Pages 27-63

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Page 27 (cont'd)

As if struck by a convulsion; moving suddenly and without coordination.

Year of the Tucks Medicated Pad

tooth decay, leading to a cavity (always used in plural form)

Page 28

"...a regular verb, transitive..."
In english, regular verbs end in -ed (or -d, for infinitives that end in -e) in the past simple or the past participle. An irregular verb does not follow this rule. For example, "implore," a regular verb, is "implored" in the past simple tense. "Fall," an irregular verb, becomes "fell" in the past simple tense.

A transitive verb is able to take a direct object. For example, "I implore you." Intransitive verbs generally necessitate a preposition: "I look at you."

continentally ranked
ranking of players in North America, see, e.g., O.N.A.N.C.A.A.

To ask earnestly; beg.

The abbreviation for "Oxford English Dictionary."

Page 29

Webster's 7th
Webster's Dictionary, 7th edition.



Highly skilled; perfect.

Byzantine erotica
The Byzantine Empire was the continuation of the Roman Empire in the Middle Ages. A cursory google search for "Byzantine Erotica" reveals not very much at all. The topic is either as esoteric as it seems or a DFW invention.


derogatory, disparaging (Hal indicating that the phrase "my reputation preceded me" is generally used in a pejorative sense)

Referring to the reign of the Byzantine emperor Alexander who ruled from 879-913 c.e.

Presumably referring to the reign of Constantine "the Great", Byzantine emperor from 306–337 c.e.

"...intra-provincial crisis..."
A crisis occurring within a province.

racy mosaics
Referring to aforementioned Byzantine Erotica. Mosaics are detailed pictures created with very small pieces of stone.

Page 30

sordid liaison
A distasteful or morally wrong secret sexual relationship.

The professional conversationalist is saying that Luria P----- is both an amanuensis--a secretary who takes dictation--and a secret agent.

lexical prodigy
A child who is exceptionally talented with words.

Marked by unusual, cutting-edge artistic ideas.

Der Spiegel
A German news-weekly magazine, known for investigative journalism

a kind of photo-journalist who seeks out impromptu unauthorized shots of the rich and famous, frequently in search of scandal

a metal-tipped staff used by mountaineers

a meeting between lovers; tryst

Page 31

Page 32

"I want to tell you . . . My head is filled with things to say."
These are the first lines of the Beatles song "I Want to Tell You," written by George Harrison (1943-2001).

"I don't mind . . . I could wait forever."
more lyrics from "I Want to Tell You," though not the very next ones

Another German name, most famously the nom de guerre of the future mayor of West Berlin and Kanzler of Germany, Willy Brandt, born Herbert Ernst Karl Frahm (1913-1922).

Page 33

Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment

a diplomatic office lower than an embassy

Libertine Statue
I.e., the Statue of Liberty, though calling it this implies sexual promiscuity, even if she is wearing a diaper

suitable or well adapted

Rub' al Khali
Arabic for Empty Quarter, another name for the Arabian Desert.

pertaining to or affecting the jaws and face

Candida albacans
the Latin name for a fungal infection that causes, among other disorders, thrush

of or caused by fungus of the genus Monila

Michael Ellis DeBakey (1908-2008) is a world-famous heart surgeon.

ad valorem
Latin: according to the value

Correctly used here, this word means "tending to cause nausea." If one has nausea, they are "nauseated."

Page 34

a suburb about 19 miles east-northeast of Phoenix

a mystic strain of Islam

Pir Valayat
Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan (1916-2004) was a British-born Sufi.

Arabic for marijuana in leaf form, as opposed to hashish

An Arabic term akin to the Jewish kosher, this means that food has been prepared in accordance with Islamic law.

Back Bay Hilton
This is a real hotel, with a Web site here.

an anti-fungal drug

A styptic is a chemical that stops bleeding.

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a term for death of bodily tissue

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a three-part art display

Organization of North American Nations Medical Assocation

actinomycete-class antibiotics
antibiotics effective against Gram-positive bacteria called actinobacteria

CBC is the Canadian Broadcasting Company. PATHÉ is probably the French entertainment company Pathé Frères (Pathé Brothers).

