- Please keep these annotations SPOILER-FREE by not revealing information from later pages in the novel.
the coalfield troubles in southern Colorado
The United Mine Workers called a stike in Colorado's coalfields north of Denver in 1910 winning a 10 percent wage increase for ten thousand Colorado miners. The union's real target was the larger southern coalfield. A state-wide coal strike was called in September 1913 and lasted 14 months resulted in the Ludlow Massacre of April 20, 1914, in which 20 people were killed.
the Madero revolution
in 1910, out of Mexico, led by Madera. Ramifications felt in El Paso, where a Senate Committee investigated in 1912 and found Standard Oil partly responsible.
Relevant?--a Mormon settlement was investigated as part of the investigation.
The Madero (Mexican) Revolution was brought on by, among other factors, tremendous disagreement among the Mexican people over the dictatorship of President Porfirio Diaz. Madero was one of the strongest believers that Diaz should renounce his power and not seek re-election in 1910. He was jailed by Diaz but was able to escape on October 4, 1910, to the US. In San Antonio, Texas, he issued his Plan of San Luis Potosi proclaiming the 1910 election null and void and called for an armed revolution on November 20, 1910 against the "illegitimate" presidency of Diaz. Madero also promised agrarian land reforms to attract Mexico's peasants to his cause. The revolution spread, the Maderista troops, with Pancho Villa in the North and Emiliano Zapata in the South, defeated the army of Diaz within six months, and Diaz resigned on May 25, 1911. Francisco Madero was elected President on October 1, 1911 and assumed power on November 6.
Two perpendicular gable roofs; pic and more
Stanley Murphy, lyricist, written before 1909.
"I'm going to get myself a black Salome"
Composer: Wynn, Ed 1886-1966 Lyrics: Big Bill Jefferson a railroad man (first line of text) Contributors: Murphy, Stanley 1875-1919 Publication Date: 1908 For voice and piano. Cover ill.: African American man watching a belly dancer. Photo of Ed. Wynn. link
Ed Wynn, billed as The Perfect Fool, voiced the Mad Hatter in Disney's Alice in Wonderland and may be best remembered for his role as Uncle Albert in Mary Poppins.
A particular type of white colour glaze for earthenware ceramics that was known for its ability to mimic (poorly) historically expensive porcelain. Its name comes from the practice of importing it into Europe through the ports of the Balearic island Majorca from the Mid-east. Wikipedia
'Tá bien, no te preocupes, m'hija
Spanish: It's all right, don't trouble yourself, my dear.
a pair of suspenders for trousers. "Braces" in British English.
Cf page 372: Anarchist Czolgosz had assassinated McKinley.
Leon Frank Czolgosz (January 24, 1873 – October 29, 1901) was the assassin of U.S. President William McKinley. In the last few years of his short life he was heavily influenced by anarchists like Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman. From Wikipedia
Cf page 372: Anarchist Czolgosz had assassinated McKinley.
William McKinley, Jr. (January 29, 1843 – September 14, 1901) was the 25th President of the United States. from Wikipedia McKinley as president placed the US on the gold standard (remember Dally and the poster for bimetallism).
One thousand Fast Lake Navigation, 158 Fast Express, and 206 Automobile Inverts
Here is a page with images of the stamp. Also, an interesting little online tidbit which references this stamp with the inverted center to which this page refers.
These misprinted ("alternate") stamps, associated with Anarchism, and the philatelically-named Jenny Invert with her similar association to the Anarchist collective at Yz-le-Bans, inevitably call to mind the subtly altered stamps of the anarchist (or at any rate anti-government) Trystero in Lot 49, postage in an alternative, underground communication system.
We have, then, the theme of underground, alternative communication introduced again (the first time in AtD is with the London gas pipes).
Another philatelically-named female character is Penny Black.
Hanna's miserable stooge
Mark Hanna (September 24, 1837–February 15, 1904), born Marcus Alonzo Hanna, was an industrialist and Republican politician from Ohio. He rose to fame as the campaign manager of the successful Republican Presidential candidate William McKinley in the U.S. Presidential election of 1896, in what is considered the forerunner of the modern political campaign, and subsequently became one of the most powerful members of the U.S. Senate. From Wikipedia. Obviously, the stooge refers to McKinley. Strongly suggestive of a parallel to Karl Rove and his miserable stooge.
