- Please keep these annotations SPOILER-FREE by not revealing information from later pages in the novel.
|If your edition has 183 pages, follow the pages marked a:||If your edition has 152 pages,
a: 23, b: 13 - Sick Dick and the Volkswagens
Fictional, but a 1970s New York City punk band adopted the name.  "I Want to Kiss Your Feet" no doubt an allusion to the 1963 Beatles hit, "I Want to Hold Your Hand." Might this mean that Pynchon was fond of the Beatles but "did not believe in" them?
Note that the series of events in Dick Wharfinger's "sick" play (Chapter 3) are also set in motion by an act of foot kissing.
a: 24, b: 14 - printed circuit
Many people have undoubtedly seen civilization from a plane or high place and been reminded of a circuit board, but this description is probably one of, if not the first time it's been set down in American fiction.
a: 25, b: 14 - believe in his job
There's a dense thicket of religious allusions here, a collection and co-grouping of the spiritual and the technological that rivals the Beatles Tomorow Never Knows, a tune released about the same time The Crying of Lot 49 first appeared on bookshelves, in that odd religious instant we now know as the Summer of 1966, the last moments when LSD was still Legal. Take a close gander at the religious/spiritual terms on this page, how close this constellation swirling around the Revelation in progress all around her aligns to the nascent Hippie Movement:
- . . . .a hieroglyphic sense of concealed meaning
- . . . .a revelation also trembled just past the threshold of her understanding
- . . . .an odd, religious instant
- . . . .with movements stylized as the handling of chrism, censer, chalice
- . . . .voices, voices, the music, its message, surrounded by it, digging it, as were all the faithful it went out to
. . . .all reflected in this Map of the Transistor Radio's Circuit Board, a map that somehow matches the Visible Landscape of the Infected City. Note how messages are constantly distorted throughout The Crying of Lot 49. The mode of distorted communication for the revelation in progress all around Edna Mosh being the Pocket Sized Portable Transistor Radio, a media revolution very much analogous to the emergence of the Talkies in the late '20's, and the current  I-Pod. All these major shifts in audio media have their own distinct sonic qualities, a distinct Sound akin to a musical instrument's Timbre.
- Typical AM Radio Sound hardly exceeds 3,000 Hertz -- with audio fidelity that is typical of a telephone line connection -- perhaps ideally suited for news and talk program formats, however not for programing high quality music formats. Many receiver manufacturers intentionally reduce audio bandwidth in their product offerings, to decrease interference from closely spaced AM stations. Another reason for the super narrow audio frequency response is the high frequency noise caused by the disregard for any R.F amplifier stage. Dropping this R.F amplifier stage contributes to further cost savings in the product. Restricted audio bandwidth causes "muddy" music to be reproduced. It is not the medium, it is these lackluster radio designs that are to blame for this muddy sound
We are led to understand that while Mucho is aware that there is some sort of revelation in progress, it is a revelation that Mucho Maas is not yet privy to. As of this moment in the book, Mucho is not a 'believer' in that movement, but things can always change, see page a; 117, b; 143 She Loves You.
Note as well the echo of Rilke contained on this page:
- Voices, voices. Hear then, my heart, as only
- saints have heard: so that the mighty call
- raised them from the earth: they, though, knelt on
- impossibly and paid no attention:
- such was their listening. Not that you could withstand
- God’s voice: far from it.
Echoes the "believe in" language from two pages back. Pynchon is drawing a metaphor between "believing in" a band and "believing in" a job.
' "Believing in" here seems to mean something like identifying with; being one with (sorta); not being alienated from. Which seems thematic to the mystery within the story.
a: 25, b: 14 - religious instant
May be a stretch, but Pynchon's works seem to have many such "religious instants," in which a character experiences a flood of ideas and emotions in just a few moments. Further discussion
a: 25, b: 15 - giants of the aerospace industry
Pynchon worked as a technical writer at Boeing from 1960-62.
a: 26, b: 15 - horse
a: 26, b: 17 - the Paranoids
Some fan has made a mock-up of what a CD by The Paranoids might look like, here.
Geli Tripping sez: "I think the Paranoids are a pastische of various record deals the author overheard from Richard Farina, the Byrds were making demos for World Pacific in 1964, the Paranoids appear to be modeled on the Byrds more than anything else. Note as well TRP's fondness for the Beach Boys. The Beatles have a seriously silly Let it Be outtake as 'Los Paranoias.'"
a: 30, b: 19 - Gallipoli
The Battle of Gallipoli took place at Gallipoli from April 1915 to December 1915 during the First World War. A joint British and French operation was mounted in an effort to eventually capture the Ottoman capital of Constantinople (Istanbul). The attempt failed, with heavy casualties on both sides. Wikipedia
a: 31, b: 20 - hierophany
Physical manifestation of the holy or sacred. This manifestation can be in many forms, often in symbols or rituals. An example of a hierophany would be an apparition or image appearing on a window bearing resemblance to the virgin Mary.
a: 31, b: 20 - Book of the Dead
ancient Egyptian funerary text used by the ancient Egyptians as a set of instructions for the afterlife. Not all the spells were used for every burial; some depended on wealth and status. Some spells were gifts to the gods, while other were used so the person could walk, a spell for not dying again in the afterlife, and even a spell 'For preventing a man from going upside down and from eating feces' Wikipedia
Also a reference to the Bardo Thodol, or Tibetan Book of the Dead, a text Timothy Leary:
- I was tremendously influenced by Thomas Pynchon whose book, "Gravity’s Rainbow," I think, is the Bible of the information and communication age. Naturally, it’s underestimated and ignored, because it’s so powerful, and because he won’t play the game. . . .
found invaluable in exploring the The Psychedelic Experience. In turn, this rediscovered material from the Tibetan Book of the Dead influenced the Beatles on their first track recorded for the LP Revolver, Tomorrow Never Knows.
Pynchon was in the Navy for a spell and "single up all lines" is a common nautical term. Ships are docked with lines doubled -- that is, with two sets of ropes or chains holding the vessel to the dock. To "single up all lines" is to remove the redundant second lines in preparation to make way.
Pynchon uses this term in almost all his novels, notably as the first sentence of Against the Day. For more, see ATD, page 3.
a: 33, b: 21 - a cash nexus
a phrase of Karl Marx that refers to the way interpersonal relations in a (Capitalist) society are 'reduced' to economic relationships.
a: 33, b: 22 - Manni di Presso
a: 36, b: 24 - Botticelli
Botticelli is a guessing game which requires the players to have a good knowledge of biographical details of famous people. The game has several variants, but the common theme is that one person or team thinks of a famous person, reveals their initial letter, and then answers yes/no questions to allow other players to guess the identity. Wikipedia
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