ATD 864-891

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

Page 864



Page 865

Guide, especially for a single woman.

Italian: Englishmen.

Page 866

Representing a Cockney pronunciation of "God blind me!"; in medieval times, people would curse using contractions rather than breaking the third commandment (Do not use the Lord's name in vain oaths). Compare strewth, zounds, 'sblood. -- Wiktionary

Jenny Invert
This is not her first occurrence. Part of the printing of 1918 24-cent airmail stamps showed an inverted image of a Curtis JN-4 Jenny airplane. It's a famous and valuable stamp.
Another female character named after a stamp is "Penny Black"

Cf page 495: Newmarket.

Nether Wallop, Hants
Hants: customary shortening of Hampshire.
NETHER WALLOP, a parish in the hundred of Thorngate, county Hants, 7 miles S.W. of Andover, and 3½ N.W. of Stockbridge, its post town. The parish is situated under Danebury Hill, on which are remains of a fortification with ramparts, strengthened on the western side by an outwork, and supposed to have been formed by Canute the Great. The surface is hilly and the soil chalky. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Winchester, value £350. The church, dedicated to St. Andrew, contains several old monuments and two brasses-one of an abbess, bearing date 1432, and the other of a mitred abbot. Gazeteer of Ireland and Great Britain.
Great Pynchonian name. Surprising that it's real-- Nether Wallop = whack in the ass, much like the "fundament-seizing" back on pg. 110

Inanimate Bird Association
Concerned with clay pigeons, i.e., trapshooting.

rather shirty
Shirty: angry, irritated, huffy, stroppy. Maybe from "Keep your shirt on!" (Don't get angry!)

the key also changes day to day
A code depending upon changes in the starting point for shifts in the text (e.g a book with a different starting page depending on the date, groups of letters that change starting with a different letter every day)is considered unbreakable unless one knows the starting point, called the Key.

Oca ti jebem
Macedonian: I fuck your father.

Giles Piprake
Is he aping Chico Marx?
A small rake with women? See his remark about Ratty's wife.
The joke here is that if Ratty's wife did complain, that would be a problem Piprake couldn't sort out.
No, G.P.'s comeback is a joke in the "That's what she said" genre.
Lots of definitions for pip, take your pick. Breaking through a shell (shell being a metaphor for a problem barrier in this case) seems as appropriate as any. Lots of definitions for rake, too.
A pipkrake is a narrow spike of ice that grows upward from a body of groundwater in freezing weather, carrying a portion of soil on its top surface. Here are a photo and discussion; note that the caption has the misspelling piprake!

Page 867

remember not to wear yellow
Cyprian thinks he was seen hiding because he was wearing yellow? Conjecture: Austro-Hungary's colors were yellow and black. So yellow not only draws the eye, but he might also be taken for an Austrian in Venice incurring Italian mob wrath or perhaps Theign's attention.

The color yellow was associated with the decadence movement in the arts during the 1890s, specifically with the queerness and homosexuality embraced by many of the artists involved. The Yellow Book was a journal which took its name from the notorious volume in Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray (a thinly-veiled reference to J.K. Huysmans’ novel Á Rebours). After Wilde’s trial for homosexuality in 1895, The Yellow Book itself became associated with queerness in the British cultural mind. See Cyprian is reminding himself not to inadvertently signal to the Principe Spongiatosta that he is there for a sexual encounter, in view of the assignations previously arranged for him by Theign.

Italian: valet, attendant.

A moderate, light, or brilliant violet to moderate or deep reddish purple.

Facciam' il porco
We (the Prince and valletto) are playing the sexual pervert. Literally, we are doing the pig, but porco is Italian slang for sexual pervert.

Il mio ragazzo è molto geloso
Italian: My little guy is very jealous.

Qualsiasi, Ciprianino
Italian: Whatever you want (you want is implied), little Cyprian.

