Notes and Errata - Pages 983-1079
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In geometry, a cardioid is a plane curve produced by tracing the path of a chosen point of a circle which rolls around a fixed circle. The cardioid shape of E.T.A. has one cusp, i.e., a point on the curve that is not smooth. The r referred to by the narrator here is the radius of the moving circle.
German for "superhuman"
Brandeis is a Jewish-founded university in Waltham, Mass., about nine miles west of Boston, named for Louis Dembitz Brandeis (1856-1941) the first Jewish Supreme Court justice.
abbreviation for Latin nota bene, i.e., "note well," stated before an important example or corollary point
involuntary eye movement
French for "warehouse," this is where foreign merchandise can be purchased duty-free
Halcion (still available in Canada, unbelievably, still)
It's also still available here, though the U.K. has banned it since 1991.
Here meaning "smoothed out" and misspelled, beveling is the making of 45º angles where perpendiculars meet.
another mushroom-based hallucinogen, like psilocybin
Endnote 8 (cont'd)
As a dickie is designed to give the appearance of wearing a tie, Wallace uses this word here to deal with drugs that mimic the effects of other drugs.
central nervous system
gamma hydroxybutric acid
now more commonly known as GHB
DMZ is another made-up drug. M.P. is probably Michael Pemulis.
"...Continental Controlled Substances Act of Y.T.M.P., O.N.A.N.D.E.A.'s hierarchy of analgesics/antipyretics/axiolytics..."
There is no such act, obviously. Y.T.M.P. is Year of the Tucks Medicated Pad. The second acronym is Organization of North American Nations Drug Enforcement Agency. Analgesics are painkillers. Antipyretics are fever-reducing drugs, and anxiolytics are anxiety-reducing drugs.
piece of information
French: A person of terrible importance
Latin abbreviation for quod vide ("which see"), used to direct a reader elsewhere in a book. Here we are directed to...
United States Department of Defense
a lens with a crescent-shaped section
spoken to oneself
early stages of something
D W Griffith
Film Director whose films include 'Tolerance' and 'Birth of a Nation'; Wikipedia entry
Japanese film maker - see article </br>
An arrangement of mirrors for reflecting sunlight from a distant point to an observation station.</br>
as in L.L. Bean, a privately-held mail-order and retail company based in Freeport, Maine, United States, specializing in clothing and outdoor recreation equipment.
Night Watch plaid
A pattern of plaid. See right.
Endnote 110 · Hal and Orin Discuss Québecois Politics
a brand name of shoes
cleaned with a squeegee
Rest and Relaxation
Latin: by virtue of one's office
'The Yellow Rose (of Texas)'
Dickinson's poems can also be read to the meter of "Mary Had a Little Lamb."
a man's voice when he pitches it falsely high to sound like a woman
turning pages quickly
Ample make this bed
The full poem is here.
that part of a flower that is analogous to the female reproductive organs
C.T. is probably comparing the bee (which flies) to an airplane (which also flies) produced by Sikorsky Aircraft.
I have no idea.
not clearly expressed or presented
second to last
complaining (pronounced to rhyme with "jing")
eating of bread and water only
tending to ward of hardening of tissues (as of arteries, here)
Page 1006 (cont'd)
to talk incoherently or aimlessly
nonstandard or incorrect grammatical usage
20 X 25 centimeter
very close to 8" x 10"
a character on the television show The Beverly Hillbillies
a clause, usually in a document, making a stipulation or qualification
"...isn't even iambic, much less quatrameter/trimeter..."
