anxiety extremely well.
p.579 - talks about an alchemical process called 'solve coagula' then
immediately goes into what Pynchon calls a parable about alchemy, but
it seems that the part just before describes the real alchemy, so
maybe he's playing little tricks with the reader?