The Iron Gateway
an imaginary internal 'Symbolist' artwork embodying vivid hallucinatory visions within ATD?
Also a real structure: Iron Gateway & Draghut Mosque, Tripoli Medina Iron Gateway, Tripoli Medina Iron Gateway & Draghut Mosque, Tripoli Medina

-- Is this a reference to the Portal, p.154?

Could be, but there are a lot of thresholds and portals in this book; the Tushuk Tash back on pg. 764, and the Halkata approaching on pg. 955... But Hunter's painting sounds more like the portal to war, endings, the Zero-- described in Gravity's Rainbow on pg. 51 "One by one men step out into this perfectly black rectangle of night and disappear. Gone, the war taking them, the man behind already presenting his ticket."

Carlo Zen furniture
Designed by Carlo Zen (Italian, 1851-1918) Among the more prolific designers and cabinet-makers of the period was the firm of Carlo Zen. Some of his decorations suggest the strong influence of continental symbolism, while other objects reveal a keen awareness of geometric simplification.

Galileo Chini
Galileo CHINI , famous italian painter and ceramist, was born in Florence on December 2nd 1873 and died on August 23rd 1956. In 1896, he funded "The Art of Ceramics" (later called "Factory Fornaci S.Lorenzo). He introduced the Liberty style in Italy. As a painter he took part at the"Biennale di Venezia" from 1901 till 1936. In 1911 he was in Bangkok to decorate Siam King's palace. He remained there till 1913: it was a triumph! Back in Italy, he taught at the "Accademia di Belle Arti"in Florence. Some of his beautiful works of Art can be found at the Modern Art Gallery in Rome, at the Uffizi in Florence and at the Modern Art Gallery in Palazzo Pitti.

Carlo Bugatti (1856-1940), world-famous furniture designer from Milan.

Page 868

The "horned" cap worn by Doges of Venice. An example comes from a Bellini portrait of a doge at [1].

lo stato
Italian: the state.

penance....imbalance in Nature.
incredible thematic paragraph that relates to revenge motif?

- seems also to refer to the idea of Karma and karmic penance. Only if you make up for the deeds done in this or in an earlier life, the karmic account will be balanced (i.e. 'Nature' in the sense of the whole cosmos).

I see also a clear reference to the idea of control in modern society put forward by French philosopher Michael Foucault, who explains in his book Surveiller et punir (Discipline and Punish) [2] how governments (power) try to subtly control us in order to make us become 'proper citizens' and how those who dare to be out of such properness must and should be punished.

Page 869

Salizzada once meant a paved street, implying that all other, less important calles were once just dirt-packed alleyways.From a Venice Guidebook.

Page 870

Not by a long chalk
This mainly British expression means “not by any means”, “not at all” and often turns up in conventional expressions such as they weren’t beaten yet, not by a long chalk. It goes back to the days in which a count or score of almost any kind was marked up on a convenient surface using chalk. At a pub or ale house this might be a note of the amount of credit you had been given (often called the chalk in the early nineteenth century), which Charles Dickens refers to in Great Expectations: “There was a bar at the Jolly Bargemen, with some alarmingly long chalk scores in it on the wall at the side of the door, which seemed to me to be never paid off.”-- Yahoo answers.

Croatian: a rolled pastry filled with cheese or fruit.

Croatian, literally: garden sage.

coastal Čakavština
Speech of a region in coastal Croatia.

Page 871

Venetian wine bars

Spells. The plural of formula, an established form of words or symbols for use in a ceremony or procedure.

Page 872

Italian: Highness.

Page 873

A red wine, considered among Italy's best, from Montepulciano.

the Ponte degli Scalzi
Cf page 746: the Ponte degli Scalzi.

Page 874

11 mm Montenegrin Gasser
A hinged-framed 11.3 mm calibre revolver

... to leave some mark of imbalance
Refer back to p.868: "... there is an imbalance in Nature."

San Stae
In Santa Croce district.

