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  • In German, an Achphänomen might be translated as an "'ah!' experience"; thus an epiphany

    October 31, 2007

  • Like eureka?

    October 31, 2007

  • The word appears in Thomas Pynchon's "V," in chapter nine, "Mondaugen's story." Kurt Mondaugen is an engineer sent from Munich to work in what was then (1922) Germany's protectorate of South West Africa (now Namibia), so the German provenance seems correct.

    It occurs near the end of the chapter: "At least he was to experience a for him rare Achphenomenon: the discovery that his voyeurism had been determined purely by events seen, and not by any deliberate choice, or pre-existing set of personal psychic needs."

    August 16, 2011