Randolph St. Cosmo

Ex voti of Wax, from Isernia
Historically, there are two versions of the 3rd century CE figure St. Cosmo (aka St. Cosmas): the "randy" St. Cosmo, aka the "modern Priapus," and the saintly martyred St. Cosmo of Church lore. Pynchon, it seems, is connecting Randolph St. Cosmo to the former. "Randy," as astute observers will note, is an adjective which means, well, "horny." There's a distinct sexual thread woven throughout Against the Day (See the beginnings of exploring this angle...) — a-and Heartsease, St. Cosmo's mate, is the first to get pregnant! — so this seems to fit right in. Read more about the historical St. Cosmo...; and Wikipedia entry

In Mason & Dixon, Pynchon has the Veery brothers, Cosmo and Damian, who are professional effigy makes in Philadelphia! And, just to make it interesting, "He's a rare Wax Artist, our Cosmo is." (p. 290) (Note: Wax phallus effigies were offered by the women to St. Cosmo at the festivals held in his name, as shown above.) Read more about the historical St. Cosmo; Wikipedia entry

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