A fine diagonal twilled (ribbed) dress fabric made with silk warp (vertical threads) and fine worsted (firm-textured) weft (horizontal threads), which makes it resemble Cashmere cloth.
Characteristics: Originally consisted of worsted filling and silk warp. Today, it can be found in a variety of blends. It has excellent drapability. It's weight and quality vary with fibres, however, when created with silk and wool it is lustrous and soft. Uses: Dress goods. Textile Dictionary
From the myth of Oedipus Rex, about a returning son killing his father, rendered infamous through Freud's interpretation of its significance to men and rendered famous by the Sophocles plays in the 5th century B.C.
And perhaps a Pynchon in-joke of sorts. The protagonist of Lot 49 is Oedipa Maas (it has been suggested: "More Oedipal"), also in trouble over stamps; in fact "Lot 49" refers to the auction lot of Trystero-altered stamps in the collection of Pierce Inverarity (it has been suggested: "Inverse Rarity"), for whose estate Oedipa is executor. A few pages from here the issue of alternate communication forms will be introduced; these references to the issues in Lot 49 could serve to alert the experienced reader of Pynchon to their importance in AtD.
the one with the destiny
Do we learn anything about this odd Oust child?
(Presumably Ewball?). No, this one is apparently a little child when Ewball is a grownup.
Maybe a child born with a caul? It would not take much of a prophet to say that such a child has a destiny.
A cheap, common and durable form of black and white photographic image where a sensitised collodion is poured upon a thin sheet of soot blackened tin, exposed and developed. Often hand-coloured. The most notable practitioners and teachers of the process in the US are Mark Osterman and France Scully Osterman. The tintype wikipedia entry.
the Madero Revolution had moved on
Madero took office as president in November, 1911. However, he was no longer the universal and unquestioned leader he once had been. He turned his back on the forces that had brought him to power. His refusal to enact land reforms caused a break with Emiliano Zapata (1879-1919) and other revolutionary leaders and losing much of his popular support gained during the revolution. The rural working class, who had supported Madero, now took up arms against him.
Many were rebelling in the name of disaffected ex-minister Emilio Vázquez
Emilio Vázquez Gómez (1888-1913). An anti-Madero figure.
With the collapse of Diaz regime in May 1911 an interim government was formed and a national election was called for in October the same year. Emilio Vazquez Gomez (1888-1913) was the Interior Minister of the interim government and a leader of an important wing of initial Maderista movement. He and his followers, wth the support of several revolutionary leaders, demand the immediate adopttion of the Plan de San Luis. Vazquistas began an open rebellion to dissolve the interim government and put Madero himself in the presidency before the upcoming election. The revolt, begun at the end of June, reached a new level on August 2, 1911 when Vazquez Gomez resigned as Interior Minister. Three weeks later Vazquista presented a plan in which the interim government was not to be recognized, the command of the revolution was to be handed over to Vazquez Gomez, large landholdings were to be broken up, etc. Madero's dissolving the original anti Diaz party replaced by a new one led to the split with Vazquez Gomez. During the October elections the Vazquista rebellion created unrest in the northern states and attracted several ex-Maderista caudillos such as Emilio Campas and José Inés Salazar. After the election, the Vazquista rebellion continued and flared up in Chihuahua City in January 1912 against the Madero government. Toward the end of February that revolt spread to several places in the state. In early May, Vazquez Gomez proclaimed himself provisional president, with his capital in Juarez. But his "government" did not obtain much strong support and he was forced to leave the country for the US shortly thereafter. By the fall of 1912, the Vazquista movement had dissolved.
Mexican anarchists, followers of brothers Enrique and Ricardo Flores Magón (1874-1922). During the "Magonista" Revolt of 1911, a short-lived revolutionary commune was set-up in Baja California. In present Mexico, the Flores Magon brothers are considered left wing political icons nearly as notable as Emiliano Zapata, and numerous streets, towns and neighborhoods are named for them.
A state in southern Mexico.