Page 875

Page 876

gentleman ops
A tradition in thrillers. Bulldog Drummond and Tommy Hambledon are just two in the crowd.

"A suit of dittoes" is an outfit of coat, vest (waistcoat) and trousers from the same fabric.

Wrong sod, I'm afraid
Not Oscar Wilde, i.e. not a Dandy

religious surrender of the self
See P. 836, and note. Suggests Cyprian's masochism is a form of self-transcendence; transgression as transcendence. He has indeed demonstrated his ability to lose all desire...

Page 877

...what were the chances of finding anyone seeking to transcend that, and not even particularly aware of it?
Passing beyond the self, passing beyond desire (and without fanfare), Cyprtian's very Buddhist quest, is perceived only as masochistic in the Western materialist view.

Page 878

A French word now fully adopted in English. In the context of explosives it means "shattering power." In English it means the shattering or crushing effect of a sudden release of energy as in an explosion.

Synonyms: open-hearted, honest, plain, artless, guileless, ingenuous, innocent, natural, sincere, transparent, unconcealed, undisguised, unvarnished.
Antonyms: devious, secretive, two-faced, evasive.

A town near Manchester, England, (with a professional soccer team, Wigan Athletic).<

the Earl's Court Wheel
The Great Wheel of a height of 300 ft built at the Earls Court exhibition grounds, London. It was modelled on the original one in Chicago. It was opend on July 6, 1895 for the "Empire of India Exhibition" and stayed in service until 1906. It was dismantled in 1907.

reversals of power
Reversals of sexual power positions parallel Alernating Current. If DC is "direct" i.e. in one direction only, and AC is "alternating" current, a current of periodical reversals, perhaps all this talk of transcending sexual norms and role reversals is a social/sexual counterpoint to the Current Warsfought between Edison and Tesla. After much heated contention, Tesla and AC won, enormously extending the range and safety of power distribution (electrical, economic, sexual, social) [3].Seen in the light of electrical circuitry, Anarchist explosions are expressions of power imbalance, every detonation another circuit blown.
Electrical engineering terms take on new significance in AtD: twisted pair, induction coupling, Q inductors, three-phase generation, loads, triangle wave, square wave, etc. Interestingly, the wiki commentary on the War of the Currents states that "AC cannot really be understood or exploited without a substantial mathematical and mathematical physics orientation, which Tesla had" -- as did Yashmeen -- at whose feet these power reversals were but the "outskirts" (an interesting double entendre in outskirts). That Yashmeen is central to all this sexual power transformation, generation, distribution, alternating style as well as being a human mental radio (clairvoyance) -- she becomes an embodiment of both Henry Adams' dynamo and Virgin -- in one! A duality in singularity. She is the mother/whore of the electrical world.

Page 879

the least clairvoyante
The (woman) friend least able to exercise occult powers such as seeing the future.

Italian: Carnival. The Italian word Carnevale derives from Carne Levare — Remove Meat — the name of the sumptuous dinner people would hold the night before Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent. In the past, things were especially intense in Venice, where debauched revels went on for weeks. The standard folk etymology says that Carnevale means 'Farewell to meat" (vale is Latin for goodbye). See below, Carnesalve.

Page 880

If Carnevale means "goodbye to meat" (beginning of the Lenten fast), Carnesalve means "hello there, meat!"

San Servolo
Island in the Venetian Lagoon, to the southeast of San Giorgio Maggiore, from 18th century until 1978 site of the Venetian psychiatric hospital. Since 1978, site of the "Istituto per le Ricerche e gli Studi sull´Emarginazione Sociale e Culturale" (Institute for the Study of Social and Cultural Marginalization) to preserve the documents associated with the history of the psychiatric hostpital [4].

Signori di Notte
Italian: night lords.

Page 881

...framed by Signor Fabrizio's re-imagining of Yashmeen's hair...
Saved from when he cut it off. On P. 860, she says he may "do whatever he want(s) with it" and the approach of this costume ball is implied.

