- Editors: Please keep these annotations SPOILER-FREE by not revealing information from later pages in the novel. And please pay attention to formatting and grammar. Preview your changes before saving them. Thanks!
☽ Late October (22nd), YDAU - WYYY, Madame Psychosis
not just a byname for DMZ, but also a radio show host
apotheosis is the glorifying of someone to a divine level
having a tendency to kill one's father
a person who studies insects scientifically
a misspelling for sphenoid, "a winged bone at the base of the cranium." Merriam-Webster Online. 25 May 2009
having the form of a funnel. The infundibular recess alluded to here is a part of the pituitary gland's structure. Cf. "chronosynclastic infundibulum" in Vonnegut's Sirens of Titan, a fictional place were "all the different kinds of truths fit together."
having to do with the epiglottis
a nationwide (worldwide?) Jewish student union present on several campuses
the part of the brain connecting the left and right hemispheres
having ridges like the human larynx
receiving funding from the university in exchange for work rendered to the university
a lightweight, balanced, plain-woven fabric
To limn means to describe or delineate
referring to the parietal lobe of the brain, responsible for sensory memory and response
Midwesterners in the U.S. use this word to denote what others call "soda," i.e., Coca-Cola, 7-Up, etc. See also "tonic," p. 478.
a pun on the Chinese word tao, ("the way") and the Dow Jones Industrial Average
Eastern Standard Time
literally that part of the brain responsible for autonomic functions like heartbeat, organ activity, etc.
I. M. Pei
Ieoh Ming Pei (born 1917) is a Chinese-born American architect who designed, among other famous buildings, MIT's Green Building.
J. A. Stratton
Julius Adams Stratton (1901-1994) was an American educator and president of MIT between 1959 and 1965.
Page 184 (cont'd)
that part of the brain responsible for higher-order thinking
"...what she's said for three years of midnights..."
Up until 'Look at that fucker Dance,' the rest of her introduction is from Genesis 1.
Largest Whole Prime On The FM Band
109 is a prime number, i.e., divisible only by itself and by 1. Actually the highest number you can get on FM is 108.
probably denoting "electromagnetic"
that force in a spinning object that tends to push away objects from the angle of rotation
Reed E. Hundt (born 1948) was chairman of the Federal Communications Committee in 1996, when the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was passed. Wallace may be riffing on that, as it appears there was no equivalent legislation in 1966.
The spatter referred to here is probably the small amount of FM bands that can be sent out.
When used with regard to demand, this term means tending not to change.
The range is about 1.86 miles.
The study of literature or language.
lack of function of the ovaries or testicles
Nodular leprosy with leonine facies
a form of leprosy that generates lesions made of nodes and that produces lion-like facial expressions (i.e., "leonine facies")
The acromegalic and hyperkeratosistic. The enuretic.
Arcomegaly is a disorder of the pituitary gland whereby it produces too much human growth hormone, resulting in giantism. Hyperkeratosistic means that one is suffering from hyperkeratosis. Enuresis is the inability to urinate.
The spasmodically torticollic.
having a head tilted to one side (torticollis) involving convulsions (spasmodic)
`transuranial' refers to the elements with an atomic number greater than 92.
Guaranteed Student Loan
Semitic languages actually tend to be written uses alphabets, where a symbol denotes a phoneme, rather than in ideograms, like Chinese and Korean are. The oldest alphabet is the Phoenician, which was Semitic.0
in biology, a beaklike or snoutlike (rostral) layer of tissue (lamina)
Neuroform is actually the brand-name of a type of stent.
Standard Operating Procedure
adhering to Italian neorealism
Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, 1st Marquis of Púbol (1904-1989) and Luis Buñuel Portolés (1900-1983) were both Spanish artists. They collaborated on Un chien andalou (An Andalusian Dog, 1929), another experimental film.
Michelangelo Antonioni (1912-2007) was an Italian filmmaker probably most famous for Blowup.
Andrei Arsenyevich Tarkovsky (1932-1986) was a Soviet-Russian filmmaker, most famous for Voyage in Time, made with Antonioni.
Sometimes Ozu and Bresson
Yasujirō Ozu (1903-1963) was a Japanese filmmaker. Robert Bresson (1901-1999) was a French filmmaker.
According to Wikipedia, dramaturgy is "the art of dramatic composition and the representation of the main elements of drama on the stage." To call it "hoary" would be to imply it's old.
Sir Herbert Tree
Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree (1852-1917) was a British actor and manager. You can hear his performances of Hamlet here.