This is to say that the poetry of Dickinson is not in iambic pentameter, also known as verse. This is the style of poetry Shakespeare is written in ("Now is the winter of our discontent") -- ten syllables, and five iambs (feet, or beats) per line (thus pentameter). Quatrameter/trimeter would be the rhythm scheme of "Yellow Rose of Texas" and "Marry Had a Little Lamb."
a synonym for a drop shot, which in tennis is a light tap just over the net
the more conspicuous of two possible choices
like an angel
appealing to sexual tastes
to move rapidly along a surface
a knight on a quest to prove his chivalry
French: so to speak
a prayer and hymn book
"Kitchens and heat..."
which is to say, if you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen
German for "ringer," taking that in either of the meanings it has in English
a little over 7.25 pounds
as in Philips Academy Andover, alma mater of both presidents Bush
"Dickinson's about as Transcendalist as Poe."
which is to say, not at all
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Nelson Ackerman Eddy (1901-1967) was an American singer and movie star. As far as what he looked like, see right.
the looking at extremely small things (nano- being the prefix for "one-billionth") through a microscope
This is probably a reference to André de Thevet (1502-1590), a French priest and explorer. Though never in Canada, he relied on French-Canadian explorers' work for his own voyages to South America.
"...the 5 on the French Achievement boards..."
The highest possible score on the French Advanced Placement Exam (for which one can receive college credit) is 5.
James Boswell, 9th Laird of Auchinleck (1740-1795), was the Scottish biographer of Samuel Johnson.
a very large breast size
acuteness of perception
in the womb
a drug developed to treat morning sickness in pregnant women that ended up causing babies to be born missing limbs
one of the largest magazine publishers in the country, owned by Advance Publications (the Newhouse family) and founded by Condé Montrose Nast (1873-1942), an American publisher
here meaning simply "to spoil"
a fictional identity created for a person, narrator in a book, etc.
French: of the (masculine)
a lake in Gatineau Park, near Chelsea, Québec
This is probably Jacques Parizeau (born 1930), a former Premier of Québec and proponent of Québecois sovereignty.
the capital of the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island
This is probably a misspelling of the surname of Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien (born 1934), Prime Minister of Canada from 1993 to 2003.
Acadia is the traditional name for what is now (in part) eastern Québec. Zionism is used here as a synonym for nationalism, rather than with its specific Jewish connotations
"On ne parle d'Anglais ici."
French: English is not spoken here
the capital of Canada
"Permettez Nous Partir, Permettez Nous Être."
French: Allow us to leave, allow us to be.
the capital of Canadian province of Manitoba
UV standing for ultraviolet (as in light), this is probably a tanning booth.
"Nous v. La Plupart Toujours"
French: Us versus the majority always
a kingdom of southern Africa, existing as an enclave entirely within the Republic of South Africa
This is the Union of South Africa, which was formed in 1910 as a British colony and tried to annex Lesotho to it. Because of the imposition of apartheid laws in S. Africa, the annexation failed.
before the war, here the U.S. Civil War
Page 1014 (cont'd)
Plains of Abraham
a reference to the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, part of the French and Indian Wars, which ended in a decisive British victory of the French
'La Guerre des Britanniques et des Sauvages'
French: The War of the British and the Savages
a reference to the Battle of Carillon, fought at Fort Ticonderoga
Page 1014 (cont'd)
treasure taken from a defeated party
On September 13, 1759, Québec fell to the British.
North American Free Trade Agreement
The word more often used is "Rubenesque," but this refers to the women in paintings by Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), the Flemish artist. His women tended to be plump.
more often used as a noun, offensively referring to a retarded person
See above, Rubensian.
a reference to the GULAG prison system of the Soviet Union
French elision of "n'est-ce pas?" i.e., "right?"
a brand name of benzocaine used for tooth pain
Orin probably means to say "phalanges."
a road in Montreal
St. Jean-Baptiste Day
another name for la fête nationale du Québec
thriving without oxygen
scrawny; Hal is probably using it to mean "thin," as in a line of argumentation
Brazilian Nuevo Contras
These would be "new" contras, the old ones having been U.S.-funded anti-communist guerrillas in Nicaragua in the 1980s.
'The Noie Störkrafts? Shining Path's? The Belgian CCC's?