Emiliano Zapata had . . . begun a serious insurrection against the government
Emiliano Zapata (1879-1919) was a leading figure in the 1910-11 Madero Revolution against the dictatorship of President Porfirio Diaz. Zapata's discontent with Madero started before the latter became the president. The Ciudad Juárez peace treaty of May 21, 1911 between the Maderistas and Porfirian force ending the military phase of the Madero revolution failed to mention land reforms at all; it turned over the power to an interim government not to the revolutionary forces, as if the fall of the Diaz government had been achieved through secret cabinet pressure according to existing laws not as a result of a revolution; furthermore, the treaty acknowledged the power of federal army and specified to disarmed and demobilized the revolutionary armed groups including Zapatistas. Vazquistas revolted as early as June against the interim government and Zapata openly did so in Morelos on November 25, 1911 against the Madero regime. The Zapatista armed insurrection was the longest-lasting of the rebellions of 1911, and would extend itself throughout Madero's term (1911-13) untill merging with the new insurrectional wave of 1913.
1882-1915, importer of armaments from U.S., maderista, revolted against Madero government in 1912.
Pascual Orozco,Jr. (1882-1915) was a Mexican revolutionary hero and leader. In his early life he was a muleteer working for several large mining companies in the Chihuahua mountains. He soon involved in anti-Diaz activities in 1909 of purchaing arms and ammunition in the U.S. and taking them to Mexico on half of the Magónistas. After Madero called for armed uprising in October 1910 Orozco became the revolutionary chief in the District of Guerrero. On May 10, 1911, Orozco and Pancho Villa won a major military victory in the war against the Porfirian government by taking Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, which led to the signing of the Peace Treaty and the resignation of Diaz. However, for the reasons stated above (Zapata), Orozco announced his revolt against the Madero government on March 3, 1912 lending the anti-Madero movement instant credibility. The Orozquistas won a series of victories for the rest of the month, and the Battle of Rellano (pp. 984-985 of AtD) of March 23 was the high-water mark of the Orozquista military campaign. Orozco and his followers was decisively defeated at the Second Battle of Rellano of May 22-23 by Victoriano Huerta, the new field commnader of Madero federales. By the beginning of October, the Orozquista rebellion had ended and Orozco himself had crossed over to the U.S. acknowledging his defeat.
José Inés Salazar
A longtime colleague of Pascual Orozco and later one of the leading Orozquista generals. In May 1909 he and Orozco smuggled arms from the U.S. to Mexico on behalf of the Magonistas. Later fought with Orozco against Madero.
A prominent Maderista but later became a radical Orozquista. Here is a great set of photos capturing many of the Mexican revolutionary leaders (including Braulio Hernández) and a visual glimpse into the revolution.
Christened Doroteo Arango Arámbula. Pancho Villa (1878-1923) was one of the foremost leaders of the Mexican Revolution (1911-1920). His charisma and battle victories and his raid on Columbus, New Mexico, made him an idol of the masses and a folk hero.
He spend his early years in the mountains in the Northern Mexico running from the law. He answered Madero's call for an armed uprising against the Diaz regime and helped defeat the federal army of Diaz in the first Battle of Ciudad Juáez of April-May 1911. At the beginning of Orozco's revolt Pancho Villa was still loyal to the Madero government and fought along with Victoriano Huerta against the Orozquistas. But after Huerta's murdering of Madero and usurpation of the power on February 22, 1913, Villa allied himself with Carranza and fought against Huerta. Villa's revolutionary aims (other than military goals), unlike those of Emiliano Zapata's, were never clearly defined. He was the provisional governor of Chihuahua (1913-14). His 1916 raid on Columbus, New Mexico, provoked the Punitive Expedition by General John Pershing. At this time Pancho Villa was fighting against Carranza until 1920 when the latter was assassinated. Pancho Villa himself, retired from revolutionary life in 1920, was gunned down in his car on July 20, 1923.
José Gonzáles Salas
Maderista general in command against Orozco; replaced by Huerta, to Madero's later discomfiture.
the country around Jiménez . . .
The region around Jiménez, a mining center in Chihuahua 130 miles south of Chihuahua City, is known for large number of meteorites, some of them discovered by the Spaniards in 16th and 17th centuries, and now exhibited in Palacio de Mineria (Minery Palace) in Mexico city.
There are two Chupaderos meteorites. Both were found in 1852 in the area around Jiménez. With a weight of 14.114 tons, Chupaderos I is ranked as the 10th largest meteorite in the world; and Chupaderos II with a weight of 6.767 tons ranked 14th. Photos of Chupaderos I and Chupaderos II.