In the style of Pauline Kael (1919-2001), an American film critic for New Yorker magazine.
presumably formalism that focuses too much on form and not enough on character and other aspects of filmmaking
Stan Brakhage and Hollis Frampton
Stan Brakhage (1933-2003) and Hollis Frampton (1936-1984) were American avant-garde filmmakers.
You can read about her here.
the Snow brothers, Vigdis Simpson
One of the Snow brothers would have to be Michael Snow (born 1929), a Canadian-American filmmaker, principally known for Wavelength. Vigdis Simpson seems created.
Page 185 (cont'd)
inharmonious with other things (here, aspects of Madame Psychosis's taste)
Imamu Amiri Baraka (born Everett LeRoi Jones, 1934) is an African-American poet, playwright, author, and political activist.
actually two words: Pia mater
plural of "sulcus," a furrow or groove, particularly between sections of the brain
A.Y. ('V.F.') Rickey's summum opus
A.Y. "Vector Field" Rickey, as first referenced back in Endnote 3 as the architect of the cardioid E.T.A. buildings. Possibly named after V. Frederick Rickey, a prominent mathematician. It is notable that there is, in fact, no Student Union building at MIT.
The summum opus would be the "greatest work" while a magnum opus would be a "great work."
referring to both the parietal lobe of the brain, as well as the occipital lobe, which is where vision is processed
Pons and abducent
The Pons is a structure on the brain stem, while the abducens nerve is a nerve in the muscles of the eye.
a stem of an artery that carries blood to the brain
the second half of the full name of the medulla
a passage or opening leading to the interior of the body.
acronym for "fluorohydrocarbon," this is a type of fluroplastic, known to give off poisonous fumes
The company's Web site is here.
fifty degrees Fahrenheit
almost 16.5 feet
colored like a blood vessel
employing the element mercury
lacking the larger speaker (i.e., the "woofer") found in multi-speaker systems
noses having a collapsed nasal bridge
shrinking in size
a disease characterized by non-pitting induration of the skin
suffering from serodermatosis, a skin disease with serous effusion into the skin
having water on the brain
This would seem to be a type of glioma, though it is mentioned almost nowhere.
carbuncular or steatocryptotic
Carbuncular means "pimply," while steatocryptotic refers to a person suffering from steatocryptosis, which is derangement of the sebaceous glands.
This is involuntary closure on one eye, named for Manuel Marin Amat, an early 20th century Spanish ophthalmologist.
suffering from cutaneous tuberculosis
A steatopygiac is a person suffering from steatopygia; if you're bell-shaped, it just means the fat is closer to the bottom than the top
a skin disease marked by patches of pink, oval rash
"Blessed are the poor in body, for they."
This is not one of the Beatitudes.
Union of the Hideously and Improbably Deformed
probability waves for subhadronics
Probability waves are a concept in quantum physics that expresses the probability that "a particle or particles in a particular state will be measured to have a given position and momentum" (Wikipedia). Subhadronic refers to a particle smaller than a hadron.
Radcliffe's Bunting Institute
Radcliffe is the women's college at Harvard University. According to the Harvard Web site, "The Bunting Institute is a mutidisciplinary center for women scholars, writers, artists, and activists of demonstrated achievement and promise. Each year, approximately 40 women pursue projects that make significant contributions to their fields, working in a community that fosters interdisciplinary discourse, and creative and intellectual leadership. Some describe their experience as "the Bunting transformation."
Liberal Arts and Sciences
Samuel Johnson, LL.D. (1709-1784), was a British poet, essayist, novelist, literary critic, and lexicographer.
Patricia Beesley, an early 20th century American educator who did author the book named.
There is no such Web site.
Page 188 (cont'd)
Latin: by value
Latin: able of body. The second part of the play on "Mens sana in corpore sano."
Thorp's Trigonometry of Cubes
Edward Oakley Thorp (born 1932) is an American mathematician, but he seems not to have created a "trigonometry of cubes," which would be, frankly, impossible.
aphotic to apochromatic
Aphotic means without light, while apochromatic means developing color.
an area of Cambridge, Mass.
misspelling of xanthodontic, which means yellow-toothed
basilisk-breathed and pyorrheic
A basilisk is a type of dragon, and pyorrhea is the condition of having gum disease.
peronic or teratoidal
Peronic probably means having a bent penis (from Peyronies disease), while teratoidal means malformed.
malformed in the shape of the skull
having lesions that ooze pus
having blisters on the nose
-having to do with body-part removal (think radical mastectomy)
having masses of ulcerated infections of the skin
lazarettes and oubliettes
A lazarette is a hospital that treats infectious diseases, while an oubliette is a dungeon accessible only by trapdoor.
kyphotic and lordotic
Kyphotic means having abnormal rear curvature of the spine (i.e., hunchbacked), while lordotic having abnormal forward curvature of the spine.
