ATD 460-488

Please keep these annotations SPOILER-FREE by not revealing information from later pages in the novel.

Page 460

San Gabriel
The rich history of the City of San Gabriel dates back to 1771 with the founding of the Mission San Gabriel Archangel, a California State historical landmark, and establishes San Gabriel as the birthplace of the Los Angeles region. The Mission San Gabriel Arcangel, "Pride of the California Missions," founded by Father Junipero Serra in 1771, is the fourth of twenty-one California Missions, and has long been a center for culture and art. As the original and oldest settlement north of San Diego and south of San Luis Obispo, it is from San Gabriel that the City of Los Angeles and the greater metropolitan area were established.

Wikipedia entry

From the context, this San Gabriel should be in New Mexico, since Frank was "drawn westward", towards Nochecita, which is in Nevada.
A cursory search shows that there was a spanish settlement named San Gabriel de Yunque-Ouinge in New Mexico, near present day Ohkay Owingeh, New Mexico, about 30 miles north of Santa Fe. This makes sense since Santa Fe is the eastern terminal of the Old Spanish Trail. The settlement had been long lost by the time Frank got there, however, and wasn't rediscovered by archeologists until the 1960s. Probably just another anachronism in the world of AtD.

old Spanish Trail
Opened as a trade route between Santa Fe and Los Angeles, the Spanish Trail became a major link connecting New Mexico and southern California from 1829 to 1848. It was used chiefly by New Mexican traders, who found a ready market for woolen goods--serapes, rugs, blankets, bedspreads, yardage--in the California settlements. Pack trains with as many as a hundred traders left Santa Fe in annual caravans. The textiles were exchanged in California for horses and mules, which were then marketed in New Mexico. Traders returning to Santa Fe often drove as many as a thousand or more animals, some of them, perhaps, having been stolen from the herds of the California missions and ranchos.

Utah History Encyclopedia

"Nochecita" translates into "nightfall" or "dusk" (literally, "little night").


the spur line of his destiny
A branch line is a relatively minor railway line which branches off a more important through route. A very short branch line may be called a spur line.

Wikipedia entry

not about to suffer fools
... with echoes of Scarsdale Vibe to Ray Ipsow, p. 32:

2nd Corinthians 11:16 - 21:

I say again, Let no man think me a fool; if otherwise, yet as a fool receive me, that I may boast myself a little.

That which I speak, I speak it not after the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in this confidence of boasting.

Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also.

For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise.

For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face.

I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also.

Corinthians 2

newer tenants continued to move in
Main Entry: gen·tri·fi·ca·tion

Pronunciation: "jen-tr&-f&-'kA-sh&n

Function: noun

the process of renewal and rebuilding accompanying the influx of middle-class or affluent people into deteriorating areas that often displaces earlier usually poorer residents

[...] Gentrification is a general term for the arrival of wealthier people in an existing urban district, a related increase in rents and property values, and changes in the district's character and culture. The term is often used negatively, suggesting the displacement of poor communities by rich outsiders. But the effects of gentrification are complex and contradictory, and its real impact varies.

Many aspects of the gentrification process are desirable. Who wouldn't want to see reduced crime, new investment in buildings and infrastructure, and increased economic activity in their neighborhoods? Unfortunately, the benefits of these changes are often enjoyed disproportionately by the new arrivals, while the established residents find themselves economically and socially marginalized.

Gentrification has been the cause of painful conflict in many American cities, often along racial and economic fault lines. Neighborhood change is often viewed as a miscarriage of social justice, in which wealthy, usually white, newcomers are congratulated for "improving" a neighborhood whose poor, minority residents are displaced by skyrocketing rents and economic change.

Although there is not a clear-cut technical definition of gentrification, it is characterized by several changes. [...]

Gentrification article

Page 461

He wondered if he could be his own ghost
"Out of body" experiences (OBEs) are personal experiences during which people feel as if they are perceiving the physical world from a location outside of their physical bodies. At least 5 and perhaps as many as 35 of every 100 people have had an OBE at least once in their lives (Blackmore, 1982). OBEs are highly arousing; they can be either deeply disturbing or profoundly moving. Understanding the nature of this widespread and potent experience would no doubt help us better understand the experience of being alive and human." [...]

Article from The Lucidity Institute

Out-of-body experiences are 'all in the mind' New Scientist - Aug 29, 2007
An Illusion created experimentally is the first to give people their own "out-of-body" experiences.[}

i.e., 'gone bust'

day... set to the side
A reference to the title motif.

