- 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: 101, b: 81 - Plays of Ford, Webster, Tourneur and Wharfinger
John Ford is famous for Tis pity she's a whore, John Webster wrote The Duchess of Malfi and Cyril Tourneur wrote The Athiest's Tragedy, while the Revenger's Tragedy is ascribed to Tourneur with a great deal of controversy as regards authorship.
a: 103, b: 83 - FSM's, YAF's, VDC's
Free Speech Movement, Young Americans for Freedom, and Vietnam Day Committee. The VDC was a coalition of left-wing political groups, student groups, labour organizations, and pacifist religions in America that opposed the Vietnam War. It was formed in Berkeley in 1965 and was active through the majority of the war. Wikipedia
a: 103, b: 83 - a national reflex to certain pathologies in high places only death had the power to cure
Presumably, the McCarthy era, which only ended with McCarthy's death in 1957.
a: 103, b: 83 - Siwash
A fictional college in stories by George Fitch (d. 1915), American author. Also, a small usually inland college that is notably provincial in outlook.
Also related to Native Americans?
- Since "Siwash" is here compared to Berkeley university, I'd say no. Bleakhaus
a: 104, b: 83 - Secretaries James and Foster and Senator Joseph
James Forrestal, John Foster Dulles, and Joseph McCarthy.
a: 104, b: 84 - a shirt on various Polynesian themes and dating from the Truman administration
Recalls the shirt worn by Slothrop in Part 2 of Gravity's Rainbow, even though that one was Hawaiian and worn a few months before Truman took office.
a: 110, b: 88 - Roos Atkins
Chain of upscale men's clothing stores in San Francisco Wikipedia
a: 112, b: 90 - sinophile
Someone fond of chinese culture. On occasion, the term is used to describe people who exhibit a sexual preference for Chinese or Asian partners. Wikipedia
- But what character is this referring to? Bleakhaus 14:26, 10 May 2007 (PDT)
a: 115, b: 93 - IBM 7094
At the time of publishing, this was the top-of-the-line computer. One of those HUGE room sized ones.
a: 119, b: 96 - Jesus Arrabal
Jesus Arrabal' conflates Jesus' a word, generally fixed in meaning as the figure at the Center of Christianity, [and also a common Christian Name in Catholic Latin American], with Arrabal a Spanish word that grew from Arab roots, arrabal (suburb - al-rabad). The word changed in meaning over time to include the suburbs, the outlands, and the slums, all zones of exclusion. The word Arrabal as a proper name leads us to Fernando Arrabal, noted playwright working in the Theater of the Absurd. Finally, spoken aloud it sounds like Jesus 'orrible. See a: 129, b: 105 - high magic to low puns, below.
a: 119, b: 96 - Conjuración de los Insurgentes Anarquistas
A fictional Anarchist organization with the acronym C.I.A., a pun that serves to remind us once again of the secretive intelligence organization. Conjuración is both conjuration and conspiracy, so it is both a Conspiracy of Insurgent Anarchists and a Conjuration of Insurgent Anarchists. As in both Pan's Labyrinth and Against the Day there is an Anarchist/Magical co-conspiracy.
a: 119, b: 96 - Flores Magon brothers
Ricardo and Enrique Flores Magón led anarchist movements in Mexico in the early 1900's.
a: 119, b: 96 - Zapata
Emiliano Zapata was another Mexican revolutionary in the early 1900's.
a: 125, b: 101 - jitney
A type of taxi, but with a regular route, that stops at any point along the way that you want. It is also shared with other riders. Jitneys are run, usually, entrepreneurially and often unlicensed. A kind of off-the-grid "taxi".
a: 129, b: 105 - high magic to low puns
- . . . .She knew that the sailor had seen worlds no other man had seen if only because there was that high magic to low puns, because DT's must give access to dt's of spectra beyond the known sun, music made purely of Antarctic loneliness and fright . . . .
I suppose the first reasonable question is "What is High Magic?", High Magic being one of those terms we generally assume we already know, the bulk of the readers skimming right past that phrase even though they've never really had the acquaintance of a practioneer, much less participate in a Magick ritual, either high or low. High Magic is magic that seeks contact with the Divine, one could also look at it as a form of Gnosis. "High Magic" is one of the biggest themes in all of Pynchon's books, all aspects of Magic high and low are explored. The number and density of references to magic increase in his output, culminating in the constantly shifting magical realism of Against the Day. But, quite frequently in Thomas Pynchon's output, there's a Home-Grown word Wicca that can be Scryed in the Spells and Twisted Spelllings of the Gnarly Etymological roots he digs up like some Witch Doctor and re-twists into his novels.
The High Magic of Angelic Language must be declaimed---Cried is one way to put it---very carefully, with a great and awful locution. . . .
From an Unsigned article on Enochian calls:
- ". . . .Pronunciation proves a problem for the scholar of Enochian. Since the language was only ever really used by Dee and Kelley in its true and correct form, we have only a vague idea of how it was actually spoken. Aleister Crowley of the Golden Dawn fame, proposed a system of pronunciation which took each individual letter as a single sound. This is explained by Sapere Aude (William Wynn Wescott- also of the Golden dawn):
- In pronouncing the Names, take each letter separately. M is pronounced Em; N is pronounced En (also Nu, since in Hebrew the vowel following the equivalent letter Nun is 'u'); A is Ah; P is Peh; S is Ess; D is Deh.
