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.
German: inconsiderate or reckless; Pynchon might have been having some fun though--a translation of the three parts of the word would be something like 'back-view-less', an interesting choice for the name of a Toiletship.
448.23-24 like American cowboy actor Henry Fonda
Contrary to Weisenburger, Fonda did not appear "almost exclusively" in Westerns before The Grapes of Wrath in 1940. He did appear in The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (1936), but that film is set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and is not a Western as such. He played Frank James in Jesse James (1939) but did not make The Return of Frank James until 1940. Other Fonda roles in the 1930s included crime dramas (You Only Live Once), comedies (The Male Animal, The Lady Eve), historical dramas (Drums along the Mohawk), and biographical films (Young Mr. Lincoln). The description of Albert Speer "leaning akimbo against the wall" bears an anachronistic resemblance to Fonda as Wyatt Earp in some scenes of John Ford’s My Darling Clementine (1946). (As a side note, both The Return of Frank James and You Only Live Once were directed by Fritz Lang, after he had fled Nazi Germany to America.)
Buffalo Bayou is in Houston, Texas. Part of it was dredged and cleared over the years to create the Houston Ship Channel.
451.25 A good ship...
A short concealed poem. See also pages 167, 508, and 626.
452.39-40 Ackeret, Busemann, von Kármán and Moore, some Volta Congress papers
Jacob Ackeret, Adolf Busemann, Theodore von Kármán, Norton B. Moore: all experts on supersonic flight; 5th Volta Congress on High Speeds in Aviation, held in Rome in 1935
453.3 the Gomerians whistling... as you sat out on counter the KdF ship
Silbo Gomero (Gomeran whistle) was the unique whistle language invented by the extinct Guanche people in the Canary Islands, later adapted to Castilian by Spanish settlers. The purpose of the Kraft durch Freude (Strength through Joy) movement was "to inculcate workers with a sense of being an integral part of the racially based national community" (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15. edition, 1994. 20:122) Among several attractive leisure-time projects, this program subsidized workers' vacations, including cruises on the Mediterranean or the Baltic Sea; there were four cruisers, see Tätigkeiten. Sailing past the Canary Islands may be pure fiction, enhancing the extinction/genocide theme.
454.01 in the Pentagon
The world’s largest office building was completed in 1943.
455.35 "Sporri" and "Hawasch"
Doctor Mabuse’s two assistants in Lang’s 1922 film.
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