Difference between revisions of "Chapter 2"

 
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a: 23, b: ? - '''Sick Dick and the Volkswagens'''<br>
+
a: 23, b: 13 - '''Mucho's Mood'''<br>
Fictional, but a 1970s New York City punk band adopted the name. [http://black2com.blogspot.com/2006/03/black-to-comm-back-issue-update-hey-ya.html] "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?
+
As Oedipa leaves him, Mucho is described as [https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/enigmatic enigmatic], sad, but not desperate. He has his hands in his pocket, a distancing body language for someone who is being left behind. Oedipa gives him instructions about the [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregano oregano] and to ignore Dr. Hilarius, but there is no farewell kiss or hug proffered or described. Has Mucho Maas had 'too much'?
  
a: 24, b: ? - '''printed circuit'''<br>
+
a: 23, b: 13 - '''Sick Dick and the Volkswagens'''<br>
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.
+
Fictional, but a 1970s New York City punk band adopted the name. [http://black2com.blogspot.com/2006/03/black-to-comm-back-issue-update-hey-ya.html] "I Want to Kiss Your Feet" no doubt an allusion to the 1963 Beatles hit, "I Want to Hold Your Hand." The 1960s Volkswagens were referred to as "Beetles" because they were similar in shape to the insect.
 +
*Might this mean that Pynchon was fond of the Beatles but "did not believe in" them? Also, Pynchon explores the foot fetish in greater depth in [http://against-the-day.pynchonwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=F#footfetish ''Against the Day''] (2006), and especially in [http://bleedingedge.pynchonwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Chapter_20#Page_223 ''Bleeding Edge''] (2013).
  
a: 25, b: ? - '''believe in his job'''<br>
+
a: 23, b: 13 - '''a strange mold'''<br>
Echoes the "believe in" language from two pages back. Pynchon is drawing a metaphor between "believing in" a band and "believing in" a job.  
+
The mold on her oregano has probably contracted Powdery Mildew, a fungi that attacks oregano in more humid, damp areas. [https://www.smartgardener.com/plants/1023-oregano-greek-oregano/diseases/781-powdery-mildew#:~:text=Powdery%20Mildew%20doesn't%20usually,for%20climbing%20varieties%20is%20important).]
  
a: 25, b: ? - '''religious instant'''<br>
+
a: 24, b: 14 - '''Sunday'''<br>
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. Similar to the "Proustian moment" or Joycean epiphany?
+
The day of the sun, which is clearly dominating in Pynchon's descriptions. Day of rest, sacred in Christian religion. End of weekend, and not a workday for most people. and lawyers generally. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunday]
  
a: 25, b: ? - '''giants of the aerospace industry'''<br>
+
a: 24, b: 14 - '''Impala'''<br>
Pynchon worked as a technical writer at Boeing from 1960-62.
+
A Chevy car that came in both coupe and sedan. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Impala Chevy Impala]. The car is named after the African antelope [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impala Impala], and is the only American car named after anything like a deer. This is important when she arrives at Echo Courts.
  
a: 26, b: ? - '''horse'''<br>
+
a: 24, b: 14 - '''printed circuit'''<br>
Heroin.
+
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: 26, b: ? - '''the Paranoids'''<br>
+
a: 25, b: 14 - '''religious instant'''<br>
Some fan has made a mock-up of what a CD by The Paranoids might look like, [http://www.entropic-empire.com/cds/paranoids.html here].
+
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. [[Talk:Chapter_2|Further discussion]]
  
a: 30, b: ? - '''Gallipoli'''<br>
+
a: 25, b: 15 - '''whirlwiind'''<br>
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. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Gallipoli Wikipedia]
+
Oedipa imagines "words were being spoken" out of the eye of a whirlwind. In the KJV of the Book of Job, Jehovah speaks to Job out of a whirlwind, pointing out how He, Jehovah, created the universe and all things in it. Jehovah describes behemoth and leviathan here. [https://thekingsbible.com/Bible/18/38 Job 38-42]
  
a: 31, b: ? - '''hierophany'''<br>
+
a: 25, b: 14 - '''believe in his job'''<br>
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.
+
Echoes the "believe in" language from two pages back. Pynchon is drawing a metaphor between "believing in" a band and "believing in" a job.<br>
  
a: 31, b: ? - '''Book of the Dead'''<br>
+
:"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.
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' [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_the_Dead Wikipedia]
+
:also see [[Voices,_Voices|'''Voices, Voices''']]
  
a: 31, b: ? - '''singling up all lines<br>
+
a: 25, b: 15 - '''giants of the aerospace industry'''<br>
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 worked as a technical writer at Boeing from 1960-62.
  
