Just caught a screening of Pulp Fiction on the big screen, and I have a question about Vincent's reading material, re: origin
In two key scenes in the movie, Vincent passes time on the toilet with a pulp copy of Modesty Blaise, spending enough time reading it to allow significant plot points to occur.
Due to the movie's shuffled timeline, the first time the book appears on the screen is actually at the end of Vincent's part in the story chronologically.
However, when the end of the movie flashes back to the events in the diner, Vincent's visit to the restroom shows him with the same book at that point of the story too, just not as far into it.
Except they just took a cab ride from Monster Joe's scrapyard, having just dropped off the tainted car after narrowly avoiding the Bonnie Situation at Jimmie's house. Where did Vincent get the book from?
When they stripped down, got hosed off, and changed into Jimmie's dork clothes, it would seem that all they would have been able to keep in the way of personal effects would be their wallets, their guns, and the notorious briefcase. Vincent and Jules were still filthy with blood from cleaning the car, and while the other items could get wiped clean, a cheap-paper novel would have likely been ruined if it had been in Vince's back pocket all that time and he pulled it out while stripping down.
Talking this over with my girlfriend, we've come up with a few ideas:
- The book was left behind by another diner patron and Vincent got so wrapped up in it he took it with.
(A pretty boring theory, and also maybe on the gross side; who just takes a book that's been laying around a mens' room for who knows how long?)
- Vincent took the book from Jimmie's house.
(Out of character for him, and they were running out of time after the hosedown as well.)
- Vincent found the book in The Wolf's car on the drive to the scrapyard, and took it.
(The Wolf seems too sophisticated to be reading trashy novels, and why would Vincent risk stealing from him?)
- The book is from The Wolf's car, and he gives it to Vincent.
(Too strange of an occurrence for both characters to happen entirely offscreen with no mention in the dialogue.)
- The book is from the contents of the briefcase.
(Really, Tarantino? The briefcase holds a rare and valuable collection of vintage Pulp Fiction? And Marsellus Wallace wouldn't check the case and find one missing before he went out of town?)
Since all of these seem lacking in one way or another (though the possibility of it being the last one is too delicious to pass up), I figured I'd check with the hive mind and see if there are any other explanations, perhaps something Quentin's mentioned in a interview, or that some critic or film theory professor has pieced together from clues elsewhere in the movie?