Stray with her hair down and her baby in her arms
Kinda suggests the classic image of the Virgin Mary in Christian symbolism (not to mention the wonderful pun on her name given this suggestion). Interestingly, visual depictions of the Virgin Mother rarely portray her with her hair down (representing sexual promiscuity). Her hair is usually up and covered, thus:

Traditional image

Contemporary image

Turtle image

phantom rooms
cf the Vibe mansion, p.160

Linnet Dawes
The girl's name Linette \l(i)-nette, lin(et)-te\ is pronounced LIN-et. It is of Welsh and Old French origin, and its meaning is "idol; linnet, a small songbird". Probably a variant of Lynette.

Linette has 10 variant forms: Lenette, Lanette, Linet, Linetta, Linnet, Linnette, Lonette, Lynette, Lynnet and Lynnette.

Scientific bird names explained

Page 462

The word 'cute' is a shortened form of 'acute'.

Fickle Creek
While "Fickle Creek" doesn't seem to be in New Mexico, it is apparently known for its eggs (i.e., in North Carolina, not New Mexico):

"Standing in front of the Weaver Street Market egg case, I ruminated on the varieties of eggs -- from the lowest-priced traditional white eggs from conventionally raised, confined chickens at Latta's Egg Ranch to the most costly speckled, variegated eggs from free-range chickens raised outdoors on bugs and corn at Fickle Creek Farms.

For the past 10 years I've mostly eaten from the middle of the road: moderately expensive cage-free eggs from Latta's. That's my compromise between price, cruelty and ostensibly gastronomic quality." [...]

Chapel Hill News

noun (plural whoop-de-dos) (plural whoop-de-doos)


1. party: a large-scale party or celebration that is lively or noisy 2. U.S. publicity: noisy activity meant to attract attention the whoop-de-do surrounding the movie's release 3. fuss: a noisy public commotion or outcry



expressing excitement: used to express excitement ( often used ironically )

[Mid-20th century. Expressive alteration of whoop]


the points(temperature) at which water freezes for a given pressure which is falling as one goes up a mountain

Well, no, the freezing point doesn't vary perceptibly under these conditions. He looks down from the toll station to the valley. The light down there seems green and cold but sound is carrying easily up to him. Snow in the air would deaden the sound, so it isn't snowing. Fragments of ice slowly falling through the air could affect the color without muffling the whoop-de-do. You could get this effect if an ascending breeze slowed the fall of ice crystals through the air. I think that's what "ice-points" means: tiny sparkles.

red whiskey
Customary phrase in Westerns for bad corn whiskey from a licensed distillery. "White whiskey" is made from the same ingredients but briefly aged in a jug (and without the formality of paying excise tax).

Sleepwalker (Spanish).

Constructed from the Latin "nocturnus" (by night, nightly, nocturnal) + "ambulo" (to walk)

[...] is a Sleep Disorder characterized by walking or other activity while seemingly still asleep. Sleepwalking (Somnambulism) is a series of complex behaviors that are initiated during slow wave sleep and result in walking during sleep. Sleepwalking is a rapid eye movement (REM) behavior disorder occurring in the dream stage of sleep. During this phase, the body releases a chemical that paralyzes the body. However, those who sleepwalk do not have this chemical trigger, hence the behavior. [...]

Sleepwalking article

NO! A sleepwalker is a "sonámbulo". A "noctámbulo" is a night person, a night bird or a nighthawk (somebody who likes to go out at night, party, etc.).

Parody of think tanks, etc? (Or college dormitories.)

The passage is somewhat reminiscent of Lew Basnight's encounter with the Esthonia Hotel (pp. 38 - 39), and echos the "Voyage to Laputa" from Gulliver's Travels.

Gulliver passage

Page 463

"echoed off the steep mountainside"
One hit.

for no more

Silent Gray Fellows
The very first production model made by Harley-Davidson, about 1903.

Indian V-twins
Motorcycles first produced in 1907 by the Indian Motorcycle Manufacturing Company Wikipedia entry.

Joe Hill's "Pie in the Sky"

A/k/a "The Preacher and the Slave." Song written by IWW leader Joe Hill in 1911 that was an attack on organized religion as a means for keeping the workers down: "You get pie in the sky when you die." A parody of "In the Sweet Bye and Bye." Lyrics here. Later recorded by Woody Guthrie.

ancient flat-out labor nihilists
Notice fierce value judgment.

love lines, life lines, girdles of Venus
Lines in the palm figuring in palmistry. Wikipedia entry.

Their palms are scarred by labor, to a point their futures cannot be told.

