- Please keep these annotations SPOILER-FREE by not revealing information from later pages in the novel.
5 chums times 4 suspects each.
"with all the spaghetti-joints in this town to choose from, are you saying those dadblame Russians have come in here?"
reminiscent of a similar line from the film Casablanca, spoken by Humphrey Bogart: "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine."
Dum vivimus, bibamus
While we live, let us drink. Corruption of "Dum vivimus, vivamus".
For some thousand years, the chief magistrate and leader of the Most Serene Republic of Venice was styled the Doge, a rare but not unique Italian title derived from the Latin Dux, as the major Italian parallel Duce and the English Duke. Doges of Venice were elected for life by the city-state's aristocracy. Wikipedia entry
"Those whose enduring object is power in this world are only too happy to use without remorse the others, whose aim is of course to transcend all question of power. Each regards the other as a pack of deluded fools."
Over time, Pynchon appears to have come to a belief in a massive conflict between cultures "valuing anaysis and differentiation" and those valuing "unity and integration". The two alternate maps of Asia could be a reference to these disparate worldviews.Wikipedia
WK Clifford. Wikipedia
For a brief history of the compound-lens microscope, including a reference to the role played by Italians and the Dutch, including Griendl von Ach, see: http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Microscope
Borderland cases between sanity and insanity.
"Chums of Chance were expected to die on the job. Or else live forever, there being two schools of thought, actually." Possibly a reference to the fact that the Chums seem to live simultaneously in the "real" world of the novel and also in fictional stories within the novel.
The Campanile di San Marco collapsed 14 July 1902. cite and pic
Padzhitnoff sees the Campanile come apart as a game of Tetris! The "four-brick groupings [...] begin their gentle, undeadly descent, rotating and translating in all available modes". (See page 123 for more on Tetris.)
Cf. p. 10, "tall smokestacks unceasingly vomiting black grease-smoke," and p. 216, "Just greasy ashes by the trailside."
I.e., a cook.
Cf Bonnie and Clyde.
A miner who with a hammer and spike cuts a hole into rock for placement of a stick of dynamite. A set of holes are cut for each "synchronized" blast. (Double jackers work as a team.) Infer (this) one as a loner, a bit crazy, single minded, silent, easily hurt or misunderstood, doesn't play well with others...
gullet of days
nymph du pave
should probably read "nymphE du pave": street-whore. Theoretically this could also translate as: (image of a) nymph on a mosaic (tesselated floor) - like the huge roman one of Ariadne in the Rue du Pavé in Avenche (Switzerland) german weblink
Vaguely reminiscent of Proust on Combray.
albatross cloth Evidently a distinct color/design for a wedding or wedding party dress in the West at the time. I have no OED at the moment, but there are at least two online "diaries" or descriptions using the phrase. Here is one: "We were married August 6, 1896 at 7:30 AM at my folk’s residence among friends and relatives. To honor the event, my folks had our parlor decorated with many flowers including roses, myrtle and geraniums. I wore an elegant gown of white silk and albatross cloth."
A Province in the center of Sweden Wikipedia
items, nearly always stolen
the dirt, the blood-red dirt
This line recalls Homer's "wine-dark sea" first found in The Iliad (Bk VII) in a scene in which Achilles grieves for the death of Patroclus. Given the context here, it might be thought of as "mock-heroic."
According to Merriam-Webster: a stout-bodied, short-legged rodent of the genus Marmota that has coarse fur, a short bushy tail, and very short ears, lives in burrows, and hibernates in winter; also: a prairie dog or one of the larger ground squirrels.
Marmots are native to Colorado and live at the higher altitudes. They are larger than squirrels, prairie dogs or ground squirrels (a/k/a chipmunks), about the size of a weasel but smaller than an otter
From hueva (egg). According to this blog huevon "literally refers to the size of a mans "cojones" (another pseudo decent word that has seen a lot of mainstream play). It is commonly used to indicate how lazy someone is. The bigger the "huevon" you are, the lazier. As with "guey", however, this too has often been used to say dude or buddy."
A wagon or basket on a track in a mine, or generally any scooter.
Danites were Joseph Smith's vigilantes, "Armies of Israel", during the Mormon War 1838 in Missouri, i.e., before travel to Utah.
Brigham Young's group with similar purpose as Danite above, sometimes called Danites as well.
Dolores River runs through Cortez (where Deuce seems to be, next to exploding cactus p270). "We woke up in the Dolores... [VALLEY/REGION/HOTEL]"
The Light Over the Ranges
Against the Day
Rue du Départ