Pynchon uses this term in almost all his novels, notably as the first sentence of ''Against the Day.'' For more, see [http://against-the-day.pynchonwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=ATD_1-25#Page_3 ATD page 3].
+
a: 26, b: 15 - '''horse'''<br>
 +
Heroin.
  
a: 33, b: ? - '''a cash nexus'''<br>
+
b: 16 - '''Echo Courts'''<br>
?
+
The story of Echo and Narcissus in Ovid's Metamorphoses involves the mountain nymph Echo, who is punished by Juno for deceiving her, can only repeat what someone says to her. Narcissus, a handsome prince on a hunt follows a deer (Impala?) to the glade where Echo lives. She falls in love with him, but he rejects her. Nemesis punishes Narcissus for rejecting Echo, and he becomes obsessed with his own image in a reflection. He dies staring at his image. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echo_and_Narcissus]
  
a: 33, b: ? - '''Manni di Presso'''<br>
+
a: 26, b: 16 - '''Frug'''<br>
Manic depression?
+
A dance popular in the mid-sixties that vigorously moved to the beat with an individual pattern or repetition. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frug_(dance)] To be too fat to frug would seems ironic since the dance doesn't require any particular movement, just moving to the beat. Today, the frug shows up at weddings and class reunions.
  
a: 36, b: ? - '''Botticelli'''<br>
+
a: 27, b: 17 - '''the Paranoids'''<br>
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. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botticelli_%28game%29 Wikipedia]
+
Some fan has made a mock-up of what a CD by The Paranoids might look like, [http://www.entropic-empire.com/cds/paranoids.html here].
  
[[Image:oscilloscope.gif|thumb|right|200px|Lissajous figures on an oscilloscope, with 90 degrees phase difference between x and y inputs.]]
+
The Paranoids are a pastiche of various Rock & Roll bands struggling in L.A. in the wake of the success of the Beatles.  
a: 47, b: ? - '''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]
+
  
a: 47, b: ? - '''Stockhausen'''<br>
+
see [[The_Paranoids|'''The Paranoids]]
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]
+
  
a: 48, b: ? - '''Mike Fallopian'''<br>
+
a: 26, b: 17 '''Payola'''<br>
Obviously, Fallopian tubes are two very fine tubes leading from the ovaries of female mammals into the uterus.
+
Payola initially began as a payment to a DJ to play a song by an artist. Alan Freed is the name most commonly associated with this, but a 1959 Congressional Investigation led to changes that benefited the system, a clear example of "regulatory capture" by the music industry. "Following the investigation, radio DJs were stripped of the authority to make programming decisions and payola became a misdemeanor offense. Programming decisions became the responsibility of station program directors. However, this had the result of simplifying the process of payola: instead of reaching numerous DJs, record labels only had to persuade the station's program director." This also led to the kind of programming that Mucho's boss seeks and Mucho can't believe in. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Payola]
  
a: 49, b: ? - '''Disgruntled'''<br>
+
Miles by describing himself as the Payola Kid implies that he's more than willing to trade sex for airtime.
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>
+
a: 26-7. b: 17 '''rabbit-ear antenna'''<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.
+
For the cable generation, rabbit-ears is a colloquialism for the tv antenna that sat on top of the television set. They were notoriously poor at getting reception. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Television_antenna#Indoor]
  
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: 27, b: 17 '''smuggling French Beaujolais'''<br>
 +
The only smuggling that Metzger would have done would be to not claim the bottle at customs to evade the duty tax established by tariffs on foreign wine of $.37.5 per gal. Quite the "rollicking lawbreaker" as Oedipa asides. [https://www.usitc.gov/publications/tariff_affairs/pub317.pdf 1963-1968 Tariff Schedule]pg. 116.
  
a: 50, b: ? - '''Birch Society'''<br>
+
a: 27, b: 18 - '''Bonanza'''<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]  
+
Long-running western TV series from 1959-1973. Story of a ranchland owning family, the patriarch siring three sons, each by different mothers (wives). [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonanza]
  