AtD usually says 'bobwire'.

Four Corners Gang
A Google search suggests this is a popular urban gang name. In the world of paperback adult Western fiction, there's Longarm and the Four Corners Gang, by Tabor Evans. The Longarm series includes 370 titles (as of Feb. 28, 2007) dating back to 1978, so Evans can be spotted on the street by the scars from his carpal tunnel surgeries. There's not really any reason to think Deuce, Lake and Sloat have any connection with these bikers, though.

Taos Lightning
According to this website [Taos Lightning] is a slang for a straight Earth bourbon of dubious origin and low quality. Injured in a barfight with Wyatt Earp, Doctor McCoy tended to Captain Kirk's wounds by dabbing them with Taos Lightning, much to Kirk's discomfort—referring to it as "fire". McCoy suggested that the stuff is "medicinal" in small amounts, to which Kirk replied that it should be labeled "For External Use Only." . . .

That's a Star Trek fan wiki ("Earth bourbon," give me a break). Taos Lightning was one name for corn whiskey made by freelance distillers. Not bourbon because it didn't come from Kentucky and never saw the inside of an oak barrel. Romantic Old West tales say it was colored with burnt sugar and flavored with chewing tobacco, but if Western moonshiners were like those in the Appalachians, many of them took pride in selling a quality product.

Fearless of usual dangers but is afraid of crosses and avoids mirrors; i.e. a vampire.

Also cf. the Zoltan Fortune Teller Arcade Machine

They were a project done by Robert B. Bourque and Robert Cottle, a lifelong friend of Bourques. Mr. Cottle provided the deep voice you hear on the machines. Mr. Bourque at one time played the part of Captain Bob on a Boston children's TV show.

Year Built: 1967 to the early 1970's, in Massachusettes

Description of machine

Photo of Machine

On January 7, 1898, the brothers Michel and Eugene Werner, two émigré Russian journalists, patented their "Motocyclette" powered two-wheeler, which had its engine mounted above the steering head, driving the front wheel by belt. They had already built two prototype.

Description and photo

Also, this reference serves as an allusion to Wernher Von Braun, rocket scientist:

"Nature does not know extinction; all it knows is transformation. Everything science has taught me, and continues to teach me, strengthens my belief in the continuity of our spiritual existence after death."

-- Wernher Von Braun (GR, p. 1)

Page 464

flapjack emporium
Pynchon having some fun here with the International House of Pancakes (IHOP).

[...] In North America, flapjack is another term for a thin pancake that is not only crispy, but slightly chewy as well. A largely defining attribute of a flapjack is its large diameter, commonly measuring 12" or more. [...]

Wikipedia entry

Emporium is a Latin term for a department store and for marketplaces or trading centers in ancient cities.

Excelsior was founded in 1907 by Ignaz Schwinn, namesake for the famous Chicago based bicycle manufacturer. Schwinn would become one of the United States' largest motorcycle builders with its line of Excelsior Autocycles (as it termed its motorcycles in an early sales play), and also with its Henderson Four line, which was introduced in the twenties. Schwinn would not stay in cycles, however. Eventually, the market got the best of him, and he shifted to strictly bicycle making - the brand still carries his name to this day.

[...] The Excelsior Autocycle was offered in a wide variety of models in the 1910s beginning with a 449cc single cylinder and V-twins of 746cc and 996cc. Early models fed power to the rear wheel via a leather band; by 1914, Excelsior had moved up to linked chain drive.

[ Description and photo]

Excelsior comes from the Latin for higher and has many other interesting resonances, including literary and chess ones.Excelsior

divide a fellow into two
Iceland spar motif.

Vang Feeley
Vang is a municipality in the county of Oppland, Norway.

Vang was established as a municipality January 1, 1838.

The municipality (originally the parish) is named after the old farm Vang (Norse Vangr), since the first church was built here. The name is identical with the word vangr m 'field, meadow'.

Wikipedia entry

Interestingly, "field" or "meadow" = "prairie"?? Again, Pynchon playing with names that correspond to nature.

Feeley family crest

silencer bypass
Muffler cutout.

multiple outcomes
Worldline motif.

(Interesting disambiguation.)

A duster is a light, loose-fitting coat.

The original dusters were full-length, light-colored canvas or linen coats worn by horsemen to protect their clothing from trail dust. These dusters were typically slit up the back to hip level for ease of wear on horseback. At the turn of the 20th century, both men and women wore dusters to protect their clothes when riding in open motorcars on the dirt roads of the day. In the 1950s, a duster was a woman's knee-length, button-front unfitted housecoat which could be thrown on over underwear for housework or cooking. [...]

