- 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!
- 1 ☽ November 7th, YDAU - Joelle goes to Molly Notkin's party
- 2 Chronology of O.N.A.N.'s Revenue-Enhancing Subsidized Time™
- 3 Joelle, cont.
- 4 Helen P. Steeply's (putative) c.v.
- 5 Joelle, cont.
- 6 ☽ - Enfield, MA
- 7 November 5th, YDAU - Hal and Orin discuss Himself's suicide
☽ November 7th, YDAU - Joelle goes to Molly Notkin's party
(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
i.e., he worked with acids
having patches of black and white
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.
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."
NOTRE RAI PAYS
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". [Or perhaps the V fell off from NOTRE VRAI PAYS, our true country, -different editor]
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.
a brand of scrubbing pads. The copper version of these pads can be used as a filter for smoking crack.
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
Chronology of O.N.A.N.'s Revenue-Enhancing Subsidized Time™
See Subsidized Time.
perhaps Global Food Resources
a town 55 miles east of Columbus
a suburb of Washington, D.C., about 15 miles due west of the city
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.
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
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). "Difference or change in the apparent position or direction of an object as seen from two different points" (OED)
next to the last
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.
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.
probably not a real publication
probably not a real publication
also not a real publication
not a real town, but erythema is a real disease
"All But Dissertation," a term used to refer to people who have completed their doctoral studies with the exception of their dissertations.
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)
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.
Born Eleanora Derenkowsky, Maya Deren (1917-1961) was a Ukrainian-born American director .
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.
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...
Franciscan bald spot
The Orders of Friars Minor were known to shave the tops of their heads in medieval and early modern times.
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
"Vogel" = German for "bird", i.e. something like: bird song ("song" is not German)
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). The higher the number, the smaller the aperture, and the greater the depth of field.
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. (This reader disagrees. The relationship of aperture to shutter speed is constrained by frame rate. So called super 8 differed in aspect ratio, but not frame rate, from 8 mm.)
h 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 ).
(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.
Doubles the focal-length
Zooms the camera in.
À du nous avons foi au poison
French (roughly): We have faith in poison [the French or Québecois is itself quite rough]
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.
draw a bead
slang for taking aim at a target with a rifle
Ten meters is equal to 32.8 feet.
Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) was a prominent twentieth-century German philosopher and proponent of existentialism.
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"
I could locate no film by this name. (In my opinion, that is because it is a fictional film or cartridge, perhaps directed and produced by James O. Incandenza, and perhaps his son Mario is the cinematographer being sought in the conversation.)
- 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... perhaps liminal
after the onset of annular fusion (elsewhere discussed) [editor changes] see annulus - still the same meaning "ringlike". The inguinal ring is annular and at either end of the Inguinal canal where sperm is made. [editor changes] Sperm is not made at either end of the inguinal canal. It is made in the testes, which are located in the scrotum, below either end of the inguinal canal..
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.
a type of French open-faced sandwich
thymus gland or pancreas of young animals (calf or lamb)
French for "iced" or “glazed,” in the culinary not architectural sense
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.
Shiny Prize, Kentucky
not a real town
1.7 meters tall
a little over 5'6"
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).
the process of joining together or merging things, especially abstract ideas
appealing to bathos, i.e., insincere pathos (emotion)
bourbon without ice
a brand of toothpaste
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
actually Monistat, a brand name of miconazole, used for treatment for vaginal [and other] yeast infections
Vaginal Contraceptive Foam
a brand name of color positive camera film manufactured by Kodak. [Positive means that when the exposed film is developed, at can be projected as a color slide.]
a brand name of aluminum foil
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.
the knob for cold water
a city in Kentucky about 175 miles southeast of St. Louis, Mo.
an airline serving Australia and New Zealand
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"
the nickname for former NFL linebacker Ted Hendricks. This might be in the category of true, but not related. Given his great height and his mannerisms, J.O.I. could easily have earned the nickname on his own, and been assigned it by persons who attended not at all to professional football.
hackneyed or trite
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
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
red as the color made by MercuroChrome brand of merbromin, an organometallic compound formerly used as a topical antiseptic.
☽ - Enfield, MA
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 in some editions. My Kindle edition has the correct spelling. The correct term would be Discalced Carmelites, which means they go barefoot or wear sandals.
Roman Catholic Church
les trebuchets noirs
French: the black catapults
about 3.1 miles
in the shape of an arm
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.
not a real place. Sundstrand Corporation makes Aerospace and Industrial Products.
unit of electrical resistance
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. Also a Scandinavian vowel letter, uncial, probably not germane to DFW's usage here.
one of ATSHCME's Air-Displacement Effectuators
November 5th, YDAU - Hal and Orin discuss Himself's suicide
Barry Loach is Head Trainer at E.T.A.
a little over 3,600 feet
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
Hex signs commonly seen in Pennsylvania Dutch Country, ostensibly intended to ward off evil, but now probably used more as a decorative element
Neologism, possibly a reference to Popocatépetl an active volcano, located in Central Mexico
Ahts of Vancouver
another name for the Nuu-chah-nulth, the indigenous peoples of Vancouver Island, Canada
about 441 pounds
a region, defined variously for various purposes, of southwestern Québec
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. OED: "In a manuscript, an inscription, the text of an author: A hiatus, blank, missing portion"
rambling, digressing from subject to subject
a model representing a scene with three-dimensional figures, either in miniature or as a large-scale museum exhibit.
frothy biblical saw
a trifling or empty biblical proverb
cigarettes, the intent is to denigrate the magazine as some kind of impulse buy
bent or twisted by a change in medium. An optics term, so this is an oblique reference to filming.
The Arizona Cardinals now play in the University of Phoenix Stadium.
The Royal Victoria College was a women's college created as part of McGill University in Montreal, Quebec.
The Sweat Guru
forming rings. Possibly a metaphor for having children.
Robinson annulation is used to make cortisone. Himself most likely had cortisone shots in his knees after his fall.
In French, with which IJ is permeated, "action de rendre nul" or nullification, cancellation.
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%.
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.
Another Telemachus, perhaps more widely known, was the son of Odysseus, for whom was named The Odyssey.
the transmission of something automatically and at a distance -- here, Hal's toenails to the wastebasket
There's no clear reason for Orin's mispronunciation of asphyxiated. Perhaps he's combining asphyxia and evacuated.
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.
reveal the presence of (a quality or feeling).
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
a brand name of exercise machines
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
a venomous lizard native to the Southwest U.S. and Mexico, known for its tenacious bite
having high blood pressure
Leaves of Grass
the most famous volume of poetry by Walt Whitman. Whitman spent most of his professional life writing and re-writing Leaves of Grass, revising it multiple times until his death. This resulted in vastly different editions over four decades—the first a small book of twelve poems and the last a compilation of over 400 poems.
incapable of being disturbed
characteristic of an outburst of violent emotion
half a meter
about 1.64 feet
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.
a part or organ of an organism that has become reduced or functionless in the course of evolution.
relating to or characterized by reversion to something ancient or ancestral.
plural of coccyx, i.e., the tailbone
another name for the flower known as the narcissus or daffodil