"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.
+
b: 18 - '''kasher'''<br>
 +
Generally refers to a process that renders a utensil fit for use ("kosher") by removing material that has been absorbed in it.  However, it can also be used (as Metzger does) in reference to the process by which meat is made kosher, which involves soaking the meat in water, salting it, and then rinsing it. This process pulls the excess blood out of the meat and makes it kosher for eating.  
  
a: 51, b: ? - '''Marxism... Industrial ''anything'''''<br>
+
a: 30, b: 19 - '''Cashiered'''<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.  
+
A military ceremony to degrade and dismiss someone from a position of responsibility. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cashiering] Oedipa makes a pun on the movie relating back to Metzger's claim that his mother tried to kasher him.
  
a: 53, b: ? - '''Washington and Dallas chapters'''<br>
+
a: 30, b: 19 - '''Gallipoli'''<br>
For readers in 1966, singling out Washington and Dallas might bring to mind the recent assassination of President Kennedy.  
+
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. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Gallipoli Wikipedia]
  
: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]
+
a: 30, b: 19 - '''Dardanelles'''<br>
 +
a strait between European Turkey and Asian Turkey. Gallipoli offers a choke point for the strait. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dardanelles]
  
a: 56, b: ? - '''reconstruction of some European pleasure-casino'''<br>
+
a: 30, b: 19 - '''Sea of Marmara'''<br>
Perhaps the Casino Hermann Goering from ''Gravity's Rainbow''?
+
an inland sea that connects the Bosporus with the Dardanelles. Circumscribed by Turkey, this would be enemy territory. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_of_Marmara]
  
a: 57, b: ? - '''trimaran'''<br>
+
b: 19 - '''Dodecanese'''<br>
A multihull boat consisting of a main hull and two smaller outrigger hulls, attached to the main hull with lateral struts.
+
A group of small Greek islands off the coast of Turkey. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodecanese]
  
a: 57, b: ? - '''Godzilla II'''<br>
+
b: 19 - '''Hun'''<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???
+
Slang/nickname for Germans.  Refers to a speech made by Emperor Wilhelm II in July 1900, wherein he urged his troops to emulate the brutal and merciless conduct of the Huns under Attila.
  
a: 58, b: ? - '''sfacim'''<br>
+
b: 20 - '''Fangoso'''<br>
Italian slang, literally "semen" but also used as an insult roughly equivalent to "son of a bitch."
+
Spanish: muddy.
  
a: 58, b: ? - '''Darrowlike'''<br>
+
a: 31, b: 20 - '''hierophany'''<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]
+
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.
  
:Hollander [http://www.vheissu.info/art/art_eng_49_hollander.htm#chap_3 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: 31, b: 20 - '''Book of the Dead'''<br>
 +
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' [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_the_Dead Wikipedia]
  
[[Image:jaguarxke.jpg|thumb|150px|right|a 1965 Jaguar XKE]]
+
Also a reference to the [http://near-death.com/experiences/buddhism01.html '''''Bardo Thodol'''''], or [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bardo_Thodol '''''Tibetan Book of the Dead'''''], a text [http://www.randychase.com/leary_1.htm '''Timothy Leary''']:
a: 59, b: ? - '''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?
+
  
a: 61, b: ? - '''Lago di Pietà'''<br>
+
::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. . . .
An actual historical event?
+
found invaluable in exploring the [http://tinyurl.com/337xqe '''''The Psychedelic Experience''''']. In turn, this rediscovered material from the [http://www.lib.virginia.edu/small/exhibits/dead/otherworld.html '''''Tibetan Book of the Dead'''''] influenced the [http://www.egodeath.com/johnlennonhelp.htm '''Beatles'''] on their first track recorded for the LP  [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolver_(album) '''Revolver'''],  [http://everything2.com/index.pl?node=Tomorrow%20Never%20Knows '''Tomorrow Never Knows.]
  
a: 64, b: ? - '''civil war'''<br>
+
<div id="single_up_all_lines">a: 31, b: 20 - '''singling up all lines</div>
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]
+
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.
  
a: 66, b: ? - '''Maenad roar of nitre's song'''<br>
+
Pynchon uses this term in almost all his novels, notably as the first sentence of [http://against-the-day.pynchonwiki.com/wiki/ ''Against the Day.''] For more, see [http://against-the-day.pynchonwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=ATD_1-25#Page_3 ATD, page 3].
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]
+
  