Wikipedia entry

routine as elaborate
I'm thinking maybe Ann Margaret in a 50s biker flick?

Since Ann-Margaret made her first film in 1961 ("Pocketful of Miracles"), her appearing in a "50s biker flick" would be a tad difficult.

Page 465

Ed Chase's town
See the fine annotation to page 176.

See page 176.

Bill Jones's
From the context, it seems to mean another restaurant like Tortoni's on Arapahoe. No information but this may be relevant and is interesting: "William 'Canada Bill' Jones", legendary Western gambler who gave popular culture the line "It's the only game in town" [when asked why he was playing with an obviously crooked dealer] Jones

honorary Negro
One sympathetic to African-Americans. One who is in the minority within mainstream society.
Zora Neale Thurston famously said it of Carl Van Vechten. Martin Luther King said it of Lyndon Johnson. Here is a 2005 blogger's extended definition: "Or, at least, an honorary negro, e.g. a flamboyantly gay, a thick-accented foreigner, a fat white girl publicist or an in-tune-with-their-heritage Asian. ..." We need the OED here, and I am away from it.

a small child. Also said of small dogs.
Good etymology here, showing 1850 first use in print, then disappeared from recorded use for 100 years! phrases

breakbeam stiff

Stiff,n. Slang 1. A corpse. 2. A person regarded as constrained, priggish, or overly formal. 3. A drunk. 4. A person: a lucky stiff; just an ordinary working stiff. 5. A hobo; a tramp. 6. A person who tips poorly. American Heritage Dictionary

couple wives
(Divorce, or bigamy?)

Northern Mexican state where Frank unexpectedly found--and shot--Sloat Fresno in a Cantina.

Not an answer, apparently.

Page 466

Hammers o' Hell
The Origin of "Hammers of Hell" remains somewhat obscure, but can be traced at least back to the early 1900s. The term appears to relate to the ringing of bells, commonly done with a "hammer" or "clapper." A 1911 first novel (The Trail of Ninety-Eight, relating to the Alaskan Gold Rush) by poet Robert Service mentions "the flying hammers of hell were pounding..."
Not too long after this, in 1920, Sinclair Lewis (Mainstreet) mentioned "Hell's Bells" in a passage. From these sources, the terms seem to have taken hold in English dialects as ways of describing problems, or being under great pressure.
Other related terms like the "Clappers of Hell" can also be found in later literature.phrases

Alt. Jephtha. (Heb. יפתח). Israelite judge who semi-purposefully sacrificed his daughter to God following his victories of war against the Ammons. Judges 11-12.

Cherry Creek
Tributary of the South Platte River, with which it joins in downtown Denver. It was a stage route from the East into Denver; Four Mile House museum, 4 miles out from the center of Denver, is a preserved stage stop perhaps the inspiration for Jephthah's "road ranch". Speer Boulevard and a long bicycle path run along present-day Cherry Creek, and the Cherry Creek shopping area, recently gone very upscale, was long the site of the famous Tattered Cover Bookstore.(Personal note: in the 1980s the Tattered Cover stumbled upon a cache of hardcover copies of GR, all, of course, First Editions, and sold them--in the spirit of fairness, and despite their rarity--for their retail price).

Divide, Colorado sits nestled on the north slope of "America's Mountain", Pikes Peak. The same regional splendor that inspired Katharine Lee Bates to write "America the Beautiful" has drawn people to Divide to make it their home.,br> Originally named Hayden's Divide after Ferdinand Vandeveer Hayden, (a surveyor, geologist and paleontologist who helped to map the region), local settlers in the 1880's just called the area Divide because major water run-offs divided to the north, south, east and west at this point. Divide
Nice satiric name for a town to which two men fighting over 'souls' are heading. Could be a metaphor for religious schism in general?

The Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad ("D&RG") network consisted of standard gauge trackage (4 ft. 81/2 ins. between the rails) for main East-West (to Salt Lake City) and North-South (Front Range cities) lines, plus a standard gauge line along the Arkansas River from Pueblo to Leadville. Lines to the mountain towns were "narrow gauge"--smaller distance between the rails, thus requiring a narrower roadbed and permitting tighter turns in the confined spaces of mountain passes; also smaller, lighter rolling stock. Fragments of the narrow gauge lines survive as tourist railroads: the beautiful Durango & Silverton survives intact, the Cripple Creek & Victor takes tourists between these mining (now gambling) towns, and the spectacular Georgetown Loop climbs from Georgetown to Silver Plume west of Denver. Now-trackless roadbeds are terrific cross-country ski and snowshoe trails.

traitor to his class
Working class man or woman who worked for the interests of the bosses; aka finks (informers), stooges, goons (company strong-arm men), scabs (strikebreakers).

mucker work
"mucker's or shoveler's work"... 'Miners, Engineers, and the Transformation of Work in the Western Mining Industry, 1880-1930', Logan Hovis, Jeremy Mouat Technology and Culture, Vol. 37, No. 3 (Jul., 1996), pp. 429-456

Not sure, but usually "mucking" refers to either cleaning manure from a stall and is also used for "dirty jobs" around latrines or septic systems.

