Difference between revisions of "Chapter 3"

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{{CL49 PbP Text}}
 
{{CL49 PbP Text}}
  
a: 47, b: ? - '''Yoyodyne'''<br>
+
b: 31 - '''Tower'''<br>
The company also appears in ''V.'', where the power (dynamis in Greek, cf. dynamite, dynasty) and physics of the yo-yo's motion is meditated upon. Yoyodyne is said to be 'modeled"--given Pynchon's sea-changing mind--on the Boeing Company where Pynchon worked in the early sixties.  
+
The Tower is card XVI in the Tarot deck, preceded by the Devil. It is associated with sudden, disruptive revelation and catastrophe as well as higher learning/knowledge. The card has the tower often topped with a crown, which symbolizes “ materialistic thought being bought cheap” according to the [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tower_(tarot_card) wikipedia entry]. It is also associated with liberation.
 +
 
 +
b: 32 - '''Report all Obscene Mail'''<br>
 +
This refers to the Comstock Law that makes it illegal send obscene materials through the US Postal Service. By 1957, the use of the Comstock Law for obscenity had been eliminated, but the Comstock Law continues to be used to limit or stop abortion materials. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comstock_laws]
 +
 
 +
a: 47, b: 34 - '''Yoyodyne'''<br>
 +
The company also appears in ''V.'', where the power (dynamis in Greek, cf. dynamo, dynamite, dynasty) and physics of the yo-yo's motion is meditated upon. Yoyodyne is said to be 'modeled"--given Pynchon's sea-changing mind--on the Boeing Company where Pynchon worked in the early sixties.  
  
 
[[Image:oscilloscope.gif|thumb|right|200px|Lissajous figures on an oscilloscope, with 90 degrees phase difference between x and y inputs.]]
 
[[Image:oscilloscope.gif|thumb|right|200px|Lissajous figures on an oscilloscope, with 90 degrees phase difference between x and y inputs.]]
a: 47, b: ? - '''oscilloscope... Lissajous figures'''<br>
+
a: 47, b: 34 - '''oscilloscope... Lissajous figures'''<br>
 
An oscilloscope is a piece of electronic test equipment that allows signal voltages to be viewed, usually as a two-dimensional graph. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscilloscope Wikipedia] Lissajous curves (Lissajous figures or Bowditch curves) are the graph of the system of parametric equations which describes complex harmonic motion, and are displayed on oscilloscope monitors. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lissajous_curve Wikipedia]
 
An oscilloscope is a piece of electronic test equipment that allows signal voltages to be viewed, usually as a two-dimensional graph. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscilloscope Wikipedia] Lissajous curves (Lissajous figures or Bowditch curves) are the graph of the system of parametric equations which describes complex harmonic motion, and are displayed on oscilloscope monitors. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lissajous_curve Wikipedia]
  
a: 47, b: ? - '''Stockhausen'''<br>
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b: 34 - '''yibbles'''<br>
Karlheinz Stockhausen (b. 1928) is a German composer, and one of the most important and controversial composers of the 20th century. He is best known for his ground-breaking work in electronic music and controlled chance in serial composition. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karlheinz_Stockhausen Wikipedia]
+
Urban Dictionary defines it as meaningless chatter, especially off-topic. It is also the sound that [https://v.pynchonwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Chapter_1 Da Conho], a "mad Brazilian who wanted to go fight Arabs in Israel" uses when he pretends to machine gun the guests at the restaurant where Benny Profane works. [https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=yibble]
  
a: 48, b: ? - '''Mike Fallopian'''<br>
+
a: 47, b: 34 - '''Stockhausen'''<br>
 +
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karlheinz_Stockhausen '''Karlheinz Stockhausen'''] (b. 1928, d. 2007) was a German composer, and one of the most important and controversial composers of the 20th century. He is best known for his ground-breaking work in electronic music and controlled chance in serial composition. The Beatles, among other rock musicians, claimed him as an [http://ukpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5j2OLVL0rWGZE0bskTr5kVlUqJLag '''influence''']:
 +
 
 +
"electronic music, live?" is fairly ahead of its time when this novel was published.
 +
 
 +
:. . . .So taken were the Beatles by Stockhausen's music, they asked permission to use his photo on the cover of the 1967 LP Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. He appears fifth from the left in the back row.
 +
 
 +
:Stockhausen's [http://ccrma.stanford.edu/CCRMA/Courses/154/Hymnen '''Hymnen'''], composed in 1966/1967 is an obvious primary inspriation for John Lennon's experiment in [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musique_concrète '''Musique Concrète'''], [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolution_9 '''Revolution # 9'''].
 +
 
 +
b: 34 - '''Radio Cologne'''<br>
 +
Here is a link to a book about the music associated with Radio Cologne: [https://www.soundohm.com/product/radio-cologne-sound-das-s].
 +
 
 +
a: 48, b: 34 - '''Mike Fallopian'''<br>
 
Obviously, Fallopian tubes are two very fine tubes leading from the ovaries of female mammals into the uterus.<br>
 
Obviously, Fallopian tubes are two very fine tubes leading from the ovaries of female mammals into the uterus.<br>
 
The ''-ian'' ending of his name indicates that Mike is a member of California's vigorous Armenian-American community.
 
The ''-ian'' ending of his name indicates that Mike is a member of California's vigorous Armenian-American community.
  
a: 49, b: ? - '''Disgruntled'''<br>
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The fictional Peter Pinguid society can be read as parody of the John Birch Society (see below). Peter Pinguid translates to Fat Dick, which creates one of Pynchon's funny double entendres as Mike's fertile brain is seeded with Peter's actions.
 +
 
 +
a: 49, b: 35 - '''Disgruntled'''<br>
 
Pynchon's fictional navy includes the USS Scaffold and the Susanna Squaducci (V.), the John E. Badass (GR), and the Inconvenience (ATD).
 
