Difference between revisions of "Pages 219-258"

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'''coaxial'''<br />
'''coaxial'''<br />
[[wikipedia:coaxial cable]]
[[wikipedia:coaxial cable|coaxial cable]]
A type of cable that has an inner conductor surrounded by a tubular insulating layer, surrounded by a tubular conducting shield.
A type of cable that has an inner conductor surrounded by a tubular insulating layer, surrounded by a tubular conducting shield.
'''Sundstrand'''<br />
'''Sundstrand'''<br />
[[wikipedia:Sundstrand Corporation]]
[[wikipedia:Sundstrand Corporation|Sundstrand Corporation]]
'''ohm'''<br />
'''ohm'''<br />

Revision as of 21:35, 29 September 2015

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!

☽ November 7th, YDAU - Joelle goes to Molly Notkin's party

Page 219

MIT Seal

(of an action or gesture) carried out with a minimum of effort or reflection.

marked with stripes or streaks

George Dewey Cukor (1899-1983) was an American film director.

Murnau in Méliès's fiberglass lap
Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau (1888-1931) was a German expressionist filmmaker who later worked in Hollywood. He made the classic vampire film "Nosferatu" (1922). Marie-Georges-Jean Méliès (1861-1938) was a French filmmaker, famous for the 1902 silent "A Trip to the Moon" (featured in Martin Scorsese's 2011 film "Hugo").

the band of fabric worn around the waist with a tuxedo

see right

Page 220

low-pH chemist
i.e., he worked with acids

having patches of black and white

G.W. Pabst
Georg Wilhelm Pabst (1885-1967) was a Bohemian-born Austrian filmmaker.

a type of grain used in the production of molasses, alcholic beverages, and animal feed


another word for "sisterly"

From the Latin "under the rose," this word means secretly held.

Page 221

glazed with an earth-based pigment

a resin compound used to make figurines, among other things

in music, notes that are sounded in a detached and distinct manner

In the non-ophthalmic sense, this word means "waterfall."

Page 222

perhaps idiomatic French (literally "our spoke [or ray] country") for "our home away from home," indicating Québec's colonial status with respect to motherland France; potentially meant to be translated as "our shining land".

16 ounces, a pint

Big Red Soda Water
a real brand similar to cream soda, only red. This was originally only sold in Central/South Texas and Kentucky and is still popular in that region, though available elsewhere.

Chore Boy
a brand of scrubbing pads. The copper version of these pads can be used as a filter for smoking crack.

two-k. square
0.77 square miles


a design consisting of two or more alphabetic letters combined or interlaced

the finished edge of a piece of fabric, so done to prevent fraying

of or relating to newborn children.

The afternoon's meshes.
recalls an experimental film by Maya Deren and her husband Alexander Hammid, Meshes of the Afternoon (1943)

establishes the boundaries of

Page 223


Chronology of O.N.A.N.'s Revenue-Enhancing Subsidized Time™

Page 223

See Subsidized Time.

Endnote 78

G.F.R. Co.
perhaps Global Food Resources

Zanesville OH
a town 55 miles east of Columbus

Vienna VA
a suburb of Washington, D.C., about 15 miles due west of the city

Joelle, cont.

Page 223

Colonel Shaw and the MA 54th
Robert Gould Shaw was a Bostonian killed in the Civil War while commanding the all-black Massachusetts 54th Regiment. A relief sculpture memorial to him is located on Beacon Street (not Boylston Street) in front of the Massachusetts State House.

Page 225

a cart for hauling manure or for hauling victims to the guillotine during the French Revolution

called down curses upon someone

name of a beatified Catholic virgin

Endnote 79

Year of the Trial-Sized Dove Bar

Page 225 (cont'd)

Veedersburg, Indiana and Powell, Wyoming
Veedersburg is about 70 miles west-northwest of Indianapolis; Powell is about 90 miles south of Billings, Mont.

This is "the difference between the view of an object as seen through the picture-taking lens of a camera and the view as seen through a separate viewfinder" (Random House Unabridged Dictionary).

next to the last

Page 226

a bit over a quarter of an ounce

wildly carbuncular wife
This is a reference to Nancy Witcher Astor, Viscountess Astor (1879-1964), wife of Waldorf Astor, 2nd Viscount Astor (the quote has also been attributed to Bessie Braddock)

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

a program between the beginning of World War II and U.S. entry after the bombing of Pearl Harbor whereby the U.S. government provided materiel to Britain (and later the Soviets) in return for military bases

scopophobia is the morbid fear of being seen or stared at by others

he was indeed inebriated...while she...would tomorrow still be hideously and improbably deformed.
Many versions of this witty exchange between Winston Churchill and a woman have been propagated over the the years. It may or may not have actually occurred.

