Near the middle of the book we meet an automatic duck, a piece of machinery, an automaton, created by one M. Vaucanson, who discovers how to love (the duck), quickly evolves beyond the bounds of its mechanical being and falls in love with a french chef. While the story of the duck's discovery of love and subsequent evolution are pure fiction, Vaucanson and his Canard Digérateur, or "Digesting Duck" are real.
It didn't actually look the picture above. Here's the real thing:
This is Pynchon's approach. Blending fact and fiction. You can't trust anything. The most absurd passages turn out to be fact, and when you think you have the whole truth, it turns out you don't know the half of it.
In other news: I'm only halfway through this book, so we're going to stick with it for another month. OK.