Parma violets
A delicate variety of the flower produced in the Italian city. The blossoms are sometimes sold candied, too.

Plural of loggia. Italian: theater box or similar feature in a formal room.

Page 882

Italian: "Cupids" used as space fillers or decorative elements.

Italian: treasure.

Quickly now ....
The conception described here is technically immaculate: Reef fulfills the role of the Father, Yashmeen that of Mary, and Cyprian that of the Holy Ghost.

Or is this a human instance of three phase electrical generation?
Or an alchemical operation to produce the Philosopher's Stone?
Or the creation of a Moonchild through sex magic ala Aleister Crowley.

Alchemical musings: Person-Sex-Orb-Metal
Reef: male, sun, gold
Yashmeen: female, moon, silver
Cyprian: female/male, mercury, mercury (quicksilver)

Cyprian first receives the seed as the functional equivalent of a female and then plants the seed as a male. He changes gender relating to his passing through the arch alone -- this also seems metaphorically related to the process of photographic plate development shift in colors.

This sex shift also relates him to Mercury, quicksilver, a transition metal named for a hermaphroditic god. The glyph for Mercury is used in biology and botany to mean double-sexed.

Mercury was once used in the amalgamation process of refining gold and silver ores. It was central to the practice of the assayer in juding the purity of gold and silver ore, and the alchemist in the the production of the Philosopher's Stone. Mercury signifies the coniunctio or uniting of opposites.

Or: fellatrix , a female who performs oral-genital-sex on the penis. Quote: Woody Allen to Miro Sorvino in Mighty Aphrodite (1995): ' I'm sure that you're a state-of-the-art fellatrix .' The etymology of fellatrice and fellatrix is the same as that of fellatio: from Latin, fellare (to suck). These words are used in English, French and Italian. (denoting Cyprian's role, not his physiology).
in fact, the word is not used in italian at all.

Page 883

Ascension Day
The fortieth day after Easter Sunday (which is always a Thursday), commemorating the Ascension of Christ into heaven, according to Mark 16:19, Luke 24:51, and Acts 1:2.

Page 884

Page 885

outmoded sexual protocols
Again, transgression = transcendence. Of course, also parallels struggles over acceptance of homosexuality in our times.

nasal intrusion
Sticking one's nose into something.

Spanish: kids.

Page 886

Grand Army of the Matrimonial Republic
The Grand Army of the Republic comprised Union veterans of the American Civil War. Its heyday came around 1890-1910.

Page 887

A typo for endlessness.

Page 887-888

[T]he dream came and found him...
Reef's contribution to the hallucination/dream motif previously referenced in the Traverse sections of the novel. The color yellow seems to be significant here and elsewhere, especially coded to Webb Traverse. [More forthcoming]

          In the dream they were no longer in the ghostly canyons of the McElmo but in the city, not Venice but noplace American either, with an umappable operational endlessless (sic) to its streets, the same ancient, disquieting pictures engraved on its walls as back in the McElmo, spelling out a story whose pitiless truth couldn't be admitted officially by the authorities here because of the danger to the public sanity.... It was darker out here than he had any idea of. In the distance Reef caught sight of a procession of miners in their long rubber coats, only one of them, about halfway along, with the candle stub in his hat lit. Like postulants in habits, they proceeded single file down a narrow street like a humid drift lit back or front by a yellow lamp. As Reef came closer he saw the bearer of the light was Webb.
        "Small victories," Webb greeted him. "Just to come away with one or two. To praise and to honor the small victories where and however they happen."
        "Hasn't been too many of them lately, Pa," Reef tried to say.
        "Not talking about yours, you numbskull."