Spanish: crazy machine. The translation of máquina is often tuned to the context: here, "locomotive."
One might go so far as to say that Frank was "going down the rails on a crazy train . . ."
a sus órdenes
Spanish: (ready) for your orders. In English one would say, "at your service."
One prong of the government attack . . . between Corralitos and Rellano . . .
The Battle of Rellano. On March 23, 1912, in Rellano, an intermediate point between Torreón and Chihuahua, there was the formal battle between the Orozuistas and the Madero government forces, with a disatrous result for the federales. Its commander, General José Gonzáles Salas, humiliated by the defeat, committed suicide during the retreat. The Battle of Rellano was the high-water mark of the Orozquista military campaign.
Spanish: let's go, boys.
Parral is where Pancho Villa was assassinated on July 20, 1923. Apparently someone remembered the sacking, dynamiting, looting, and killing.
Cf page 376: General Huerta.
After the defeat at the Battle of Rellano (pp.984-985 AtD) on March 23, 1912, Madero appointed Victoriano Huerta, an able and competent professional soldier, head of the federal forces on April 1. On May 22-23 Huerta crushed the Orozquistas at the Second Battle of Rellano. This battle was the turning point in the campaign against Orozco. In five consecutive engagements Huerta drove the badly beaten Orozco crossed into the U.S. in September. As a man almost too bad to be true, he began laying plans for Madero's overthrow and the usurpation of presidential power, which he accomplished in la decena trágica, the Ten Tragic Days, of February 1913 and thus earned himself a permanent spot in Mexico's hall of infamy.
cf. page 637, where (and when) Frank first meets Günther.
One of the leading industries of Orizaba is the Cervecería Moctezuma brewery which was established in 1896.
cf. page 637
Spanish: coffee plantation.
Spanish: political boss.
Benito Juárez Maza
Governor of Oaxaca from 1911 until his death the next year. He was the son of Benito Juárez, the beloved President of Mexico for five different terms from 1858-1872 (so before Porfirio Díaz).
Follower of Che Gómez, identified on page 987.
Spanish: "The Fixer." Epithet of a hundred operators in crime literature. Or, as the text eventually suggests, "The Repairman."
Speculation on this surname: Jorge Ibargüengoitia was a novelist and playwright who wrote, among other things, Los Relámpagos de Agosto (The Lightning of August, 1964), which uses cartoonish mayhem to debunk the Mexican Revolution's heroic myths; improbably it won for its author the Premio Casa de las Américas, despite or because of the consternation which its flippancy caused.
Ibargüengoitia is also the name of the "Genevan contact" that Slothrop meets on behalf of Squalidozzi the Argentine anarchist in GR.
On p. 384 Squalidozzi's shipmate Belaustegui asks why he didn't deliver the message himself:
"Why didn't you go to Geneva and try to get through to us?"
"I didn't want to lead them to Ibargüengoitia. I sent someone else."
Chapultepec Park is an enormous green area in the middle of Mexico City covering 2,000 acres, containing three of the city's most importnat museums, an amusement park, several lakes, the only genuine castle in North America,, Mexico's largest zoo and the residence of the President of Mexico, Los Pinos. Chapultepec Castle is also known as "The Halls of Montezuma."
Wie geht's, mein alter Kumpel
German: How are you, my old workmate?
>> Although this translation is correct, "Kumpel" also means just "friend". So there is no implication that they worked together: "How are you, old friend?
the new Monument to National Independence
Mexico City's No.1 landmark. The Monumento de la Independencia, situated on a roundabout at the Paseo de la Reforma (Reform Avenue) in Mexico City's downtown area, was inaugurated in 1910. The sculptures that surround the base represent Law, Justice, War and Peace. On top of the monument is a winged and gilded angel, known as Angel de la Independencia, or just El Angel. See photo of
a face he recognized
Another angel modeled on Dally? El Angel was sculpted by Enrique Alciati.
"máquina loca," "muerte" and "tú"
Spanish: "crazy locomotive," "dead" and "you."
When his eyes refocused, whoever had spoken had moved on
Frank has, at recognizing Dally's face, gone into the same kind of trance, a merger with the moment, or with the machine, that had almost taken him into the collision with the Federal train on P.985. The warning words seem to be "crazy machine", "dead" and "you". A warning from the Angel of Death, via another Alternate Communication channel.