South Slavic knitted caps
Very similar is the low thick woolen circular kapche (small cap) with an oval bottom (Golo Brdo, Reka, Debar plain, Kichevo region). Among the caps of the thick woolen kind is also the cap called valsnica or valavka (Mariovo), in white and black colour shaped like a "klobuk" (hat). ... From the end of the last century, by the influence of the towns and the town craftsmen, kachket (a type of cap) began to be widely used as the most characteristic head cover.Slavic caps

Austrian boys

vengeful ghosts

Page 467

fifteen years old... Julius
Groucho Marx. Indeed born 1890, but didn't tour West until aged 20+. Wikipedia

Groucho did tour the West, at age 15 in the summer of 1905, as part of the "Leroy Trio." And he was indeed abandoned by his partners in Cripple Creek, who stole his money. To get money to go home he took a job driving a grocery wagon through the mountains between Cripple Creek and Victor, though he knew nothing about horses. [Hector Arce, _Groucho_, NY: Perigree Books, 1979, pp. 56-57]

Mr. Archer
Lew Archer, Ross MacDonald's fictional detective. One of MacDonald's later novels had a front-page NYTimes Book Review review, by Eudora Welty, in the early 70s. [Before GR was published]

Colorado mining town near Cripple Creek.

East Ninety-third

The Marx family lived at 179 E. 93rd St. from 1895 to 1910 (across the street from Harry Houdini! ).

Page 468

Cone Amor
'Con amor' = 'with love' (Spanish). Ice cream cones were invented in 1904, so this is not quite anachronistic.

me? lady
Capitalisation typo, or stylistic?

Town on Colorado's Western Slope.

Prince Albert
A Burley tobacco blend for the pipe or handrolled cigarette, produced since 1907 and still popular.

Lois... Poutine
Evidently sisters. Princess Poutine: An older, oblivious, French-Canadian scatter-brained female in authority (such as a manager, teacher, CEO) who has a knack for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time and is overtly overweight and disproportionate [1].

Poutine: a French-Canadian dish of French Fries with cheese curds and gravy.


If you ever travel to Quebec, don't try using that "Princess Poutine" expression because it won't mean anything to anyone. The definition above was taken from "the Urban Dictionary" which has a long way to go before it becomes the next OED. What is true is that poutine is probably the most ubiquitous and typical fast food in Quebec. It is also true that it looks simply disguisting and is best ingested at 3AM after numerous beers. If you ever travel to Quebec, you have to try the original (see photo) then go for the gourmet version served at Le Pied de Cochon, which includes foie gras and veal jus. Artery clogging and delicious [2]

Page 469

teeth were gone
It's only been a couple of years. She's about 50.

Page 470

See page 368.

Barbary Coast
San Francisco neighborhood once known for gambling, prostitution and crime [3].

lettuce opium
Lactucarium, the milky fluid secreted by several species of lettuce, usually from the base of the stems. Lactucarium is known as lettuce opium because of its sedative and analgesic properties, and because it can be reduced to a thick smokeable solid. Long known in the U.S., regained popularity in the 1960's when people were looking for any cheap way to get high.

Page 471

Was an arena or course for chariot racing. Later used as a course for walking. In this instance most likely connected to the motorcycle and "wall of death" motif.

Page 472

Replacing Indians?

criminal palps
criminal sensor. Palp is an elongated, often segmented appendage usually found near the mouth in invertebrate organisms such as mollusks, crustaceans and insects, the functions of which include sensation, locomotion and feeding. Also called palpus.

Page 473

One who absconds; a neologism from the 1830s. Absquatulate on World Wide Words

not so much gone as consciously committing absence
A heartbreakingly beautiful little phrase. How parents must sometimes feel after their children are away.