Helen P. Steeply's (putative) c.v.

Page 227


curriculum vitae

1.98 M., 104 KG., A.B., M.J.A.
1.98 meters is about 6'4" tall. 104 kg is around 230 lbs. She's enormous.

A.B. is the older Latin equivalent (Artium Baccalaureus or Artium Baccalaureatus) of B.A., i.e., Bachelor of Arts. M.J.A. is Master of Justice Administration.

Decade Magazine
probably not a real publication

Southwest Annual
probably not a real publication

Ladies Day
also not a real publication

Erythema AZ
not a real town, but erythema is a real disease

Joelle, cont.

Page 227

"All But Dissertation," a term used to refer to people who have completed their doctoral studies with the exception of their dissertations.

Homburg Hat

A homburg is a stiff felt hat characterized by a single dent running down the center of the crown and a brim fixed in a tight, upwards curl. It is superficially similar to the trilby or fedora; trilbys and fedoras, however, have soft, "snappable" brims and can have various designs "pinched" into the crown, whereas the shape of a homburg is fixed. (see right) Wikipedia

a city of Germany above 25 miles west of Frankfurt (Main)


Page 228

the A.M.'s interruptus
Presumably this means the end of the morning, although the only common English usage of "interruptus" is in the Latin phrase coitus interrruptus, i.e., "pulling out." (See the Consummation of the Levirates.)

The A.M.'s interruptus could refer to her "quitting" her drug use that morning.

Maya Deren
Born Eleanora Derenkowsky, Maya Deren (1917-1961) was a Ukrainian-born American director [1].

Page 229

one of the 20 amino acids found in proteins; however, DFW probably meant to say 'glassine bags'

Rutherford Keck and Crosby Baum
These both seem to be invented people.... Continuing with the optics theme, Keck is a major observatory on the big island of Hawaii. Rutherford could refer to a British nuclear physicist who pioneered an erroneous model of the atom and discovered the concept of radioactive half-life.

Infernatron Viewer
A type of TP (Teleputer) as seen it Year of the Yushityu 2007 Mimetic-Resolution-Cartridge-View-Motherboard-Easy-To-Install-Upgrade For Infernatron/InterLace TP Systems For Home, Office Or Mobile (sic). Interlacing video makes it possible to cut the frame rate in half but can cause problems. The infernatron has to deliver the same "mimetic resolution" as the interlaced model at double the frame rate making it a very advanced television/telephone computer. If it's a portmanteau of infernal and electron that could be making a statement about DFW's TV addiction.

...as does this...

Miriam Prickett
...and this.


Franciscan bald spot
The Orders of Friars Minor were known to shave the tops of their heads in medieval and early modern times.

Page 230

breasts or nipples

In linguistics, a diphthong is a vowel combination involving a smooth transition from one vowel to another in the same syllable. "Splitting the diphthong" in "beautiful" is pronouncing it bee-yoo-ti-ful.


An individual affected with the desire to look at sexually stimulating scenes especially as a substitute for actual sexual participation. From the translation of the Freudian notion of Schaulust, "pleasure in looking," in the sense of both seeing and being seen, as well as "curiosity." Freud distinguished between two frequently encountered forms of this partial drive: one active, "voyeurism," and the other passive, "exhibitionism," neither of which he would necessarily rank among perversions. [cf. scopophobic (p.226) & scopophilia (p.832)]


the name of cities in both Alabama and West Virginia

Page 231

"Vogel" = German for "bird", i.e. something like: bird song ("song" is not German)

Emerson College
a college in Boston

the supposed emanation of the soul from the body; here used as a metaphor for vomit

inspiration; a divine imparting of knowledge or power

of or relating to the ear or the sense of hearing

behaves in a nervous or agitated way

yellowing of the skin caused by liver disease

b & w
black and white

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis's maiden surname

The ratio of the focal length (f) of a lens or lens system to the effective diameter of its aperture" (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition).

old super 8
They had a slow frame rate. Aperture is relative to shutter speed. The person speaking here seems very confused about everything they're saying.