        Understanding that this was Webb's attempt to pass on another message, like up the séance in the Alps, Reef saw just for one lucid instant that this was the precise intelligence he needed to get him back to where he had wandered off the trail, so long ago. And then he was awake and trying to remember why it was important.

remy 13:15, 28 December 2006 (PST)

endlessless: typo for endlessness

pictures engraved on the walls: the Puebloan pictograms

Historical region of Italy, today part of the province of Lucca in the Apennines, in northwest Tuscany, but before the unification of Italy it belonged to the Duchy of Modena and Reggio, ruled by the Este family. For a short time, in the 16th century, it was governed by the poet Ludovico Ariosto [5].

Bagni di Lucca
Note the similarity in name to Banjaluka (or Banja Luka), Bosnia or actually Republika Srpska , mentioned on page 834. Another bilocation, like Kara Tagh and Montenegro (annotations, page 764).

Might also add: Novi Pazar = Novi Bazar = Newmarket.

Also Agadir and Cádiz, both coming from the Phoenician gadir, meaning '"castle", "fortress"..."walled stronghold" or simply "wall"'.[6]

homeopathic principle
Like cures like. To alleviate an allergy, according to homeopathic doctrine, administer the allergen in an exceedingly dilute form.

Page 889

Say surly topple
You can't help thinking Reef does this on purpose (or Pynchon :-). French C'est sur la table: It's on the table. Maybe he ran into James Joyce on his travels. These are all very 'Finnegans Wake' type puns. These lucky mistranslations appear in other Pynchon novels as well; Doc Sportello's declaration of love in "Inherent Vice" is 'cootie food!'

pasta asciutta
Pasta dish with potatoes and green beans. Actually pasta asciutta refers to any kind of pasta.
Actually, pasta asciutta refers to any kind of packaged dry (asciutta translates as dry) pasta (as opposed to made from scratch) and apparently when Reef boiled it, it "was always overdone." There are also lots of regional recipes with pasta asciutta as part of the name of the recipe, e. g., pasta asciutta alla bolognese, or pasta asciutta alla siciliana.

pasta fazool
Officially pasta e fagioli; "fazool" imitates the pronunciation in a regional dialect of Italian. A hearty soup consisting of pasta, any one of a variety of beans (borlotti (cranberry) beans, kidney beans, cannellini beans, ...), and optionally some meat.

Page 890

al dente
Italian, cooked so as to be firm when eaten; literally: to the tooth or to the bite, referring to the need to chew the pasta due to its firmness.

Tragic Week (in Catalan la Setmana Tràgica, in Spanish la Semana Trágica) (July 25-August 2, 1909) is the name used for a series of bloody confrontations between the army and the working classes of Barcelona and other cities of Catalonia, backed by the anarchists, communists and republicans, during the last week of July 1909. It was caused by the calling-up of reserve troops by Prime Minister Antonio Maura to be sent as reinforcements when Spain renewed military-colonial activity in Morocco on July 9. There would be risings again in 1917, and Barcelona was among the last strongholds of the Spanish Republic in the Civil War of 1936-39; even during the Civil war, anarchists and Communists fought in the streets (see Orwell's Homage to Catalonia for a participant account. In 1972 anarchist grafiti could still be found in the Old City). But in 1909, indeed, much worse was to come.

línea del fuego
Spanish: line of (the) fire. This may be a naive translation of "firing line" or "line of fire" (note the satisfying ambiguity); línea de tiro seems to be preferred.

...absence of desire--why one might choose not to embrace what the world judges, it often seemed unanimously, to lie clearly in one's interest.
Cyprian is becoming aware of his interest in divesting himself of desire. Yashmeen in the following sentences notes this change that took place in him in Bosnia; he notes how difficult renouncing his desire for her will be, and she that this is not the real meaning.

Page 891

Biarritz, located about 11 miles from the border with Spain, is a town by the Bay of Biscay, on the Atlantic coast, in southwestern France.

bal musette
French: dance hall (bal), with the music provided by an accordion band. Bal-musette is a style of French popular music presumably played at these dance halls.

in some auxiliary sense . . . his own
Review details of the encounter at Carnesalve (page 881).

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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