Pynchon's fictional navy includes the USS Scaffold and the Susanna Squaducci (V.), the John E. Badass (GR), and the Inconvenience (ATD).
  
a: 49, b: ? - '''Bogatir... Gaidamak'''<br>
+
b: 35 - '''Czar Nicholas II'''<br>
 +
Fallopian identifies the wrong Czar. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_II Nicholas II] wasn't even born in 1863 and didn't come to power until 1894. Fallopian confuses Nicolas II with [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_II_of_Russia Alexander II], who emancipated the serfs and wintered his Far East Fleet in San Francisco.
 +
 
 +
b: 35 - '''Alabama and Sumter'''<br>
 +
These were two sloops of war built by the British for the Confederacy. The [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CSS_Alabama Alabama]'s construction and the diplomacy around it is detailed in ''The Education of Henry Adams'', a book that influenced Pynchon. The  [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CSS_Sumter Sumter] wa a converted steam cruiser that the Confederacy commissioned as a sloop of war.
 +
 
 +
b: 35 - '''Read Admiral Popov'''<br>
 +
Adrei Alexander Popov was an admiral in the Russian Navy and commanded a squadron that included the Bogatyr and Gaidamak (see entry below). They entered San Francisco harbor in October of 1863 and remained into 1864. Popov declared he was ready to defend the city if attacked, which probably discouraged Confederate warships from attacking. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrei_Alexandrovich_Popov]
 +
 
 +
a: 49, b: 35 - '''Bogatir... Gaidamak'''<br>
 
The bogatyr was a medieval Russian heroic warrior, comparable to the Western European knight errant. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bogatyr Wikipedia] The parallel with Charlemagne's "paladins" may be even closer.
 
The bogatyr was a medieval Russian heroic warrior, comparable to the Western European knight errant. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bogatyr Wikipedia] The parallel with Charlemagne's "paladins" may be even closer.
  
 
At the time of the U.S. Civil War, gaidamak or haydamak denoted an 18th century Ukrainian fighter for national independence. The name is sometimes translated as "Ukrainian Cossack," perhaps in part because it was extended to Cossack anti-Bolshevik troops after the 1917 revolution.
 
At the time of the U.S. Civil War, gaidamak or haydamak denoted an 18th century Ukrainian fighter for national independence. The name is sometimes translated as "Ukrainian Cossack," perhaps in part because it was extended to Cossack anti-Bolshevik troops after the 1917 revolution.
  
a: 50, b: ? - '''Birch Society'''<br>
+
b: 36 - '''Krasnyi Arkhiv'''<br>
 +
An actual government archive. Here is the link to the Harvard digital archive: [https://archive.blogs.harvard.edu/slaviccollection/2017/07/05/krasnyi-arkhiv-digital-archive/]. Some links for more research:
 +
[https://www.jstor.org/stable/2491707]
 +
[https://www.eastview.com/resources/journals/krasnyi-arkhiv/]
 +
[https://archive.org/details/pub_krasnyi-arkhiv]
 +
 
 +
a: 50, b: 36 - '''Birch Society'''<br>
 
The John Birch Society is an Americanist organization founded in 1958 to fight what it saw as growing threats to the Constitution of the United States, especially a suspected communist infiltration of the United States government, and to support free enterprise. It was named after John Birch, a United States military intelligence officer and Baptist missionary in World War II who was killed in 1945 by armed supporters of the Communist Party of China, and whom the JBS describes as "the first American victim of the Cold War." [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Birch_Society Wikipedia]  
 
The John Birch Society is an Americanist organization founded in 1958 to fight what it saw as growing threats to the Constitution of the United States, especially a suspected communist infiltration of the United States government, and to support free enterprise. It was named after John Birch, a United States military intelligence officer and Baptist missionary in World War II who was killed in 1945 by armed supporters of the Communist Party of China, and whom the JBS describes as "the first American victim of the Cold War." [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Birch_Society Wikipedia]  
  
"Our left-leaning friends in the Birch society" is a joke as the Birch Society was right-wing, although of course Fallopian is being serious. The PPS is beyond far right in this sense.
+
As the Birch society was famously right wing, "Our left-leaning friends in the Birch society" indicates at that the Pinguid Society is beyond right wing.
  
a: 51, b: ? - '''Marxism... Industrial ''anything'''''<br>
+
a: 51, b: 37 - '''Marxism... Industrial ''anything'''''<br>
Some critics have interpreted this to mean that the Pinguid Society is so anti-communist that it even opposed capitalism... because it led inevitably to communism! While funny, this seems to miss the point. The guiding philosophy of the Pinguid Society is not anti-communism. It opposes "industrial ''anything''", which indicates a belief in another philosophy Pynchon has written much on, Ludditisim. See [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luddite Wikipedia entry on Luddite]; the 1984 essay, [http://www.themodernword.com/pynchon/pynchon_essays_luddite.html Is it OK to be a Luddite?] by Pynchon; and [http://www.themodernword.com/pynchon/paper_gibbs.html Portrait of the Artist as a Young Luddite], an essay on ''Minstral Island'', the aborted sci-fi musical written by Pynchon and future leading Luddite, Kirkpatrick Sale.  
+
Some critics have interpreted this to mean that the Pinguid Society is so anti-communist that it even opposed capitalism... because it led inevitably to communism! While funny, this seems to miss the point. The guiding philosophy of the Pinguid Society is not anti-communism. It opposes "industrial ''anything''", which indicates a belief in another philosophy Pynchon has written much on, Ludditisim. See [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luddite Wikipedia entry on Luddite]; the 1984 essay, [https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/books/97/05/18/reviews/pynchon-luddite.html? Is it OK to be a Luddite?] by Pynchon; and [http://www.themodernword.com/pynchon/paper_gibbs.html Portrait of the Artist as a Young Luddite], an essay on ''Minstral Island'', the aborted sci-fi musical written by Pynchon and future leading Luddite, Kirkpatrick Sale.  
  