Crystal... Oneida
Oneida crystal is a type of glassware. Google search

sash-weights . . . casementing
Extended and complicated figure likening, in part, a sky full of an approaching storm to a window in an old house. Specifically the sound of thunder is compared to sash-weights, the counter-balances built into all wooden windows (which enable an opened window, for example, to remain open instead of slamming shut), the sky itself the casement, or "neatly carpentered" frame, concealing those sash-weights.

Far southern tip of Illinois, centered on Cairo, where the Ohio Rvier joins the Mississippi River, evidently Deuce's home territory. Allusions perhaps to Egyptian exile, Flight Into Egypt, and the goal of Huck and Jim's raft journey, where they hope to turn North at Cairo, Illinois and travel the Ohio River into free territory. First mentioned on p.18 as starting point of Penny Black and the Tzigane (Gypsy)’s trip to the White City. Also echoes "Little Egypt," a performer at the 1893 World's Fair (p. 26).

A city of central Illinois east of Springfield. Abraham Lincoln practiced law here. Population: 77,800. ( We learn in this passage that, in his younger years, Deuce left the region of Decatur in an effort to go west and "rise above" his origins. Ironically, the city's motto is "Decatur, We Like It Here." Also, among Illinois residents Decatur's tornado activity is well-known to be slightly higher than the state average, which adds mild humor to Deuce's exchange with Levi at the bottom of p. 473.

Page 474

inside the angle of his elbow
Echoes p.258:

"Nearly got him in Yokohama with nice, right-angled fragment, so close he was actually standing inside angle, but missed him by millimeters"

"inside the angle" has a specific mathematical meaning:

"Intuitively we feel that if a ray is between two rays, it is 'inside the' angle that they form."
Basic Concepts in Geometry, Walter Prenowitz and Meyer Jordan

"inside angle", in billiards, is the path a ball travels when it is aimed away from the pocket and hooks or curves back into the pocket.

Page 475

Deuce had been in Cripple Creek by 1895 (p195). He might have returned, or not been present.

Page 476

put his head into

As must happen to all badmen . . . deputy's star
A cliché from Westerns, but not without some truth. Bob Meldrum, for example, worked both sides of the law.

Wall o' Death
To ride the Wall of Death, rev up your motorcycle and guide it onto the inside of the cylindrical wall. Centripetal force keeps you up. The act works best with multiple bikes. Either the wall is open gridwork or the "tip" (audience) sits above looking down into the cylinder. (The second mention of this attraction; first was on p. 184.)

when viewed from overhead reminding widely-traveled aeronauts
Are the Chums observing this episode? (This switch or twitch in point of view is something Nabokov practiced.)

Roman arenas, like most American football stadiums today, were generally built so that the perimeter created an ellipse.

some suburban fatality in the dwellings presently appearing at human random around it
I believe this is an odd printer's error resulting in garbled syntax and marring a carefully patterned passage. My conjecture is based on internal evidence. The whole passage, a paragraph-long sentence running from the bottom of 476 to the top of 477, is an intricate, lyrical riff on the idea of its ominous closing phrase: "structures in their vanishing. . . ." It's a beautifully layered play on the drift of time and space as the panaorama moving outward from the Wall of Death evokes a movement in time as well, from the "legendary" to the "suburban." But right in the heart of it one runs nose first into the little knot quoted above. That "at human random" must be wrong. It makes no sense semantically (or grammatically, I think); it so obviously breaks the patterned flow of phrasing; even the sound is blocked—the vowels, "m" and "n" sounds are ugly and labor intensive. Of course, my first thought was that it was some coinage or that I had missed something, yet the more I pored over it, the more clearly out of place it seemed. But simply shifting the word "human" backward so it modifies "dwellings" yields:

"some suburban fatality in the human dwellings presently appearing at random around it"

which makes everything click into place. It makes sense on the content level, smoothly advancing the temporal reference points of the structures evoked by the passage and presaging the momentary arrival of the "wheelfolk and picnickers," and formally it is clearly more satisfying, especially the restored assonance and the cadence. DISCUSSION

Page 477

"For It Is Thou, Lord"
From Evening Prayers in the Anglican Service. Said after The Lord's Prayer: O Lord, show thy mercy upon us.
And grant us thy salvation.
O Lord, save the State.
And mercifully hear us when we call upon thee.
Endue thy Ministers with righteousness.
And make thy chosen people joyful.
O Lord, save thy people.
And bless thine inheritance.
Give peace in our time, O Lord.
For it is thou, Lord, only, that makest us dwell in safety.
O God, make clean our hearts within us.
And take not thy Holy Spirit from us.

Eugene Boilster.

