Chapter 5

Revision as of 20:33, 7 May 2010 by Memelab (Talk | contribs) (Added Airmail stamp)

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:

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.

b: 82 - Alexandrine
A line of poetic meter comprising 12 syllables.

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 The character being referred to is John Nefastis, who likes to do it when "there is something about China" on TV.

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.

b: 98 - priistas
Members of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (Spanish: Partido Revolucionario Institucional or PRI): a Mexican political party. It was formed in 1929 and was the dominant political party for much of the 20th century.

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

see High Magic to Low Puns

a: 132, b: 107 - Oedipa checked out of the hotel and drove down the peninsula
This may be a continuity goof by Pynchon. "in chapter 5, Oedipa parks her car in San Francisco's North Beach, then spends the night wandering through the Bay Area on foot and by bus, ending up the next morning at her hotel in Berkeley; after a short sleep she "check out of the hotel and drove down the peninsula." How did her car get from San Francisco to Berkeley?" Edward Mendelson, "Gravity's Encyclopedia," fn. 12.

8 cent Airmail stamp

b: 109 - Speer and his ministry of cretins
Albert Speer was Minister of Armaments and War Production for the Third Reich and Hitler's chief architect. Despite doubts about his credibility, at the Nuremberg trials, he was the only defendant to accept responsibility for his involvement with the Nazi regime, and was sentenced to 20 years in prison, while many of his colleagues were executed.

b: 112 - nicht wahr
German: not true? : isn't that so?

a: 139, b: 114 - Edna Mosh
Mucho Maas deliberately distorts the sound of his wife's name to compensate for the distortions of AM radio in the mid-sixties.

a: 143, b: 117 - She Loves You
The Beatles third single, first issued in the U.S. on the obscure Swan label.

See: She Loves You And More

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