Having cellulite, i.e., deposits of subcutaneous fat within fibrous connective tissue (as in the thighs, hips, and buttocks) that give a puckered and dimpled appearance to the skin surface (Merriam-Webster)
Reference to the story of Actaeon - "In the version that was offered by the Hellenistic poet Callimachus (Hymn v), which has become the standard setting, Artemis was bathing in the woods when the hunter Actaeon stumbled across her, thus seeing her naked. He stopped and stared, amazed at her ravishing beauty. Once seen, Actaeon was punished by Artemis: she forbade him speech — if he tried to speak, he would be changed into a stag — for the unlucky profanation of her virginity's mystery. Upon hearing the call of his hunting party, he cried out to them and immediately was changed into a stag. His own hounds then turned upon him and tore him to pieces, not recognizing him." (Wikipedia)
looking like a gorgon
papuled, the macular, the albinic
Papules are inflammatory elevations of the skin. Macular means having opaque spots on the cornea. Albinic is having no melanin.
a concubine or slave in a harem
italics, used for emphasis
a crosier is a type of French roll
a type of beer, medium in darkness
French: white wine
Good Morning, Midnight and Maggie: A Girl of the Streets and Giovanni's Room and Under the Volcano
Good Morning, Midnight is a novel by Jean Rhys (1890-1979), born Ella Gwendolen Rees Williams, a Caribbean novelist, on the topic of a woman forced to confront her own loneliness and despair. Maggie: A Girl of the Streets is a novel by Stephen Crane (1871-1900), an American novelist, on the topic of a child prostitute. Giovanni's Room by African-American expatriate author James Arthur Baldwin (1924-1987) is a novel on the topic of a young man coming to terms with his homosexuality. Under the Volcano is a novel by Malcolm Lowry (1909-1957), a British writer, on the topic of alcoholism.
Bret Easton Ellis (born 1965) is an American novelist probably best known for Less Than Zero (1985), about a drug addict who turns to prostitution, and American Psycho (1991), about a serial killer.
van der Rohe
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969) was a German-born American architect.
R.E.M. and Pearl Jam
R.E.M.'s lead singer, Michael Stipe, was famous for his unintelligible lyrics until around 1987's Document. Pearl Jam's vocalist, Eddie Vedder, is as cryptic now as he was fifteen years ago, when they released their first record.
Page 191 (cont'd)
wall- and cross-eyed
To be wall-eyed is to suffer from exotropia, which is a form of ocular paralysis in which one or both eyes turn outward.
ergotic of St. Anthony
An old name for ergot poisoning is "St. Anthony's fire," which is ergot poisoning. However, given the context, Wallace may be referring here to shingles.
a type of eczema due to herpes.
sarcoma'd of Kaposi
Karposi's sarcoma is a usually benign skin cancer common in elderly Mediterranean men that has become the most easily identifiable visible symptom of AIDS.
The image can be seen to the right.
having a broken or projecting tooth
having flesh hanging from one's chin, like a turkey
in a way suggesting a werewolf
suffering from Tourette's syndrome
resembling a monster
having bad breath
saurian- and equine-looking
looking like a lizard or horse, respectively
Named for Harvey Williams Cushing (1869-1939), an American neurologist, this disease is an endocrine disorder resulting in rapid weight gain, sweating, thinning of skin, and other negative side effects.
below the dura mater in the skull
les bâtiments sanctifíes
French: the holy buildings
a 1927 film directed by Fritz Lang
Layout of the Enfield Marine Public Health Hospital complex
the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs
i.e., financially solvent
a drug used to wean heroin addicts off that drug and onto methadone, which is equally addictive but produces no "high"
the brand name of methamphetamine
a city of Massachusetts, about 50 miles south of Boston
a Chevrolet Corvette
the study of birds
introducing an amino acid into something
an improvised prison weapon used for stabbing
The Unexamined Life tavern
Socrates said that the unexamined life is not worth living in Apology.
having an umbrella on or in it
a type of drink
a bastardized form of objets d'arts, French for "objects of art"
relating to catatonia, a neurogenic motor immobility arising from a disturbed mental state (resulting in little or no movement in the sufferer)
This is "a hip roof, each face of which has a steeper lower part and a shallower upper part" (Random House Unabridged Dictionary).
a brand name of popular gum