This page-by-page annotation is organized by sections, as delineated by the seven squares (sprockets) which separate each section. The page numbers for this page-by-page annotation are for the original Viking edition (760 pages). Editions by other publishers vary in pagination the newer Penguin editions are 776 pages; the Bantam edition is 886 pages.
Contributors: Please use a 760-page edition (either the original Viking edition with the orange cover or the Penguin USA edition with the blue cover and rocket diagram there are plenty on Ebay for around $10) or search the Google edition for the correct page number. Readers: To calculate the Bantam edition use this formula: Bantam page # x 1.165. Before p.50 it's about a page earlier; as you get later in the book, add a page.
Finally, profound thanks to Prof. Don Larsson for providing the foundation for this page-by-page annotation.
156.18 the Judenschnautze
As Weisenburger notes, Pynchon probably means "Judenschnauze" here, but the term is more likely to mean "Jewish snout" (or nose) than "Jewish jaw." The term reflects Leni’s antisemitic stereotyping. See note at 159.38. Schnauze is a word for a canine face, so it might mean "Jewish mug" as well. It also denotes a manner of speech, as in "Er hat eine berliner Schnauze" ("He speaks the Berlin dialect").
Weisenburger takes his description of the film from Siegfried Kracauer’s From Caligari to Hitler, but overlooks a key point. It is no wonder that Pokler "missed Attila the Hun roaring in from the East to wipe out the Burgundians"; Attila never did roar in from the East! As Kracauer correctly describes the film’s ending, Attila does massacre the Burgundians, but only after inviting them to dinner and setting a hall on fire (prompted by the urgings of his wife, the wronged Kriemhild). Is the textual error Pokler’s, Leni’s, or Pynchon’s? Given that all the explicit German film references are to films by Fritz Lang and that few of those films were widely available (with the notable exception of Metropolis), we could suspect that Pynchon was working from secondary sources or his own memory of a Lang festival at which he, like Pokler, fell asleep. (Lang did appear at such a festival at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1969, when Pynchon may have been living in the area.) Lang is a useful touchstone for Pynchon in this novel since almost all of his films (including such American movies as You Only Live Once and Scarlet Street) deal with characters trapped by an inexorable destiny. See note at 578.31. nibeldin.jpg (74051 bytes)
159.38 the Jewish wolf Pflaumbaum
At this stage, for all her professed radicalism, Leni allows herself to be deluded by ethnic stereotyping. Notice her attraction to Rebecca because of her Otherness. Soon, though, Leni will be "Judaized" (219.41), even more so when she is sent to the Dora concentration camp. Of Pflaumbaum’s fate, see note at 582.05. Also see note at 474.39.
160.18 It may have been a quota film.
With the great influx of films from the United States to Europe between the wars, several film-producing countries, including Germany, enacted decrees that a certain number of films shown had to be of national origin. These "quota" films were often quick and shoddy productions made only to satisfy government demands so that the more profitable American films could still be shown.
Mondaugen was introduced as a character in the South-West Africa episodes of V., especially as the focal point of the chapter "Mondaugen’s Story." See note at 152.21.
161.34-35 true succession, Liebig to [ . . . ] Jamf
Picture of Justus Liebig (right)
163.20-21 Leni sang with the other children the charming anti-semitic street refrain of the time
The source of Leni’s initially racist attitudes lies here, in her youth.
166.1-9 All right. Mauve [ . . . ]
For more on the history of this breakthrough in dye-making and organic chemistry, see Simon Garfield's Mauve: How One Man Invented a Color That Changed the World (New York: Norton, 2001).
167.29-30 Heinz Rippenstoss
The name of the would-be Nazi wag is literally "nudge in the ribs."
Seemingly a riff on "von Ribbentrob", Hitler's foreign minister, found guilty at Nuremberg and hung.
Beyond the Zero
Un Perm' au Casino Herman Goering
In the Zone
279-295, 295-314, 314-329, 329-336, 336-359, 359-371, 371-383, 383-390, 390-392, 392-397, 397-433, 433-447, 448-456, 457-468, 468-472, 473-482, 482-488, 488-491, 492-505, 505-518, 518-525, 525-532, 532-536, 537-548, 549-557, 557-563, 563-566, 567-577, 577-580, 580-591, 591-610, 610-616