Noie Störkraft is Swedish "New Great Power"; it does not appear to be a new organization, though Störkraft is the name of a skinhead band from Sweden. The Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso in Spanish) is the Communist Party of Peru, which has waged guerrilla warfare against the Peruvian government since 1980. CCC is a French acronym for Communist Combatant Cells; they were eliminated as a terrorist group in 1986.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
wobbled shrieking figure in the Munch lithograph
to append to the end of something
consequent or concomitant
probably a misspelling of chloracne
hallucinations wherein one smells things that aren't there
a large cleaver-like cutting tool
preying on babies
another name for carbolic acid
probably a reference to the Bay of Fundy
i.e., the straw that broke the camel's back
a type of boat shoe
i.e., it takes its full toll on you
perhaps Constantine I, by tradition first Christian emperor of Rome
French for "shit"
having to do with maps
Canadian MPs don't wear wigs, though barristers (lawyers) and judges do.
bone of dissension
Orin means "bone of contention."
probably a malapropism, although it could mean "to un-besmirch"
To gerrymander is to divide an area into electoral districts favorable to one party over another.
more properly cui bono, Latin for "who benefits?"
a state of nervous excitement
to curve like a sickle
There is a tradition of separatism in Alberta.
a town in Minnesota and home to Bob Dylan, on Lake Superior about 150 miles north of the Twin Cities
i.e., as Vichy France, which was a puppet government to the Nazis
German for "annexation," it most often refers to Nazi Germany's annexation of Austria in 1938.
Orin seems to be using this term as a plural of "mayhem."
members of the Parti Québecois
Prime Minister (of Canada)
French: to go, to leave
here meaning haphazard
infecting with botulism
a type of switch
An anapest is a three-syllable word where the emphasis is one last syllable. "Anapest" is an anapest.
Endnote 145 · Found Drama
An invented, non-existent faux-academic style of film on which James O. Incandenza lectured and received artistic grants, created to lampoon the academic film theory community. Found Drama was not captured on film; rather, Incandenza and close friends "got out a Boston metro phone book and tore a White Pages page out at random and thumbtacked it to the wall and then [Incandenza] would throw a dart at it from across the room. ... And the name it hit becomes the subject of the Found Drama. And whatever happens to the protagonist with the name you hit with the dart for ... the next hour and a half is the Drama."
ne pas à la mode
French: not in style
When this term is used w/r/t Himself's work, it is probably referring to French New Wave, although there were several other "New Waves" in film.
I'm unable to identify whether this person is real or not.
apparently a created genre
inactivity caused by equal opposing forces
i.e., junior faculty at universities who are on tenure track
According to the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, this word means "representing correctly the relations of colors as found in a subject; isochromatic."
This neologism would seem to have the sense of the study or condition of moving backward.
a real psychiatric hospital in Belmont, Mass., about eight miles west-northwest of Boston
Duquette at M.I.T.
There is no such person at M.I.T.
There is no such person at Brandeis.
to bribe or induce someone to commit a crime or misdeed Endnote 234 · Excerpts From Orin's Interview With Moment
Terrence Rafferty was a film critic for the New Yorker magazine.
National Public Radio
make repeated demands on
the street in New York famous for its advertising firms
Orin probably means "introversion."
a drafting tool
here used to mean "very strict"
produced or formed by fission
capable of producing disease
Orin means "anecdote."
as in "pièce de resistance," the punchline or main point
as in the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse from the Book of Revelation
Boston Public Library
'After my own parents were horribly killed on the Jamaica Way commuter road one morning in the freak crash of a radio traffic-report helicopter . . .'
Lateral Alice Moore was handicapped when the news helicopter she flew in crashed onto a high way. It could have been the same accident as the one Bain's referring to here.
James O. Incandenza
immature in its kind
a pouch at the crotch of tight-fitting breeches, popular during the Renaissance
Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909) was a British poet whose work had themes of homosexuality and sadomasochism.
fairly high-sodium way
i.e., with a grain (or more) of salt
serving some purpose
Cornell University apparently has a cow whose stomachs you can see in action.
denoting psychologic dependence
"...as if from the Rose Garden..."
like the President of the U.S. answering a question from a reporter
having to do with vaginal yeast infection
probably a reference to Dr. Samuel Johnson, the lexicographer
Bain has become to get Steeply's name wrong.