Happy Jack La Foam
A pharmacist named La Foam, first names Happy Jack are more hilarious Pynchonian naming. [see Dr. Hilarious, CoL49].
a-And "Happy Jack" is a 1966 song from The Who:

Happy Jack Lyrics Artist(Band):The Who

Happy Jack wasn't old, but he was a man.
He lived in the sand at the Isle of Man.
The kids would all sing, he would take the wrong key,
So they rode on his head in their furry donkey.

The kids couldn't hurt Jack,
They tried, tried, tried.
They dropped things on his back,
They lied, lied, lied, lied, lied.

But they couldn't stop Jack, 'or the waters lapping,
And they couldn't prevent Jack from being happy.

But they couldn't stop Jack, 'or the waters lapping,
And they couldn't prevent Jack from feeling happy.

The kids couldn't hurt Jack,
They tried, tried, tried.
They dropped things on his back
They lied, lied, lied, lied, lied.

But they couldn't stop Jack, 'or the waters lapping.
And they couldn't prevent Jack from being happy.

(I saw ya!)

police ticker
A crime information service similar to a stock ticker; see annotations to p. 348.

Reporting officer C. Marin
Allusion to Cheech Marin, of Cheech and Chong and other entertainments. It is an irony and possible (stretching) reflection (har har) on the mirror-version of individuals, as well as the above mentioned tendency of bad men to eventually wear the star; "Cheech" made his name in comedy based on drug humor and illegality-- eluding the cops is a common theme. However, he has gone on to play cops or informers in a load of other shows and films.

Flor de Coahuila
Flower of Coahuila. Coahuila is Mexico's third largest state. Coahuila

Would make him 15 in 1895 (p195).

Page 478

Sloat Eddie Fresno, dead
We've made a jump in time back to the date of the Bolsón de Mapimí shooting.

señorita chinga chinga
Senorita fuck fuck

más cerveza
More beer

Cf page 527:co-conscious.

(What's Pynchon up to with this word?)

more shit
Because shot through gut.

surprisingly careful latchclick

Page 479

Tace Boilster
Short for Eustatia? Anastasia?

No -- an actual name. My great-great-grandmother's name (b. 1863) Tace McLean. Could be of Scottish derivation?

And our Tace was a Mickie before she married into law enforcement. The smart money says they were both Scots or Scotch-Irish. A generation or two before Tace, though, there could well have been a family member or admired figure with a longer name. Scotch-Irish in America have a fairly common practice of giving old diminutives, like my mother's Kate, as full names.

Page 480

Elsie Dinsmore
Series of childrens' books written by Martha Finley between 1867 and 1905 [4].

Roy Mickie
In context, Tace's brother's name.

Thesis: Roy (Disney) Mick(ey Mouse) -- the brother/creation of Walt Disney. In fact Mickey was the creation of Ub Iwerks (how Pynchonesque a name is that!) but is often thought to be Walt's "baby," financed by Roy. So, reading back into the context: the illegitimate issue of an incestuous liaison.

Town in South Central Colorado, in a high valley west of Pueblo on the Arkansas River, at the northern tip of the Sangre de Christo Mountains.

blue columbines
Mountain wildflower, a pale blue in color, that opens in July; state flower of Colorado.

atole con el dedo
Basically, it means "Once again, you've been had/tricked…".[5]

Wikipedia explanation [6]

Page 481

She was only a dynamiter's daughter
Old joke template:

She was only a photographer's daughter, but my, was she well developed!
She was only a hash-slinger's daughter, but could she ever dish it out!

See James N. Tidwell, A Treasury of American Folk Humor, pp. 543-44.


you run away, out of reach, behind the wall of death
"Wall of death" as carnival attraction, town, and now metaphor for a barrier between worlds. See pp. 184 and 476 for other occurrences.

a week or ten days
(Contradicts recent text?)

Page 482

getting deep
Wifely surrender is a con?

Page 483


Pynchon consistently capitalises this. And he is grammatically correct so to do, as Champagne takes its name from the region where it is made. Only wine that comes from Champagne can bear that name. Everything else, no matter how similar, is sparkling wine.

Page 484

before the days
Title motif?

eyeball hydraulics
Tears, not rolling eyes.

See p266.

separate tracks
Worldline motif.