a: ?, b: 38 - '''Get in touch with Kirby through WASTE only. . . .''' <br>
+
b: 38 - '''latrine'''<br>
'Waste' and 'W.A.S.T.E.' both point in several directions. First, there is 'Pynchon v. Stearns'. See [http://tinyurl.com/2gb8aa  Popular Law Library, Albert Hutchinson Putney] and go to page 95. This is a law dealing with the Waste Doctrine in America, laws concerning property rights and inheritance. There is also T.S. Eliot's 'The Waste Land', a work that Pynchon cites as perhaps excessively influential on his early writing in his introduction to 'Slow Learner'. The author of 'The Waste Land", Thomas Stearns Eliot, is probably related to the Charles Stearns of 'Pynchon v. Stearns'.  
+
Several times (here, b: 53, b: 67) Oedipa refers to the stalls in bathrooms as latrines. Usually a military term, the language doesn't match a graduate of Cornell. She is the only one who uses the term. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latrine]
  
a:?, b: 38 - '''Muted Posthorn/Sigil''' <br>
+
a: 52, b: 38 - '''Get in touch with Kirby through WASTE only. . . .''' <br>
The visual design of the symbol of the W.A.S.T.E. postal system appears to be an improvised magical sigil. Note that a number of these sigils can be found in A. E. Waite's book of Black Magic, a work referenced [Geli Tripping's love spell] in the author's next work, Gravity's Rainbow. The seal of Amduscias [found on page 218 of Weiser's 1972 reprint] appears to be the likely inspiration.  
+
First apperance of the '''W.A.S.T.E. Postal system.
  
a: 53, b: ? - '''Washington and Dallas chapters'''<br>
+
see [[Understanding_W.A.S.T.E.|'''Understanding W.A.S.T.E.''']]<br>
 +
 
 +
a: 52, b: 38 - '''Muted Posthorn/Sigil''' <br>
 +
The visual design of the [https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/archive/a/a9/20060119154504%21Trystero-small.png '''Symbol'''] of the W.A.S.T.E. postal system appears to be an improvised [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigil_(magic) '''Magical Sigil''']. Note that a number of these sigils can be found in A. E. Waite's [http://tinyurl.com/3cakdj '''Book of Black Magic'''], a work referenced in [http://gravitys-rainbow.pynchonwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Pages_733-735 '''Geli Tripping's love spell'''] in the author's next work, [http://gravitys-rainbow.pynchonwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page '''''Gravity's Rainbow''''']. The [http://www.geocities.com/xeroiii/Goetia/Amd.gif '''Seal of Amduscias'''] [found on page 218 of Weiser's 1972 reprint] appears to be the likely inspiration. Miles Davis is another probable inspiration. See a: 63, b: 48 - '''The Courier's Tragedy''', below.
 +
 
 +
a: 52, b: 38 - '''Posthorn''' <br>
 +
The post horn is a valveless cylindrical brass instrument with a cupped mouthpiece. The instrument was used to signal the arrival or departure of a post rider or mail coach.[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post_horn]
 +
 
 +
a: 53, b: 39 - '''Washington and Dallas chapters'''<br>
 
For readers in 1966, singling out Washington and Dallas might bring to mind the recent assassination of President Kennedy.  
 
For readers in 1966, singling out Washington and Dallas might bring to mind the recent assassination of President Kennedy.  
  
:Charles Hollander sees CoL49 as a big coded commentary on the assassination. [http://www.vheissu.info/art/art_eng_49_hollander.htm Pynchon, JFK and the CIA: Magic Eye Views of The Crying of Lot 49]
+
:Charles Hollander sees CoL49 as a big coded commentary on the assassination. [http://www.ottosell.de/pynchon/magiceye.htm'''''Pynchon, JFK and the CIA: Magic Eye Views of The Crying of Lot 49''''']
  
a: 56, b: ? - '''reconstruction of some European pleasure-casino'''<br>
+
a: 56 b: 41 - '''ogived'''<br>
 +
From Wiktionary: (architecture) A Gothic pointed arch, or a rib of a Gothic vault
 +
 
 +
a: 56, b: 41 - '''reconstruction of some European pleasure-casino'''<br>
 
Perhaps the Casino Hermann Goering from ''Gravity's Rainbow''?
 
Perhaps the Casino Hermann Goering from ''Gravity's Rainbow''?
  
a: 57, b: ? - '''trimaran'''<br>
+
a: 57, b: 42 - '''trimaran'''<br>
 
A multihull boat consisting of a main hull and two smaller outrigger hulls, attached to the main hull with lateral struts.
 
A multihull boat consisting of a main hull and two smaller outrigger hulls, attached to the main hull with lateral struts.
  
a: 57, b: ? - '''Godzilla II'''<br>
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a: 57, b: 42 - '''Godzilla II'''<br>
There seems to be some kind of joke from somewhere that Pynchon was rumored to be writing a novel aboubt Godzilla and Mothra at some point... More???
+
There seems to be some kind of joke from somewhere that Pynchon was rumored to be writing a novel about Godzilla and Mothra at some point... More???
 