Adult Children of Alcoholics
a support group for teenage children of alcoholics
Adult Children of Narcotics Anonymous
American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Bain gets Steeply's name wrong yet again.
branching or forking
a burden, from Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
another mistake with Steeply's name
having various meanings
This isn't even close to Steeply's name.
Rise Over Run
The rise (amount the line increases) of a line divided over the run (length of the line) give you the slope of the line, which is also equal in calculus to the first derivative.
This concept is explained here.
the process by which one determines the first derivative of a mathematical function
songs written by other people than yourself
bacteria that live in the intestine and aid in digestion
Verdun Protestant Hospital
now called Douglas Mental Health Institute
really bad French for "you know what"
Probably means impetus
apparently some sort of drug
a character from Pinocchio
to spend time idly
more like "camphorated," i.e., contained camphor
consisting of rich, arable soil
Page 1066 (cont'd)
a circular arrangement
plural of "funiculus," i.e., part of the spinal cord
having no fat
referring to the lattissimus dorsi muscles
i.e., Nordic, which is to say blond-haired and blue-eyed
an arsenal, particularly used by physicians to refer to drugs or treatments
a euphemism for "penis"
a tennis game ending in three sets, rather than five, because one player has gone up 3 to 0
here used to mean "irritant"
This is "a strong cord made by twisting the dried intestines of animals, as sheep, used in stringing musical instruments and tennis rackets, for surgical sutures, etc." (Random House Unabridged Dictionary).
"...his late great Da's..."
Clearly Pemulis has no idea that his brother was molested by their father.
full of thin mucous
certain Arabs of the deserts of Arabia and the Levant
being on the receiving end of anal sex
Black and white
Jackie Gleason (1916-1987) was one of the great comic actors of the 20th century.
actually a Hungarian name, which means "ruler"
one of the airports serving Paris
Page 1071 (cont'd)
"...When the boulder's slipped all the way back to the bottom..."
a reference to the myth of Sisyphus
a Latin logical term, meaning, roughly, "the means of denying"
DNA and RNA
A and G, T and C
adenine and guanine, thymine and cytosine, the compounds that make up DNA
The name may be taken from Mihály Csíkszentmihályi (born 1934), a prominent Hungarian-American psychologist. His son Christopher is on the faculty at MIT.
a proven statement used as a step in a mathematical proof
a town about 40 miles west-northwest of the Twin Cities
"Leap like a knight of faith . . ."
A reference to Soren Kierkegaard's knight of faith. Kierkegaard, a theologian and philosopher, didn't think there could be any logical justification for believing in God. Instead the believer is required to take a leap of faith, so called because he (the believer) has no evidence for his convictions and thus must always, on some rational level, doubt them. In fact to Kierkegaard doubt defines faith, because if there were no doubt no leap of faith would be required in the first place, much like it doesn't require a leap of faith for you to believe you're actually reading this wikipedia entry right now, or that I'm not an alien sub rosa manipulating your mind for my own purposes.
"...Peano, Leibniz, Hilbert..."
Giuseppe Peano (1858-1932) was an Italian mathematician. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) was a German polymath and one of the creators of calculus. David Hilbert (1862-1943) was a German mathematician.
"...Fourier, Gauss, LaPlace, Rickey..."
Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier (1768-1830) was a French mathematician and physicist. Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855) was a German mathematician. Pierre-Simon, marquis de Laplace (1749-1827) was a French mathematician and astronomer. Rickey would seem to refer to V. Frederick Rickey, though he is contemporary while the other named men are not.
"...Wiener, Reimann, Frege, Green..."
Norbert Wiener (1894-1964) was an American mathematician. Georg Friedrich Bernhard Riemann (1826-1866) was a German mathematician. Friedrich Ludwig Gottlob Frege (1848-1925) was a German mathematician and logician. Green is probably George Green (1793-1841), English mathematician and physicist.
a corruption of "jerry-rigged" (a pejorative term about Germans), which basically means rigged in a makeshift, ad hod manner
"may the road rise up to meet you..."
part of an old Irish blessing
a male demon that seduces female humans
another name for glycerol