- Why the Angel of Death rather than the Angel of Light?
From sin vergüenza, Spanish: without shame. The -istas ending makes it refer to a group of adherents.
out of Vera Cruz, down to Frontera . . . to Villahermosa, Tuxtla Gutiérrez . . . and across the Sierra to the Pacific coast
From Mexico City by land roughly 200 miles east to Veracruz on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, continued east 230 miles by sea to Frontera, a small town on the Gulf coast, turned south by land 20 miles to Villahermosa, the capital of Chiapas, continue 40 miles to Tuxtla Gutiérrez and came 80 miles over the Sierra Madre de Chiapas and reached the Pacific coast around Tapachula near the border with Guatemala.
Tu madre chingada puta
Rude, rude Spanish: Your mother's a fucking whore.
Machine-Age nightmare . . . the future of coffee
Another Crazy Machine, or perhaps "Out of Control" machine (the governor on the locomotive on P.985 "no longer regulated anything"). Coffee is being industrialized, contributing to the ubiquity of outlets on P. 817, not to mention today, with overwhelming consequences for the indigenous growers.
The Tzotzil Maya.
El Quetzal Dormido
The Sleeping Quetzal. Quetzals are elaborately-plumed birds of the genera Pharomachrus and Euptilotis, and are in the trogon family.
Name of the Greek muse of song and tragedy. Wikipedia
see also 18 Melpomene a large, bright asteroid located in the Main Belt, discovered by John Russel Hind on June 24, 1852, and named after aforementioned muse.
A Chiapas small town roughly 20 miles southeast of Villahermosa, 70 miles notheast of Tuxtla Gutiérrez. From 500 to 800 A.D. Palenque was a major power in the Maya world. Today it remains shrouded in the mist of a tropical jungle and a significant archealogical site dominating by the Temple of the Inscription with the tomb of Lord Pacal, the ruler from 615-653 A.D. inside.
From guayule: Those who made a living harvesting wild rubber early in the Century.
Guayule, the desert shrub from which natural rubber can be extracted, has been a subject of interest in this country for better than a century. At one time-admittedly long ago-guayule rubber accounted for 10 percent of the rubber used in the U.S.
But that was wild rubber, in really wild times, before the Hevea rubber plantations took off in Southeast Asia. Guayule couldn´t compete with the plantation rubber in volume or consistency, expiring just like the profession of collecting of wild Hevea rubber did.
Pancho Villa´s cross-border raids prior to World War I, by the way, scared off "guayuleros" in Southwestern U.S. and also contributed to guayule´s decline. rubbernews
According to the text they are "giant luminous beetles." Pynchon seems to have read this "Handbook for Travellers" Google Books scan to Mexico, written in 1907, by Thomas Phillip Terry. This passage includes descriptions of reading by their light, simultaneous flashing, use by women under thin veils, and small cages containing several beetles acting as torches.
See Beetles in Mason & Dixon: M & D wiki
Legal scribe. A "writer to prepare papers, collect and adduce evidence in legal cases, such as was to be submitted to illiterate judges of such tribunals as then existed." (From here, p 160.)
Spanish: Now put yourself out, extinguish yourself.
In violation of Einstein's special theory of relativity.
a wireless, immediate, human way of communicating.
Caray . . . novio . . .
Spanish: Good heavens . . . boyfriend . . .
There's a map with Mazatán on this web page.
Spanish: What, as in "what the fuck?"
Spanish: dear, darling.
It is like the telephone exchange . . . the single greater organism remains intact, coherent, connected.
Actually not like the telephone exchange. On P. 708, Derrick Theign worries that in case of war, telephone and telegraph will become unreliable; this is his reason for creating the R.U.S.H. This telepathic network, like an unfailing cell phone network, is far more reliable.
Tenochtitlán was the capital of the Aztec empire, built on an island in Lake Texcoco in what is now the Federal District in central Mexico. At its height, Tenochtitlán was one of the largest cities in the world, with over 200,000 inhabitants. The city was destroyed in 1521 by Spanish conquistadors. Mexico City was erected on top of the ruin.
The first step was to pass beneath a ceremonial arch...