In a letter to his editor in the sixties, Cork Smith,  as he was writing ''Gravity's Rainbow'', he spoke of also working on two other books. One was about the two
 
In a letter to his editor in the sixties, Cork Smith,  as he was writing ''Gravity's Rainbow'', he spoke of also working on two other books. One was about the two
 
men who created the Mason/Dixon line, an easy one for us, the other was said
 
men who created the Mason/Dixon line, an easy one for us, the other was said
Line 55: Line 101:
 
In this context it is important to remember the origins of the Godzilla story.
 
In this context it is important to remember the origins of the Godzilla story.
  
a: 58, b: ? - '''sfacim'''<br>
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b: 43 - '''Giunghierrace'''<br>
 +
Giunghierra is Corsican for jungle. Italian is giungla. As a portmanteau, jungle race? Tony Jaguar isn't far off, by pronunciation or meaning. [https://translate.google.com/?sl=it&tl=en&text=giunghierra&op=translate&hl=en]
 +
 
 +
a: 58, b: 43 - '''sfacim'''<br>
 
Italian slang, literally "semen" but also used as an insult roughly equivalent to "son of a bitch."
 
Italian slang, literally "semen" but also used as an insult roughly equivalent to "son of a bitch."
  
a: 58, b: ? - '''Darrowlike'''<br>
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a: 58, b: 43 - '''Darrowlike'''<br>
 
Clarence Seward Darrow (1857 - 1938) was a famous American lawyer and leading member of the American Civil Liberties Union, best known for defending teenaged thrill killers and defending John T. Scopes in the so-called "Monkey" Trial. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarence_Darrow Wikipedia]
 
Clarence Seward Darrow (1857 - 1938) was a famous American lawyer and leading member of the American Civil Liberties Union, best known for defending teenaged thrill killers and defending John T. Scopes in the so-called "Monkey" Trial. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarence_Darrow Wikipedia]
  
Line 64: Line 113:
  
 
[[Image:jaguarxke.jpg|thumb|150px|right|a 1965 Jaguar XKE]]
 
[[Image:jaguarxke.jpg|thumb|150px|right|a 1965 Jaguar XKE]]
a: 59, b: ? - '''XKE'''<br>
+
a: 59, b: 43 - '''XKE'''<br>
 
The Jaguar XKE was a famous sportscar, later selected by the Museum of Modern Art in New York as the 'world's most beautiful automobile.' Some connection with mafioso Tony Jaguar?
 
The Jaguar XKE was a famous sportscar, later selected by the Museum of Modern Art in New York as the 'world's most beautiful automobile.' Some connection with mafioso Tony Jaguar?
  
a: 61, b: ? - '''Lago di Pietà'''<br>
+
a: 61, b: 46 - '''Lago di Pietà'''<br>
An actual historical event?
+
Lago di Pietra del Pertusillo is a lake in southern Italy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lago_di_Pietra_del_Pertusillo Wikipedia]
 +
 
 +
a: 63, b: 48 - '''The Courier's Tragedy'''<br>
 +
A fictional [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revenge_play  '''Jacobean Revenge Play''']. The first of these was called ''The Spanish Tragedy'' and also involved excessive violence and multiple murders. There are questions of guilt, responsibility and deception as well as a letter written in blood identifying the murderers.[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Spanish_Tragedy]
 +
 
 +
Here is the play on Internet Archive [https://archive.org/details/spanishtragedya00kydgoog/page/n52/mode/2up The Spanish Tragedy]
  
a: 63, b: ? - '''The Courier's Tragedy'''<br>
 
 
See [[Making sense of The Courier's Tragedy]]
 
See [[Making sense of The Courier's Tragedy]]
  
a: 64, b: ? - '''civil war'''<br>
+
b: 49 - '''Richard Wharfinger'''<br>
 +
[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard Richard] as a surname means strong, strong in leadership. Wharfinger is an obsolete name for a harbormaster. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wharfinger]
 +
 
 +
a: 65, b: 49 - '''civil war'''<br>
 
The English Civil War consisted of a series of armed conflicts and political machinations that took place between Parliamentarians (known as Roundheads) and Royalists (known as Cavaliers) between 1642 and 1651. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Civil_War Wikipedia]
 
The English Civil War consisted of a series of armed conflicts and political machinations that took place between Parliamentarians (known as Roundheads) and Royalists (known as Cavaliers) between 1642 and 1651. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Civil_War Wikipedia]
  
a: 66, b: ? - '''Maenad roar of nitre's song'''<br>
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b: 49 - '''Saint Narcissus'''<br>
 +
Saint Narcissus of Jerusalem (namesake of San Narciso?), Bishop of Jerusalem and Caesarea who presided over a council that determined that Easter would be celebrated on Sunday, rather than Passover. One of his miracles was turning water into oil to light the lamps during an Easter celebration. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissus_of_Jerusalem]
 +
 
 +
a: 66, b: 50 - '''Maenad roar of nitre's song'''<br>
 
In Greek mythology, Maenads were female worshippers of Dionysus, the Greek god of mystery, wine and intoxication, and the Roman god Bacchus. The word literally translates as "raving ones". They were known as wild, insane women who could not be reasoned with. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maenads Wikipedia] In Euripides' Bacchae, some of the women are voluntary worshippers of the god, strike the earth for milk, wine, and honey, hunt and tear apart wild animals, eating the flesh raw (sparagmos); the women of Thebes are driven mad as a punishment, however, for not giving the god (from Thebes itself originally, his mother being a Theban princess) full respect. The boy-king Pentheus' own mother tears him apart in a grotesque distortion of the "real" maenads' practice of "sparagmos". Dionysus himself is torn apart (and reborn) in some versions of the story.
 
