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.
245.36 Tom Mix shirt
A cowboy shirt; Mix was an American film actor and the star of many early Western movies. He made a reported 336 films between 1910 and 1935, all but nine of which were silent features. He was Hollywood’s first Western megastar and is noted as having helped define the genre for all cowboy actors who followed.
245.36 Percheron horse
Breed of draft horses that originated in the Perche valley in northern France; usually gray or black in color.
246.1 Bokhara rug
A handmade carpet featuring the octagonal 'elephant's foot' print, often with a red or tan background
Waxwing’s last name may come from Pale Fire by Pynchon’s Cornell teacher Vladimir Nabokov. The novel takes the form of a long poem with annotations by a mad scholar. The poem begins, "I was the shadow of the waxwing slain/ By the false azure in the windowpane." Blodgett is the "real" last name of the heroine in all three versions of the film A Star Is Born. The waxwing is also of interest because of its striking appearance: Its black "mask" is appropriate for someone in Blodgett's line of work.
The waxwing also eats the aril, the bright red, seed-containing berry of the yew tree, thus dispersing the yew seed undamaged. The yew, mentioned in the text, is the tree of death. All parts of the tree, including the seed but not the aril, are poisonous and if eaten can literally kill a horse (also pigs, cattle and other livestock).
Like the bird, this man Waxwing is able to safely carry and distribute lethal cargo, undamaged, without harm to himself.
plural of Soldbuch; A German soldier's id papers and paybook
Steele’s westerns were produced by Nalline Slothrop’s pal, Joseph Kennedy, Sr.
From the Greek for "Lover of God."
247.30 like Tenniel's Alice
Sir John Tenniel drew Alice for the original editions of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass
248.40-41 a business card, embossed with a chess knight
On the television show Have Gun Will Travel, which debuted in 1957, the gunslinger-for-hire Paladin (Richard Boone) gave out business cards embossed with a chess knight.
249.5 & 6 Anglo vigilantes from Whittier
Whittier High School and Whittier College is where President Richard M. Nixon, President when GR was published, hailed from. []
This literary device tying Nixon to race riots and social repression works on literary license only, and in reviewing the historic situation it appears that the riots were not so much white vigilantes from Whittier attacking Zoot Suiters, as much as drunken Navy men gone wild and finding an easy target in Mexican American youth.
This seems doubly galling on Pynchon's part:
First, Whittier, CA, was and largely remains a Quaker community, named after the Quaker Abolitionist poet John Greenleaf Whittier. Quakers are among the most pacifistic people. In addition they embody many of the values Pynchon seems to support: egalitarianism, hierarchy-less assembly, the notion of a God available to all people unmediated by a priesthood or the elect, etc. Violence is not part of their program.
Second, Pynchon is throwing the blame for the riots on Whittier (this contributor has never been to Whittier) instead of what appears to be the true cause of the riots -- nasty, drunken sailors -- those guys TRP hung out with for a while -- and then other service branches joining in the race baiting. See the PBS American Experience website and program for more information: The Zoot Suit Riots.
Richard Nixon, however, remains at the center of this Navy-Violence-Whittier-Quaker venn diagram. A Quaker from Whittier who in WWII served in the Navy. I, for one, could never figure how a Quaker president could bomb Cambodia or deal in such political slime.
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