Page 485

delivered into his own life
(Born doomed, or early bad karma?)
After fleeing the fate that pursued him [see below] for his action, he was now delivered to his 'free' fated life, "though it felt anything but", [and was] "a dismal prospect". Deuce is like a low-rent tragic hero who cannot escape his fate. His sins catch up with him.
A-And one might argue, an internal metaphor for Webb's sins catching up with his children. MKOHUT 06:03, 23 September 2007 (PDT)

The Erinyes, or euphemistically the Eumenides (“Kindly Ones”): three Greek goddesses of vengeance: Tisiphone, Electa, Megaera.
The most famous instance of pursuit by the Furies being Orestes in the ancient Greek Oresteia, pursued for killing his mother to avenge HER murder of his father Agamemnon to avenge Agamemon's murder of Orestes' sister Iphigeneia..... In other words the Furies are especially hot on pursuing murderers of kin(dred). Eventually Orestes is reconciled with the Furies at Athens, where they become guardians of the rule of law (rather than the law of vendetta).

No longer feeling pursued by the Furies, but see note above re fate and freedom.

TRP throws off this trope--of lengthening days and repeating seasons-- with resonances elsewhere in his work and which seems to be a key metaphor in his vision. "Wheeled" as in the 'Wheel of Time', a notion regarding the cyclical nature of time and history originating in Buddhism and Hinduism? Wheel of Time
The wheel metaphor is used more than once in Gravity's Rainbow ["Karmic wheel", p.651] and, Zoyd Wheeler,[and other? ] in Vineland.
One can only point to the manifold notions of Time and History in Against the Day to start finding connections.
The later similar notion of "Eternal Return", made famous by Eliade and Nietzsche, appear in Against the Day. [citations needed]
Further, in TRP's way of alluding to yet also 'playing with' a concept satirically, one might point to the Ferris Wheel motif in Against the Day and maybe even the windmill in Gravity's Rainbow as extensions of 'wheeled' as metaphor in TRP's work.
A-and much more I bet. MKOHUT 06:29, 23 September 2007 (PDT)

no little ones
Fertility karma.

Sioux... melancholy

her belly

Chloe, "the green shoot," an epithet of the Greek goddess of agriculture Demeter.

Page 486

Phoebe Sloper
Phoebe, a bird in the genus Sayornis, in the tyrant flycatcher family. A favored feeding strategy of these birds is to wait on a conspicuous perch until an insect flies by, make a short flight to catch the insect, and return to the same perch.

Phoebe, one of the Titans of Greek mythology.

Phoebe, another name for the Greek goddess Artemis.

"Sloper" suggests Catharine Sloper, main character of Henry James's Washington Square.

(With no kids, why not more free time?)

all he talked about
To Deuce, Webb mentions Lake only once (p. 196). No trace of Lake being "all he talked about" in the text. On page 197, he cries out the names of his sons.

Page 487

'Child of the Storm'
Cf p190. Deuce is not present during that passage.

WEST VIRGINIA, the "Child of the Storm," received its name in the Convention of the 20th of November, 1861, that framed and proposed the Constitution for the said State. The formation of West Virginia was not the act of any one man, nor was it the act of the politicians of the State, as they were in the Rebellion. It was simply the carrying out of an enthusiastic determination of a large body of serious, determined men, who felt that they had been oppressed by the slave power of the State. The movement, therefore, for a new State readily assumed a form that promised success, and the people gave a hearty support to the cause. Its organization and admission to the Union would complete the chain of loval commonwealths on the south side of Mason and Dixon's line, and would drive back the jurisdiction of rebellious Virginia beyond the chain of mountains and interpose that barrier to the progress of the insurrectionary forces westward and northward. From Loyal West Virginia 1861-1865, by Theodore Lang.

frying pan...spider
See this note on the once-prevalent differences in regional dialectal use of frying pan (and its variants), skillet, and spider. And this article for spider pics.

stove shovel
For emptying wood ashes.

Greener shotgun
W. W. Greener Company

she lit up
(Anxiety, or freedom?)

Page 488

Marriage as cahoots?
Their marriage was a conspiracy; She was complicit in his death, as Deuce did the deed, seems to be the meaning.

Annotation Index

Part One:
The Light Over the Ranges

1-25, 26-56, 57-80, 81-96, 97-118

Part Two:
Iceland Spar

119-148, 149-170, 171-198, 199-218, 219-242, 243-272, 273-295, 296-317, 318-335, 336-357, 358-373, 374-396, 397-428

Part Three:

429-459, 460-488, 489-524, 525-556, 557-587, 588-614, 615-643, 644-677, 678-694

Part Four:
Against the Day

695-723, 724-747, 748-767, 768-791, 792-820, 821-848, 849-863, 864-891, 892-918, 919-945, 946-975, 976-999, 1000-1017, 1018-1039, 1040-1062

Part Five:
Rue du Départ


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