In Greek mythology, Maenads were female worshippers of Dionysus, the Greek god of mystery, wine and intoxication, and the Roman god Bacchus. The word literally translates as "raving ones". They were known as wild, insane women who could not be reasoned with. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maenads Wikipedia] In Euripides' Bacchae, some of the women are voluntary worshippers of the god, strike the earth for milk, wine, and honey, hunt and tear apart wild animals, eating the flesh raw (sparagmos); the women of Thebes are driven mad as a punishment, however, for not giving the god (from Thebes itself originally, his mother being a Theban princess) full respect. The boy-king Pentheus' own mother tears him apart in a grotesque distortion of the "real" maenads' practice of "sparagmos". Dionysus himself is torn apart (and reborn) in some versions of the story.
  
Niter or nitre is the mineral form of potassium nitrate, KNO3, also known as saltpeter, an essential ingreident of gunpowder.
+
Niter or nitre is the mineral form of potassium nitrate, KNO3, also known as saltpeter, an essential ingredient of gunpowder.
  
a: 66, b: ? - '''cantus firmus'''<br>
+
a: 66, b: 50 - '''cantus firmus'''<br>
 
In music, a cantus firmus ("fixed song") is a pre-existing melody forming the basis of a polyphonic composition, often set apart by being played in long notes. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cantus_firmus Wikipedia]
 
In music, a cantus firmus ("fixed song") is a pre-existing melody forming the basis of a polyphonic composition, often set apart by being played in long notes. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cantus_firmus Wikipedia]
  
a: 66, b: ? - '''Thurn und Taxis'''<br>
+
a: 66, b: 50 - '''Thurn und Taxis'''<br>
The Princely House of Thurn and Taxis (German: Das Fürstenhaus Thurn und Taxis) is a German family that was a key player in the postal (mail) services in Europe in the 16th century and is well known as owners of breweries and builders of countless castles. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thurn_and_Taxis Wikipedia]<br> Also noteworthy is Rainer Maria Rilke's dedication of ''Duineser Elegien'' to Princess Maria von Thurn in whose castle Rilke wrote the elegies. Excerpts from the elegies appear in ''GR''.  
+
The Princely House of Thurn and Taxis (German: Das Fürstenhaus Thurn und Taxis) is a German family that was a key player in the postal (mail) services in Europe in the 16th century and is well known as owners of breweries and builders of countless castles. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thurn_and_Taxis Wikipedia]<br> Also noteworthy is Rainer Maria Rilke's dedication of [http://homestar.org/bryannan/duino.html '''Duineser Elegien'''] to Princess Maria von Thurn und Taxis-Hohenlohe, in whose castle Rilke wrote the elegies. Excerpts from the elegies appear in ''GR''.  
  
a: 67, b: ? - '''aqua regia'''<br>
+
a: 67, b: 51 - '''aqua regia'''<br>
 
Aqua regia (Latin for "royal water") is a highly corrosive mixture of nitric acid and hydrochloric acid. It is one of the few reagents that dissolves gold and platinum. It was so named because it can dissolve the so-called royal, or noble metals. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aqua_regia Wikipedia]
 
Aqua regia (Latin for "royal water") is a highly corrosive mixture of nitric acid and hydrochloric acid. It is one of the few reagents that dissolves gold and platinum. It was so named because it can dissolve the so-called royal, or noble metals. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aqua_regia Wikipedia]
  
a: 73, b: ? - '''blank verse'''<br>
+
b: 52 - '''Paraclete...Pentecost'''<br>
 +
Paraclete: In this context, a term for the Holy Spirit in Christianity.<br>
 +
Pentecost: A Christian holy day which commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Christ.  The Holy Spirit appears in the form of tongues of fire, and the account is told in the book of Acts, Chapter 2.
 +
 
 +
b: 54 - '''encre'''<br>
 +
French: ink
 +
 
 +
b: 54 - '''hight'''<br>
 +
Archaic/Middle English: named/called
 +
 
 +
b: 55 - '''vizard'''<br>
 +
mask or disguise
 +
 
 +
b: 56 - '''trice'''<br>
 +
very short period of time
 +
 
 +
a: 73, b: 57 - '''blank verse'''<br>
 
Blank verse is a type of poetry, distinguished by having a regular meter, but no rhyme. In English, the meter most commonly used with blank verse has been iambic pentameter. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blank_verse Wikipedia]
 
Blank verse is a type of poetry, distinguished by having a regular meter, but no rhyme. In English, the meter most commonly used with blank verse has been iambic pentameter. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blank_verse Wikipedia]
  
a: 75, b: ? - '''picket the V.A.'''<br>
+
b: 58 - '''trow'''<br>
 +
Archaic/Middle English: think/believe
 +
 
 +
a: 75, b: 59 - '''picket the V.A.'''<br>
 
Veteran's Administration, probably.
 
Veteran's Administration, probably.
  
a: 76, b: ? - '''Young Republican'''<br>
+
a: 76, b: 59 - '''Young Republican'''<br>
 
Young Republicans is the name of an organization for members of the Republican Party of the United States between the ages of 18 and 40. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young_Republicans Wikipedia]
 
Young Republicans is the name of an organization for members of the Republican Party of the United States between the ages of 18 and 40. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young_Republicans Wikipedia]
  
a: 76, b: ? - '''Hap Harrigan comics'''<br>
+
a: 76, b: 59 - '''Hap Harrigan comics'''<br>
Hap Harrigan was a character in the 1931 film, [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0021973/ The Hot Heiress] (IMDB), but Weisenburger and Grant believe that Pynchon may have meant Hop Harrigan, a comic strip and radio character from the 1940s.  
+
Hap Harrigan was a character in the 1931 film, [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0021973/ The Hot Heiress] (IMDB), but Weisenburger and Grant believe that Pynchon may have meant Hop Harrigan, a comic strip and radio character from the 1940s. Hop Harrigan was a comic strip character also called the The Guardian Angel and Black Lamp. The comic portrayed him in typical WWII propaganda. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hop_Harrigan] The Hap Harrigan character in The Hot Heiress was Ben Lyon, who became a movie executive and eventually discovered Norma Jean Dougherty better know as Marilyn Monroe. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Lyon]
 +
 