Technically, it's called the Berliner Pfannkuchen (doughnut). There was a misconception that JFK said he was a doughnut in his 1963 speech (see the next page).

common or colloquial speech.

a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words (e.g., rain cats and dogs, see the light ).

Page 232

(of a work, event, moment, or figure) strongly influencing later developments.

Ich bein ein Berliner
Bein is the wrong word. It's a noun in German and means "leg". The first-person singular of sein ("to be") is bin. Still, the wrong spelling may be related to Kennedy's wrong pronunciation of this sentence.

The Teutons were a Germanic tribe or Celtic people.

Teaching Assistant

Doubles the focal-length
Zooms the camera in.

À du nous avons foi au poison
French (roughly): We have faith in poison

Eve Plumb
She played Jan Brady on The Brady Bunch.

Florence Henderson, who played Carol Brady

Ann B. Davis, who played Alice, the maid

the middle son, played by Christopher Knight

the eldest son, played by Barry Williams

raison d'être - reason or justification for existence

ineluctable - not able to be avoided or changed

De gustibus non est disputandum
Latin: There's no accounting for taste (literally, "tastes are not disputable")

Eisenstein and Kurosawa and Michaux
Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein (1898-1948) was a Latvian-born Russian-Jewish filmmaker, famous for his film Battleship Potemkin. Akira Kurosawa (1910-1998) was perhaps the most prominent Japanese filmmaker of the twentieth century. Oscar Micheaux (1893-1951) was an African-American filmmaker.


4 dimensional hypercube

draw a bead
slang for taking aim at a target with a rifle

ten m.
Ten meters is equal to 32.8 feet.

Page 233

Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) was a prominent twentieth-century German philosopher and proponent of existentialism.

a priori
From the Latin for "from what comes first," these are assumptions made before observations are made. In the context of Heidegger, it refers to things that can be known without any experience of the world, usually because they involve the structure of the mind or of concepts.

another word for "ghost"


The Incision
I could locate no film by this name.

- way it can be film qua film--answering their phone
this next paragraph is most likely about the movie Infinite jest. Sounds like porn. DFW speaks on the coming of virtual reality porn in a few 1996 interviews. VR headsets and porn will be released at the end of 2015.

From the Latin ablative case of the word for "who," this word means "in the character or capacity of."

dopamine is a neurotransmitter. It plays major role in arousal and sexual gratification

supra means above. so it's not subliminal...

see annulus - still the same meaning "ringlike". The inguinal ring is annular and at either end of the Inguinal canal where sperm is made.

Scopophilia is deriving pleasure from looking. As an expression of sexuality, it refers to sexual pleasure derived from looking at erotic objects: erotic photographs, pornography, naked bodies, etc.

Russian crepes

a type of French open-faced sandwich

thymus gland or pancreas of young animals (calf or lamb)

French for "iced"

Morris Mini
another name for the Morris Minor a British car made from 1948–71.

Brandeis University, Harvard University, Boston University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are all located along the charles river

derived from the ipecacuanha plant, a syrup produced to induce vomiting

little board at the beginning of takes that opens and snaps shut to sync video and audio. It also designates and marks particular scenes and takes

see Subsidized Time

a pattern of spirals or concentric circles. A fingerprint is an example.

Born in 1932, Dusan Makavejev (probably misspelled) is a Yugoslavian-born film director.

Page 234

Shiny Prize, Kentucky
not a real town

1.7 meters tall
a little over 5'6"

48 kilograms
about 106 pounds (This makes her about 15-30 pounds below her ideal weight.)

the faculty or power of using one's will.

to heap, wrap, or tangle in a disorderly way

a portmanteau of phallus and neurotic, probably intended to mean a mental disorder involving obsession with one's penis, or perhaps with penis more generally; uncertain as to which "phalloneurotic" New Yorker this refers

a brand of cigarette rolling papers

employing the Cyrillic alphabet, as with Russian, Ukrainian, Serbian, Bulgarian, etc.

softened in feeling and temper

soft rock's grim dental association
which is to say, it's the kind of music you'd hear in a dentist's office

Kinski as Paganini
Klaus Kinski (1926-1991), Danzig-born German-American actor, played Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840), the Italian violinist and composer, in his final film, Kinski Paganini.