Niter or nitre is the mineral form of potassium nitrate, KNO3, also known as saltpeter, an essential ingreident of gunpowder.
+
b: 21 - '''Jerry'''<br>
 +
A nickname for German soldiers that was popular among the British.
  
a: 66, b: ? - '''cantus firmus'''<br>
+
b: 21 - '''E Class subs'''<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]
+
British submarines built and used during WWI. Interesting that Metzger, an American (?), says our subs. Either Metzger is getting back into his role, or here is another way that Metzger's character has questionable backstories. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_E-class_submarine] While the US had an E class sub, there were only two, and only one of those ever went on patrols. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_E-class_submarine]
  
a: 66, b: ? - '''Thurn und Taxis'''<br>
+
a: 33, b: 21 - '''a cash nexus'''<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]
+
a phrase of Karl Marx that refers to the way interpersonal relations in a
 +
(Capitalist) society are 'reduced' to economic relationships.
  
a: 67, b: ? - '''aqua regia'''<br>
+
a: 33, b: 22 - '''Manny di Presso'''<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]
+
Manic depression?
 +
 
 +
a: 36, b: 24 - '''Botticelli'''<br>
 +
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. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botticelli_%28game%29 Wikipedia]
  
a: 73, b: ? - '''blank verse'''<br>
+
b: 26 - '''Lord love a duck'''<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]
+
An inoffensive expression of surprise of British origin. Another example of Miles' affectation of British mannerisms.
  
a: 75, b: ? - '''picket the V.A.'''<br>
+
b: 26 - '''seraglio'''<br>
what's the VA?
+
Harem.
  
a: 76, b: ? - '''Young Republican'''<br>
+
b: 27 - '''Serenade'''<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]
+
While the Paranoids attempt to imitate the British Invasion, the lyrics to this serenade are similar to a song by the Beach Boys on Surfin' USA, released in 1963. [https://www.allmusic.com/album/surfin-usa-mw0001955277]
  
 
{{CL49 PbP}}
 
{{CL49 PbP}}

Latest revision as of 13:37, 1 June 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

a: 23, b: 13 - Mucho's Mood
As Oedipa leaves him, Mucho is described as enigmatic, sad, but not desperate. He has his hands in his pocket, a distancing body language for someone who is being left behind. Oedipa gives him instructions about the oregano and to ignore Dr. Hilarius, but there is no farewell kiss or hug proffered or described. Has Mucho Maas had 'too much'?

a: 23, b: 13 - Sick Dick and the Volkswagens
Fictional, but a 1970s New York City punk band adopted the name. [1] "I Want to Kiss Your Feet" no doubt an allusion to the 1963 Beatles hit, "I Want to Hold Your Hand." The 1960s Volkswagens were referred to as "Beetles" because they were similar in shape to the insect.

  • Might this mean that Pynchon was fond of the Beatles but "did not believe in" them? Also, Pynchon explores the foot fetish in greater depth in Against the Day (2006), and especially in Bleeding Edge (2013).

a: 23, b: 13 - a strange mold
The mold on her oregano has probably contracted Powdery Mildew, a fungi that attacks oregano in more humid, damp areas. [2]

a: 24, b: 14 - Sunday
The day of the sun, which is clearly dominating in Pynchon's descriptions. Day of rest, sacred in Christian religion. End of weekend, and not a workday for most people. and lawyers generally. [3]

a: 24, b: 14 - Impala
A Chevy car that came in both coupe and sedan. Chevy Impala. The car is named after the African antelope Impala, and is the only American car named after anything like a deer. This is important when she arrives at Echo Courts.