- NRFM is pronounced En-Ra-Ef-Em or En-Ar-Ef-Em. ZIZA is pronounced Zod-ee-zod-ah. ADRE is Ah-deh-reh or Ah-deh-er-reh. TAAASD is Teh-ah-ah-ah-ess-deh. AIAOAI is Ah-ee-ah-oh-ah-ee. BDOPA is Beh-deh-oh-peh-ah. BANAA is Beh-ah-en-ah-ah. BITOM is Beh-ee-to-em or Beh-ee-teh-oo-em. NANTA is En-ah-en-tah. HCOMA is Heh-co-em-ah. EXARP is Eh-ex-ar-peh.
The Word must be spoken with the greatest imaginable specificity:
- . . . .The second section is my attempt to rewrite the Calls into some sort of standardized, readable phonetic system. One thing became evident in this process: the pronunciation guide given by Donald Laycock in his Complete Enochian Dictionary is the closest thing to Dee's notes I've seen so far. . . .
- . . . .The angels themselves are no help here:
- Dee: I pray you, is Mozod a word of three letters, or of five?
- Nalvage: In wrote three, it is larger extended. [Dee- Z extended is Zod.]
- Dee: Will you pardon me if I ask you another question of this extension?
- Nal.: Say on: Moz in itself signifieth Joy; but Mozod extended, signifieth the Joy of God
- (Causabon, A True and Faithful Relation..., p. 75). . . .
Of course, taking these concepts a touch closer to Terra Firma, or Malkuth if we want to get Technical about it, we note that a glossary for The Crying of Lot 49 should also fold in a pronounciation guide that points out homonyms or sound-alikes in the novella, as this little story is overstuffed with puns, homonyms, mondegreens, acronyms, and near misses of famous or useful names. Take Jesus Arrabal as a fine upstanding example of the word games that Thomas Ruggles Pynchon obsessively plays. We all know the name Jesus, in addition to being our Lord and Savior And All That, is also quite a common Christian Name in predominantly Catholic Latin American countries, such as Mexico, though, as in The Big Lebowski there is a frisson of heresy in recontextualizing the religious figure of Jesus Christ as a low and excluded preterite. Pynchon's family history again applies here. William Pynchon, founder of Springfield and a source of a lot that goes on in Pynchon the younger's books, spoke of Jesus Christ as closer to man, closer to those that the Calvinist Elect saw as excluded from Christ's kingdom. I can't tell you why Our Beloved Author takes up this theme so many times, but it is made explicit in the form of William Slothrop's banned and burned book On Preterition, a fictional book folded into Gravity's Rainbow. Preterition is, of course, one of the most frequently used terms in Pynchon's writing, displaying the author's great depth of knowledge on spiritual topicks including the history of the Calvinists and their impact on America, it is a historical thread that the author will return to again and again.
But the Arrabal part, where did Our Beloved Author find that one and what does it mean? Charles Hollander, in Pynchon, JFK and the CIA: Magic Eye Views of The Crying of Lot 49, points out that Arrabal translates from Spanish into Suburb. Alternatively, it can mean the Outlands, in the dance of the tango, it's the Slums, so Jesus Arrabal can also be Jesus of the Slums. If you say it out loud, it sounds like Jesus 'orrible. This is not your run-of-the-mill Jesus here.
Then there's Fernando Arrabal, a figure on view but partially obscured in The Crying of Lot 49 much as the satrist Varo reflects on the visual artist Remedios Varo. According to the Wikipedia article on Fernando Arrabal
- Fernando Arrabal Terán (born August 11, 1932 in Melilla, Spain) is a Spanish playwright, screenwriter, film director, novelist and poet of Spanish origin. He settled in France in 1955. . . .
- . . . .‘’Arrabal’s theatre is a wild, brutal, cacophonous, and joyously provocative world. It is a dramatic carnival in which the carcass of our “advanced” civilizations is barbecued over the spits of a permanent revolution. He is the artistic heir of Kafka’s lucidity and Jarry’s humor; in his violence, Arrabal is related to Sade and Artaud. Yet he is doubtless the only writer to have pushed derision as far as he did. Deeply political and merrily playful, both revolutionary and bohemian, his work is the syndrome of our century of barbed wire and Gulags, a manner of finding a reprieve. . . .’’
This is Jesus the Anarchist, Jesus the Sadist, Jesus of the Preterite, Jesus of the C.I.A. [yet another pun, see a: 119, b: 96 - Conjuración de los Insurgentes Anarquistas above]. He still recieves his copies of the ancient anarcho-syndicalist paper Regeneración Postmarked with a Muted Posthorn.. This is the Jesus of the Theater of the Absurd
|Chapter 1||Chapter 2||Chapter 3||Chapter 4||Chapter 5||Chapter 6|