So now each of Webb's boys has passed through some kind of portal that indicates the beginning of a journey; Kit and the Tushuk Tash on p. 770, Reef (with Yashmeen & Ljubica) beneath the Halkata on p. 955.
Angel of the Fourth Glorieta on Reforma
Glorieta is a monument. See the angel, pg. 989.
He knew what it was but could not find its name in his memory
Presumably the unknown menace from which Aztlan's inhabitants fled. But suggestive both of air attack and the menace of North American industrialization in 1900 and NAFTA in 2000.
The colonists and Indian artisans employed local tezontle, a light and porous volcanic rock, to create elaborate facades on buildings.
A porous whitish-yellow rock used in building construction when cut into blocks. As a construction material tepetate has played a major role in the development of modern Mexico.
Very potent phrase. The world of everyday reality, indicating the deepeer reality of the visions? The indicative mood in grammar is the mood of simple declarative statements, plain facts: there was Melpomene, here is a chair. A mood incommensurate with Frank's trance.
the Huerta coup
Against Madero, who was shot, February 1913.
Spanish: the tragic ten days.
A zócalo is a central town square or plaza.
el palacio blanco
Spanish: the white palace
Darlin ordinarily I'd love nothing better....one of us's life you see
This is an homage to Jack Kerouac's On the Road character, Dean Moriarty (Neal Cassady in real life — Wikipedia), especially coming as it does after the previous paragraph in which Frank heads for Denver, an important locus in On the Road. Cassady/Moriarty is given to proto-rap monologues of this kind. In the last chapter of On the Road, he tells Sal Paradise (the Kerouac character): "But of course, Sal, I can talk as soon as ever and have many things to say to you in fact with my own little bangtail mind I've been reading and reading this gone Proust all the way across the country and digging a great number of things I'll never have TIME to tell you about and we STILL haven't talked of Mexico and our parting there in fever—but no need to talk. Absolutely, now, yes?"
It was the first time he was aware of getting paid for being stupid. Could there be a future in this?
Sounds like another Pynchonian 'in-joke'. In "Vineland", Zoyd Wheeler is getting his yearly cheques for precisely that, i.e. doing something stupid.
Spanish: Whoa! Soccer (fútbol) announcers interject ¡Epa! when two players have a very physical coming together.
Since last September the mine workers' union had been out on strike
The Colorado "coal war" of September 1913 to April 1914; here is an eye-opening account.
South Central Colorado town in the heart of the San Juan Forest.
...over Wolf Creek Pass, into the San Luis Valley...San Luis Basin...through Fort Garland...up the Sangre de Cristos over North La Veta Pass...the first rooftops of Walsenburg.
The route described would take them from the presumably UMW-sympathetic mining country in the San Juans, north and east along current US highway 160 (called the Navaho Trail), across the San Luis Valley and Basin to North La Veta Pass, with Walsenburg and the prairies and canyons of the coal country beyond to the east (the only safe approach to the striking mines).
The geography of this journey is as carefully described as the various characters' journeys through the Balkans (the description of the view of the Spanish Peaks and Culebra Range are absolutely accurate), and there must be a reason, something these regions have in common.
The San Luis Valley and immediately adjacent areas are the furthest northeastern reaches of the Spanish Empire in North America, part of the Province of Nueva Mexico del Norte of New Spain, later Mexico (part of which became the state of New Mexico in 1912). The area around Telluride would be the northern border of Pynchon's vision of Aztlan (it is in fact the northern border of the Pueblo settlements). These are, therefore, like the Balkans, borders between newly industrializing empires and older, tribally-organized, "pre-scientific" cultures (both with indigenous mystical/spiritual traditions, with which the characters interact). Here and in nearby Mexico, mechanization and industrialization of resource extraction are causing heartbreaking exploitation and violence, and the indigenous shamanism and mysticism and their unmediated power are being destroyed by advancing industrial civilization, exactly as described by Dwight Prance on P.777.
Niall Ferguson(The War of the World: Twentieth Century Conflict and the Descent of the West, Penguin Press, 2006) points to three demonstrated conditions for becoming a conflict flashpoint: (1) Multi-ethnic population (2) location at the border of a failing empire (3) economic volatility (See note to P.939). Both the Balkans and the American Southwest/Mexico fulfilled those conditions.
The Light Over the Ranges
Against the Day
Rue du Départ