Léaud as Doinel
Jean-Pierre Léaud (born 1944), a French actor, played the fictional character Antoine Doinel in five films.

Peterson's The Lead Shoes
An 18-minute film by Sidney Peterson (1949), preceded by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's great The Red Shoes(1948) with Moira Shearer. (Cf. the color in the title of the fictitious monograph in endnote 81.)

This is "a mixture of aromatic substances, often in the form of a ball, formerly carried on the person as a supposed guard against infection but now placed in closets, dressers, etc." (Random House Unabridged Dictionary).

Page 235

the process of joining together or merging things, especially abstract ideas


appealing to bathos, i.e., insincere pathos (emotion)

neat bourbon
bourbon without ice

a reference to Santa Maria della Vittoria, where the mentioned work by Bernini hangs


a brand of toothpaste

NoCoat scraper
Presumably refers to NoCoat LinguaScrapers (tongue scrapers) mentioned on Page 151.

a brand name of nalidixic acid, used to treat urinary tract infections

for removal of hair

brand name of a treatment for vaginal yeast infections

a mixture of kaolinite and pectin, used to treat diarrhea

Diaphragm foam
Vaginal Contraceptive Foam

Page 236

a brand name of camera film

Reynolds Wrap
a brand name of aluminum foil

baking soda
Joelle is making crack, as opposed to 'freebase cocaine' which requires ether. Crack production is procedurally distinct (and safer) from that of purer 'freebase cocaine,' but the freebase products are the same: the baking soda serves to free the cocaine base from the pure cocaine hydrochloride. Both methods produce crystals that can be smoked. The production method of Joelle's earlier "home made freebase cocaine" is uncertain, but conventional terminology suggests she makes the ether-based variety at home.

C knob
the knob for cold water

Page 237

a city in Kentucky about 175 miles southeast of St. Louis, Mo.

an airline serving Australia and New Zealand

Page 238

a sharp tap, "made by bending the last joint of a finger against the thumb and suddenly releasing it (so as to propel some small object, or merely as a gesture)" (OED)

French for "chewed" indicating here bits and pieces of the material. e.g., papier mâché

Standard Operating Procedure

a case for luggage

"...darkness dance on the face of the deep..."
a play on Genesis 1:2
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

"...that skull fragment out of the Hamlet graveyard scene..."
i.e., "infinite jest"

Mad Stork
the nickname for former NFL linebacker Ted Hendricks

Page 239

hackneyed or trite

Prettiest G.O.A.T.
Though G.O.A.T. stands here for "Girl Of All Time," it's an oxymoron, because "goat" is a slang term for an ugly person.

with the foot turned on the axis of the ankle

Page 240

white- party-noise
which is to say random noise generated by the party outside the bedroom

section at the end of a fugue in which successive introductions of the theme follow at shorter intervals than before, increasing the sense of excitement.

'We've Only Just Begun'
a song by Paul Williams and Roger Nichols first recorded by the Carpenters in 1970

mercuric red
red as the color made by MercuroChrome

☽ - Enfield, MA

Page 240

Note: Most of these places exist but there is no such town (anymore) as Enfield, Mass. The real town of Enfield, Mass, was one of four disincorporated during the construction of the Quabbin Reservoir in western Mass. The others were Dana, Greenwich, and Prescott.

Apparently there is a misspelling. The correct term would be Discalced Carmelites, which means they go barefoot or wear sandals.

Page 241

Roman Catholic Church

les trebuchets noirs
French: the black catapults

5 km
about 3.1 miles

in the shape of an arm

75 hectares
almost 900,000 square yards


feces, particularly of birds or bats

almost 2.5 miles

coaxial cable A type of cable that has an inner conductor surrounded by a tubular insulating layer, surrounded by a tubular conducting shield.