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 - 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 - whirlwiind
Oedipa imagines "words were being spoken" out of the eye of a whirlwind. In the KJV of the Book of Job, Jehovah speaks to Job out of a whirlwind, pointing out how He, Jehovah, created the universe and all things in it. Jehovah describes behemoth and leviathan here. Job 38-42

a: 25, b: 14 - believe in his job
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.
also see Voices, Voices

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
Heroin.

b: 16 - Echo Courts
The story of Echo and Narcissus in Ovid's Metamorphoses involves the mountain nymph Echo, who is punished by Juno for deceiving her, can only repeat what someone says to her. Narcissus, a handsome prince on a hunt follows a deer (Impala?) to the glade where Echo lives. She falls in love with him, but he rejects her. Nemesis punishes Narcissus for rejecting Echo, and he becomes obsessed with his own image in a reflection. He dies staring at his image. [4]

a: 26, b: 16 - Frug
A dance popular in the mid-sixties that vigorously moved to the beat with an individual pattern or repetition. [5] To be too fat to frug would seems ironic since the dance doesn't require any particular movement, just moving to the beat. Today, the frug shows up at weddings and class reunions.

a: 27, b: 17 - the Paranoids
Some fan has made a mock-up of what a CD by The Paranoids might look like, here.

The Paranoids are a pastiche of various Rock & Roll bands struggling in L.A. in the wake of the success of the Beatles.

see The Paranoids

a: 26, b: 17 Payola
Payola initially began as a payment to a DJ to play a song by an artist. Alan Freed is the name most commonly associated with this, but a 1959 Congressional Investigation led to changes that benefited the system, a clear example of "regulatory capture" by the music industry. "Following the investigation, radio DJs were stripped of the authority to make programming decisions and payola became a misdemeanor offense. Programming decisions became the responsibility of station program directors. However, this had the result of simplifying the process of payola: instead of reaching numerous DJs, record labels only had to persuade the station's program director." This also led to the kind of programming that Mucho's boss seeks and Mucho can't believe in. [6]

Miles by describing himself as the Payola Kid implies that he's more than willing to trade sex for airtime.

a: 26-7. b: 17 rabbit-ear antenna
For the cable generation, rabbit-ears is a colloquialism for the tv antenna that sat on top of the television set. They were notoriously poor at getting reception. [7]

a: 27, b: 17 smuggling French Beaujolais
The only smuggling that Metzger would have done would be to not claim the bottle at customs to evade the duty tax established by tariffs on foreign wine of $.37.5 per gal. Quite the "rollicking lawbreaker" as Oedipa asides. 1963-1968 Tariff Schedulepg. 116.

a: 27, b: 18 - Bonanza
Long-running western TV series from 1959-1973. Story of a ranchland owning family, the patriarch siring three sons, each by different mothers (wives). [8]

b: 18 - kasher
Generally refers to a process that renders a utensil fit for use ("kosher") by removing material that has been absorbed in it. However, it can also be used (as Metzger does) in reference to the process by which meat is made kosher, which involves soaking the meat in water, salting it, and then rinsing it. This process pulls the excess blood out of the meat and makes it kosher for eating.

a: 30, b: 19 - Cashiered
A military ceremony to degrade and dismiss someone from a position of responsibility. [9] Oedipa makes a pun on the movie relating back to Metzger's claim that his mother tried to kasher him.

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: 30, b: 19 - Dardanelles
a strait between European Turkey and Asian Turkey. Gallipoli offers a choke point for the strait. [10]

a: 30, b: 19 - Sea of Marmara
an inland sea that connects the Bosporus with the Dardanelles. Circumscribed by Turkey, this would be enemy territory. [11]

b: 19 - Dodecanese
A group of small Greek islands off the coast of Turkey. [12]

b: 19 - Hun
Slang/nickname for Germans. Refers to a speech made by Emperor Wilhelm II in July 1900, wherein he urged his troops to emulate the brutal and merciless conduct of the Huns under Attila.

b: 20 - Fangoso
Spanish: muddy.

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.

a: 31, b: 20 - singling up all lines

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.

b: 21 - Jerry
A nickname for German soldiers that was popular among the British.

b: 21 - E Class subs
British submarines built and used during WWI. Interesting that Metzger, an American (?), says our subs. Either Metzger is getting back into his role, or here is another way that Metzger's character has questionable backstories. [13] While the US had an E class sub, there were only two, and only one of those ever went on patrols. [14]

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 - Manny di Presso
Manic depression?

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

b: 26 - Lord love a duck
An inoffensive expression of surprise of British origin. Another example of Miles' affectation of British mannerisms.

b: 26 - seraglio
Harem.

b: 27 - Serenade
While the Paranoids attempt to imitate the British Invasion, the lyrics to this serenade are similar to a song by the Beach Boys on Surfin' USA, released in 1963. [15]



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