 +
b: 61 - '''grue'''<br>
 +
She feels "cold corpse-fingers of grue on her skin." Fear, shiver, shudder. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grue]
 +
 
 +
a: 79, b: 62 - '''You don't understand," getting mad...'''<br />
 +
 
 +
:Contributor David Stewart suggests Pynchon is talking to his critics and readers who, like Stewart, ask pertinent questions about Pynchon's wild prose. In essence, the reason Pynchon rejects interviews regarding the subtext of his literature is based on Driblette's monologue as he, like Pynchon, describes the writing is in his head, yet the paradox is that his esoteric phrases leaves one to go in depth to understand what he is saying.
 +
 
 +
a: 79, b: 62 - '''I'm the projector of the planetarium'''<br>
 +
 
 +
This exchange recalls fundamental questions about interpreting texts that have been debated in academic literary circles in the 20th century, namely, should we look for authorial intention in texts, or focus rather on possible readings by various readers?
  
a: 79, b: ? - '''I'm the projector of the planetarium'''<br>
+
: This reference to creation also recalls the Remedios Varo painting in Chapter 1, in which the girls in the tower weave the world. Cf. "Shall I project a world?" from this novel.
This reference to creation recalls the Remedios Varo painting in Chapter 1, in which the girls in the tower weave the world. Cf. "Shall I project a world?" from this novel.
+
  
  
 
{{CL49 PbP}}
 
{{CL49 PbP}}

Latest revision as of 11:33, 15 July 2024

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: 49a.jpg 49b.jpg If your edition has 152 pages,
follow b:
49c.jpg

b: 31 - Tower
The Tower is card XVI in the Tarot deck, preceded by the Devil. It is associated with sudden, disruptive revelation and catastrophe as well as higher learning/knowledge. The card has the tower often topped with a crown, which symbolizes “ materialistic thought being bought cheap” according to the wikipedia entry. It is also associated with liberation.

b: 32 - Report all Obscene Mail
This refers to the Comstock Law that makes it illegal send obscene materials through the US Postal Service. By 1957, the use of the Comstock Law for obscenity had been eliminated, but the Comstock Law continues to be used to limit or stop abortion materials. [1]

a: 47, b: 34 - Yoyodyne
The company also appears in V., where the power (dynamis in Greek, cf. dynamo, dynamite, dynasty) and physics of the yo-yo's motion is meditated upon. Yoyodyne is said to be 'modeled"--given Pynchon's sea-changing mind--on the Boeing Company where Pynchon worked in the early sixties.

Lissajous figures on an oscilloscope, with 90 degrees phase difference between x and y inputs.

a: 47, b: 34 - oscilloscope... Lissajous figures
An oscilloscope is a piece of electronic test equipment that allows signal voltages to be viewed, usually as a two-dimensional graph. Wikipedia Lissajous curves (Lissajous figures or Bowditch curves) are the graph of the system of parametric equations which describes complex harmonic motion, and are displayed on oscilloscope monitors. Wikipedia

b: 34 - yibbles
Urban Dictionary defines it as meaningless chatter, especially off-topic. It is also the sound that Da Conho, a "mad Brazilian who wanted to go fight Arabs in Israel" uses when he pretends to machine gun the guests at the restaurant where Benny Profane works. [2]

a: 47, b: 34 - Stockhausen
Karlheinz Stockhausen (b. 1928, d. 2007) was a German composer, and one of the most important and controversial composers of the 20th century. He is best known for his ground-breaking work in electronic music and controlled chance in serial composition. The Beatles, among other rock musicians, claimed him as an influence:

"electronic music, live?" is fairly ahead of its time when this novel was published.

. . . .So taken were the Beatles by Stockhausen's music, they asked permission to use his photo on the cover of the 1967 LP Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. He appears fifth from the left in the back row.
Stockhausen's Hymnen, composed in 1966/1967 is an obvious primary inspriation for John Lennon's experiment in Musique Concrète, Revolution # 9.

b: 34 - Radio Cologne
Here is a link to a book about the music associated with Radio Cologne: [3].

a: 48, b: 34 - Mike Fallopian
Obviously, Fallopian tubes are two very fine tubes leading from the ovaries of female mammals into the uterus.
The -ian ending of his name indicates that Mike is a member of California's vigorous Armenian-American community.

The fictional Peter Pinguid society can be read as parody of the John Birch Society (see below). Peter Pinguid translates to Fat Dick, which creates one of Pynchon's funny double entendres as Mike's fertile brain is seeded with Peter's actions.

a: 49, b: 35 - Disgruntled
Pynchon's fictional navy includes the USS Scaffold and the Susanna Squaducci (V.), the John E. Badass (GR), and the Inconvenience (ATD).

b: 35 - Czar Nicholas II
Fallopian identifies the wrong Czar. Nicholas II wasn't even born in 1863 and didn't come to power until 1894. Fallopian confuses Nicolas II with Alexander II, who emancipated the serfs and wintered his Far East Fleet in San Francisco.

b: 35 - Alabama and Sumter
These were two sloops of war built by the British for the Confederacy. The Alabama's construction and the diplomacy around it is detailed in The Education of Henry Adams, a book that influenced Pynchon. The Sumter wa a converted steam cruiser that the Confederacy commissioned as a sloop of war.

b: 35 - Read Admiral Popov
Adrei Alexander Popov was an admiral in the Russian Navy and commanded a squadron that included the Bogatyr and Gaidamak (see entry below). They entered San Francisco harbor in October of 1863 and remained into 1864. Popov declared he was ready to defend the city if attacked, which probably discouraged Confederate warships from attacking. [4]

a: 49, b: 35 - Bogatir... Gaidamak
The bogatyr was a medieval Russian heroic warrior, comparable to the Western European knight errant. Wikipedia The parallel with Charlemagne's "paladins" may be even closer.