Arabic for "text"

Page 37

Year of the Trial-Size Dove Bar

double dutch
a type of rope jumping where two ropes are used

Page 38

Brighton Projects
presumably high-rise, low-income housing in Brighton

Shedd Spread
a brand of margarine

A wraith is a type of ghost.

Page 39

nocturnal emitter
a boy who has a wet dream

full of twists and turns

Page 39

Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment

Page 40

unreasonably irritable

Page 41

The title of an opera by Italian composer Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini (1858-1924), which premiered in 1900.

Page 42

suffering from an irrational fear of going outside

This is "a strong grating, as of iron, made to slide along vertical grooves at the sides of a gateway of a fortified place and let down to prevent passage" (Random House Unabridged Dictionary).

Page 42

2010h. on 1 April
The medical attaché has been watching for forty-three minutes.

Page 42

Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment

Page 43

a real perfume

Home with the team
It's already been mentioned that Orin plays professional football. He must play for the Arizona Cardinals.

Page 44

Blattaria implacblus
Blattaria is the order that contains the several genus and species of cockroaches. The Latin phrase really means "implacable cockroach."

Page 45

sudden outpourings of anger, outrage, or fear

an eastern suburb of New Orleans

Page 46

cured herring

Mrs. Avril M. T. Incandenza
Hal's mother is named for the first time.

Remove "-ish" and you have the English word for tefillin.

sanction or approval

Page 48

Positron-Emission Topography
According to Wikipedia, this is "a nuclear medicine medical imaging technique that produces a three-dimensional image or map of functional processes in the body."

the sub-atomic particles that are the opposite of electrons

Fritz Lang
Friedrich Christian Anton "Fritz" Lang (1890-1976) was a Viennese-born Austrian-American director, probably most famous for M.

Moment magazine
This is a Jewish-interest magazine.

Page 49

Pandora's box of worms
a mixed metaphor of "Pandora's box" and "can of worms," neither of which can be shut again once they're opened

Page 49

Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment

a small marijuana pipe that will provide one "hit" of marijuana per packing

Page 50

Partridge, KS
A town in Kansas about 55 miles north-northwest of Wichita

Charles Tavis
I.e., C.T.

the digestive organ of a bird

Page 51

Bob Hope
Cockney rhyming slang for "dope"

modern-day architecture that approximates that of the Georgian period, from 1714 (accession of George I of the U.K.) to 1830 (death of George III)

Endnote 3

Page 51 (cont'd)

Another neologism, presumably meaning having characteristics of both a sphere and cube -- a three-dimension "squircle".

A homonym of Lethe, the name of the river in Greek mythology whose water, if drunk, will erase one's memory.

Dr. James O. Incandenza
Hal's father's full name is given for the first time.

Page 52

This substance does not actually exist. An educated guess is that it is a type of polyurethane that comes from trees, dendri being Greek for "tree."

twenty meters
almost twenty-two yards

having no windows

two meter
a little over 6.5 ft

In Irish mythology, the banshee is female spirit, who acts as an omen of death. They are known for "keening," i.e., shrieking.

a plate or ring to form a rim at the end of a pipe when fastened to the pipe

Page 53

after the latency period that Freud posited in his four-stage theory of psychosexual development in children

Endnote 5

Endnote 5a

Endnote 6

Endnote 7

Page 53 (cont'd)

Endnote 8

Endnote 8a

mushrooms or X
psilocybin mushrooms or MDMA (called ecstasy)

Page 53 (cont'd)

Interdependent regions
I.e., Canada

members of a management body of a university, each managing his/her specific area

the Show
professional tennis

Page 54

a brand of chewing tobacco

to shrink back in fear

Page 54

The medical attaché has now been watching for four hours and fifty-three minutes.