Sundstrand Corporation

unit of electrical resistance

Page 242

This could refer to all the zeros in the presumably large number of amps in the warning signs, but it may also refer (in plural) to the internationally recognized graphic prohibition sign, i.e., the No symbol, although the graphic incorporates a red circle with a backslash (from top left to bottom right, rather than bottom left to top right), as for the zero symbol. The numerical symbol incorporates the forward slash to distinguish it from the capital letter O.

one of ATSHCME's Air-Displacement Effectuators

November 5th, YDAU - Hal and Orin discuss Himself's suicide

Page 242

Endnote 82

Endnote 82

Page 243


1100 meters
a little over 3,600 feet

Superstition mountains
a real range east of Phoenix

a cliff with a vertical face

to conciliate, appease or make peace with someone, particularly a god or spirit

apotropaic barn-signs
Hex signs commonly seen in Pennsylvania Dutch Country, ostensibly intended to ward off evil, but now probably used more as a decorative element

probably a reference to Popocatépetl

Ahts of Vancouver
another name for the Nuu-chah-nulth, the indigenous peoples of Vancouver Island, Canada


Page 244

about 441 pounds


Page 245

to depart secretly

This is "a large, hooded cloak with a mask covering the eyes, worn at masquerades" (Random House Unabridged Dictionary).

a missing part

frothy biblical saw
a trifling or empty biblical proverb

Page 246

obviously some kind of impulse buy: cigarettes

bent or twisted by a change in medium. An optics term, so this is an oblique reference to filming.

Cardinal Stadium
The Arizona Cardinals now play in the University of Phoenix Stadium.

Page 247

Royal Victoria
This is the name of one of the docks of east London, but probably not what's being referred to here. Victoria is also the capital of British Columbia, and an island in the Pacific off the B.C. coast. The Royal Victoria College was a women's college created as part of McGill University in Montreal, Quebec.

Page 248

Rog and Wilc,O.
"Roger Wilco, Orin" - Roger Wilco is a radio communication meaning Roger - "I received your message./" and Wilco - "I will comply."

'20 for 28 is what, 65%?'
It's a little over 71%.

Page 249

Maybe not the word Hal was looking for, but Telemachus was a monk who tried to stop the Roman gladiator fights and told the Romans to stop worshiping false idols instead of Christ. He was stoned to death, though his death is sometimes said to have ended the Gladiatorial games. So, "telemachry" could be interpreted to be trust in a higher power.

the transmission of something automatically and at a distance -- here, Hal's toenails to the wastebasket

Page 250

There's no clear reason for Orin's mispronunciation of asphyxiated. Perhaps he's combining asphyxia and evacuated.

Page 251

a misspelling of "magnetron," which is "a two-element vacuum tube in which the flow of electrons is under the influence of an external magnetic field, used to generate extremely short radio waves" (Random House Unabridged Dictionary).

kilograms per square centimeter, as a measurement of pressure, like pounds per square inch; could just be a reference to kilogram-second-centimeter, or a form of the metric system (though the metric systems usually have 'second' last - as in CGS [centimeter-gram-second] or MKS [meter-kilogram-second]), though 'two sticks of TNT' doesn't really imply a system of units.

Page 252

sloping downward from opposite directions to meet in a common point or line

the sea between the west coast of Italy and the Balkan peninsula

Page 253

a brand name of exercise machines

Kübler-Ross, Hinton
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, M.D. (1926-2004) was a Swiss-born American psychiatrist and specialist on death and dying. John Hinton is a British contemporary expert in the field.

Kastenbaum and Kastenbaum
Robert J. Kastenbaum is another prominent scholar in the field of death and dying. I can't find another person by that name, so perhaps Hal is referring to multiple volumes by the same Kastenbaum.

Elizabeth Harper Neeld's Seven Choices: Taking the Steps to New Life After Losing Someone You Love
A real book, it's actually 343 pages. (The 1997 edition is 343 pages, but an earlier publishing may have been 352.)

Wyclif and 14th-century langue-d'oc French
John Wyclif was a 14th century English theologian. He made the first translation of the Bible into English, thus his importance to etymology in general. Langue d'oc is another name for the Occitan language. The OED actually dates the word's (acceptance) earliest usage to 1596 by Shakespeare in The Merchant of Venice.

a national language of India and one of the most widely spoken

Gila monster
a venomous lizard native to the Southwest U.S. and Mexico, known for its tenacious bite

having high blood pressure

Page 254

Leaves of Grass
the most famous volume of poetry by Walt Whitman

Page 255

incapable of being disturbed

characteristic of an outburst of violent emotion

Page 256

half a meter
about 1.64 feet

Page 257

loose flesh as under the jaw of a cow

"...when Luke removes his high-tech targeting helmet..."
Hal is referring to a scene from Star Wars; Luke is Luke Skywalker.

plural of coccyx, i.e., the tailbone

Page 258

another name for the flower known as the narcissus or daffodil

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