At the time of the U.S. Civil War, gaidamak or haydamak denoted an 18th century Ukrainian fighter for national independence. The name is sometimes translated as "Ukrainian Cossack," perhaps in part because it was extended to Cossack anti-Bolshevik troops after the 1917 revolution.

b: 36 - Krasnyi Arkhiv
An actual government archive. Here is the link to the Harvard digital archive: [5]. Some links for more research: [6] [7] [8]

a: 50, b: 36 - Birch Society
The John Birch Society is an Americanist organization founded in 1958 to fight what it saw as growing threats to the Constitution of the United States, especially a suspected communist infiltration of the United States government, and to support free enterprise. It was named after John Birch, a United States military intelligence officer and Baptist missionary in World War II who was killed in 1945 by armed supporters of the Communist Party of China, and whom the JBS describes as "the first American victim of the Cold War." Wikipedia

As the Birch society was famously right wing, "Our left-leaning friends in the Birch society" indicates at that the Pinguid Society is beyond right wing.

a: 51, b: 37 - Marxism... Industrial anything
Some critics have interpreted this to mean that the Pinguid Society is so anti-communist that it even opposed capitalism... because it led inevitably to communism! While funny, this seems to miss the point. The guiding philosophy of the Pinguid Society is not anti-communism. It opposes "industrial anything", which indicates a belief in another philosophy Pynchon has written much on, Ludditisim. See Wikipedia entry on Luddite; the 1984 essay, Is it OK to be a Luddite? by Pynchon; and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Luddite, an essay on Minstral Island, the aborted sci-fi musical written by Pynchon and future leading Luddite, Kirkpatrick Sale.

b: 38 - latrine
Several times (here, b: 53, b: 67) Oedipa refers to the stalls in bathrooms as latrines. Usually a military term, the language doesn't match a graduate of Cornell. She is the only one who uses the term. [9]

a: 52, b: 38 - Get in touch with Kirby through WASTE only. . . .
First apperance of the W.A.S.T.E. Postal system.

see Understanding W.A.S.T.E.

a: 52, b: 38 - Muted Posthorn/Sigil
The visual design of the Symbol of the W.A.S.T.E. postal system appears to be an improvised Magical Sigil. Note that a number of these sigils can be found in A. E. Waite's Book of Black Magic, a work referenced in Geli Tripping's love spell in the author's next work, Gravity's Rainbow. The Seal of Amduscias [found on page 218 of Weiser's 1972 reprint] appears to be the likely inspiration. Miles Davis is another probable inspiration. See a: 63, b: 48 - The Courier's Tragedy, below.

a: 52, b: 38 - Posthorn
The post horn is a valveless cylindrical brass instrument with a cupped mouthpiece. The instrument was used to signal the arrival or departure of a post rider or mail coach.[10]

a: 53, b: 39 - Washington and Dallas chapters
For readers in 1966, singling out Washington and Dallas might bring to mind the recent assassination of President Kennedy.

Charles Hollander sees CoL49 as a big coded commentary on the assassination. Pynchon, JFK and the CIA: Magic Eye Views of The Crying of Lot 49

a: 56 b: 41 - ogived
From Wiktionary: (architecture) A Gothic pointed arch, or a rib of a Gothic vault

a: 56, b: 41 - reconstruction of some European pleasure-casino
Perhaps the Casino Hermann Goering from Gravity's Rainbow?

a: 57, b: 42 - trimaran
A multihull boat consisting of a main hull and two smaller outrigger hulls, attached to the main hull with lateral struts.

a: 57, b: 42 - Godzilla II
There seems to be some kind of joke from somewhere that Pynchon was rumored to be writing a novel about Godzilla and Mothra at some point... More??? In a letter to his editor in the sixties, Cork Smith, as he was writing Gravity's Rainbow, he spoke of also working on two other books. One was about the two men who created the Mason/Dixon line, an easy one for us, the other was said to be inspired by Pynchon's love of the Godzilla movies and was about a monster which came from under the ice. [Spoiler for another work]: That, if not a put-on, which TRP did not seem to do with Cork Smith, seems to be a small but real part of what became Against the Day.
In this context it is important to remember the origins of the Godzilla story.

b: 43 - Giunghierrace
Giunghierra is Corsican for jungle. Italian is giungla. As a portmanteau, jungle race? Tony Jaguar isn't far off, by pronunciation or meaning. [11]

a: 58, b: 43 - sfacim
Italian slang, literally "semen" but also used as an insult roughly equivalent to "son of a bitch."

a: 58, b: 43 - Darrowlike
Clarence Seward Darrow (1857 - 1938) was a famous American lawyer and leading member of the American Civil Liberties Union, best known for defending teenaged thrill killers and defending John T. Scopes in the so-called "Monkey" Trial. Wikipedia

Hollander interprets the mention of Darrow as proof of his theory that the Russian naval encounter described by Fallopian is a reference to the purchase of Alaska from Russia, "Seward's folly."
a 1965 Jaguar XKE

a: 59, b: 43 - XKE
The Jaguar XKE was a famous sportscar, later selected by the Museum of Modern Art in New York as the 'world's most beautiful automobile.' Some connection with mafioso Tony Jaguar?