Page 54

having to do with motion pictures

Page 55

Year of Dairy Products From the American Heartland

Endnote 12a

Page 55 (cont'd)

enthusiastic vigor or liveliness

Revere Holding
a jail, obviously -- probably the jail for Revere, Mass., just south of Boston

public defender

Endnote 13

Page 55 (cont'd)

a maxim or saying

Page 56

A town in Essex County, Mass., home to a yachting resort. It's about 15 miles northeast of the city on the water.

Page 57

Endnote 17

International Affairs and Interdependent Affairs
The first magazine is real; the second is not.

teak chiffonier
a piece of furniture, one of which you can see here

the westernmost portion of Massachusetts, a popular vacation spot

van Dyke
a goatee

losses of syllables from words, particularly unstressed vowels

Café au Lait
half coffee and half milk in a large cup, as drunk in France

gangrenously tight
I.e., so tight as to cause gangrene, i.e., death of tissue due to lack of blood

Page 58


pre-British-takeover Québecois
The British took over Quebec on September 8, 1760.

passernine birds native to North America

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Endnote 19

pertaining to the ribs or the muscles around them

Montreal Tulip Fest
The Canadian Tulip Festival actually takes place in Ottawa, Ontario, and Gatineau, Quebec, which border each other.

Guillaume DuPlessis
A man by this name was one of the first French Calvinist settlers on the island of St. Kitts in the 17th century.

250 clicks due east
Clicks are kilometers. Two hundred fifty km is about 155 miles.

the change of color in skin brought on by livor mortis, an after-death phenomenon when blood settles in the body at low points of gravity

French: As is necessary

Page 60

Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment

I don't know what the numbers mean, but the first is half of the second.

reduced instruction set computer, i.e., a computer that takes a limited set of commands

a direct broadcast satellite network active in the 1990s

digital satellite system

smooth and not pixelated

a unit equal to bits per second; a baud rate is the number of bits per second a modem can send/receive

French for "fashion"

very small processors -- smaller than microprocessors

Here misspelled, chromatography is "any of various techniques for the separation of complex mixtures that rely on the differential affinities of substances for a gas or liquid mobile medium and for a stationary adsorbing medium through which they pass, such as paper, gelatin, or magnesia" (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language).

carpal neuralgia
nerve pain in the bones of the hand

phosphenic migraine
the phenomenon of seeing lights accompanying a migraine

gluteal hyperadiposity
fat in the buttocks

lumbar stressae
back stress

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Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment

Jim Troeltsch
The most famous person with this surname is Ernst Troeltsch (1865-1923), a German Protestant theologian and philosopher of religion and history.

Narberth PA
a suburb of Philadelphia, on the famous Main Line from Philadelphia to Lancaster

a natural bodily opening

Endnote 21

over the counter

drugs that induce phlegm-producing coughing

cough suppressants

a combination of mega + span + capsule, these would be large, time-released capsules

Endnote 22

mucoid dessicators
drugs that dry up phlegm

Page 60 (cont'd)

If the name is pronounced with a "long a," as in the Oakland football team, a famous person with this last name was Erich Johann Albert Raeder (1876-1960), a World War II-era German grand admiral, sentenced to life at Nuremberg but served only nine years.

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something that turns a liquid into a spray

According to Wikipedia, a fugue state is "a state of mind characterized by abandonment of personal identity, along with the memories, personality and other identifying characteristics of individuality."

extended to a great, unneedy length

Page 61

Wallace's plural for rhinovirus, one of dozens of variations of the virus that causes the common cold, also rhinoviruses

An absorptive/secretive tissue layer in the body; here, in Troeltsch's throat or nose

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as an adjective, having a dull or lusterless finish

Snuff is grayish to yellowish brown in color; snuff-white must be that color, but lighter.

narrow, flat moldings

continuously variable electronic resistors

part of the leg between the knee and ankle

Page 63

As of Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment
Which is to say, as of 2009

pre-Method actor
He was an actor before the dawn of the Method.

Characterized by an uncontrollable urge to consume alcohol, describing James O. Incandenza's father

Endnote 23

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