a: 61, b: 46 - Lago di Pietà
Lago di Pietra del Pertusillo is a lake in southern Italy. Wikipedia

a: 63, b: 48 - The Courier's Tragedy
A fictional Jacobean Revenge Play. The first of these was called The Spanish Tragedy and also involved excessive violence and multiple murders. There are questions of guilt, responsibility and deception as well as a letter written in blood identifying the murderers.[12]

Here is the play on Internet Archive The Spanish Tragedy

See Making sense of The Courier's Tragedy

b: 49 - Richard Wharfinger
Richard as a surname means strong, strong in leadership. Wharfinger is an obsolete name for a harbormaster. [13]

a: 65, b: 49 - civil war
The English Civil War consisted of a series of armed conflicts and political machinations that took place between Parliamentarians (known as Roundheads) and Royalists (known as Cavaliers) between 1642 and 1651. Wikipedia

b: 49 - Saint Narcissus
Saint Narcissus of Jerusalem (namesake of San Narciso?), Bishop of Jerusalem and Caesarea who presided over a council that determined that Easter would be celebrated on Sunday, rather than Passover. One of his miracles was turning water into oil to light the lamps during an Easter celebration. [14]

a: 66, b: 50 - Maenad roar of nitre's song
In Greek mythology, Maenads were female worshippers of Dionysus, the Greek god of mystery, wine and intoxication, and the Roman god Bacchus. The word literally translates as "raving ones". They were known as wild, insane women who could not be reasoned with. Wikipedia In Euripides' Bacchae, some of the women are voluntary worshippers of the god, strike the earth for milk, wine, and honey, hunt and tear apart wild animals, eating the flesh raw (sparagmos); the women of Thebes are driven mad as a punishment, however, for not giving the god (from Thebes itself originally, his mother being a Theban princess) full respect. The boy-king Pentheus' own mother tears him apart in a grotesque distortion of the "real" maenads' practice of "sparagmos". Dionysus himself is torn apart (and reborn) in some versions of the story.

Niter or nitre is the mineral form of potassium nitrate, KNO3, also known as saltpeter, an essential ingredient of gunpowder.

a: 66, b: 50 - cantus firmus
In music, a cantus firmus ("fixed song") is a pre-existing melody forming the basis of a polyphonic composition, often set apart by being played in long notes. Wikipedia

a: 66, b: 50 - Thurn und Taxis
The Princely House of Thurn and Taxis (German: Das Fürstenhaus Thurn und Taxis) is a German family that was a key player in the postal (mail) services in Europe in the 16th century and is well known as owners of breweries and builders of countless castles. Wikipedia
Also noteworthy is Rainer Maria Rilke's dedication of Duineser Elegien to Princess Maria von Thurn und Taxis-Hohenlohe, in whose castle Rilke wrote the elegies. Excerpts from the elegies appear in GR.

a: 67, b: 51 - aqua regia
Aqua regia (Latin for "royal water") is a highly corrosive mixture of nitric acid and hydrochloric acid. It is one of the few reagents that dissolves gold and platinum. It was so named because it can dissolve the so-called royal, or noble metals. Wikipedia

b: 52 - Paraclete...Pentecost
Paraclete: In this context, a term for the Holy Spirit in Christianity.
Pentecost: A Christian holy day which commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Christ. The Holy Spirit appears in the form of tongues of fire, and the account is told in the book of Acts, Chapter 2.

b: 54 - encre
French: ink

b: 54 - hight
Archaic/Middle English: named/called

b: 55 - vizard
mask or disguise

b: 56 - trice
very short period of time

a: 73, b: 57 - blank verse
Blank verse is a type of poetry, distinguished by having a regular meter, but no rhyme. In English, the meter most commonly used with blank verse has been iambic pentameter. Wikipedia

b: 58 - trow
Archaic/Middle English: think/believe

a: 75, b: 59 - picket the V.A.
Veteran's Administration, probably.

a: 76, b: 59 - Young Republican
Young Republicans is the name of an organization for members of the Republican Party of the United States between the ages of 18 and 40. Wikipedia

a: 76, b: 59 - Hap Harrigan comics
Hap Harrigan was a character in the 1931 film, The Hot Heiress (IMDB), but Weisenburger and Grant believe that Pynchon may have meant Hop Harrigan, a comic strip and radio character from the 1940s. Hop Harrigan was a comic strip character also called the The Guardian Angel and Black Lamp. The comic portrayed him in typical WWII propaganda. [15] The Hap Harrigan character in The Hot Heiress was Ben Lyon, who became a movie executive and eventually discovered Norma Jean Dougherty better know as Marilyn Monroe. [16]

b: 61 - grue
She feels "cold corpse-fingers of grue on her skin." Fear, shiver, shudder. [17]

a: 79, b: 62 - You don't understand," getting mad...

Contributor David Stewart suggests Pynchon is talking to his critics and readers who, like Stewart, ask pertinent questions about Pynchon's wild prose. In essence, the reason Pynchon rejects interviews regarding the subtext of his literature is based on Driblette's monologue as he, like Pynchon, describes the writing is in his head, yet the paradox is that his esoteric phrases leaves one to go in depth to understand what he is saying.

a: 79, b: 62 - I'm the projector of the planetarium

This exchange recalls fundamental questions about interpreting texts that have been debated in academic literary circles in the 20th century, namely, should we look for authorial intention in texts, or focus rather on possible readings by various readers?

This reference to creation also recalls the Remedios Varo painting in Chapter 1, in which the girls in the tower weave the world. Cf. "Shall I project a world?" from this novel.



Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6
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