726; "and her colleagues at R.A.F. Medmenham [who] discovered the Rocket back in 1943 in recco photographs of Peenemünde"; Babington conducted aerial photo-surveillance for the Allies in WWII.
234; The largest province in Spain, in the Extremadura comunidad autónoma ("autonomous community"), Badajoz borders on Portugal; on which, according to Pudding, "during the war in Spain ... a bandera of Franco's Legion advanced"; between 1,000 and 4,000 civilian and military supporters of the Second Spanish Republic, were killed by the National Army following the seizure of the town on August 14, 1936.
457; location of Spa (Kurhaus) where Margherita Erdmann killed Jewish boys; Bad is German for spa or sanitarium and is often used in the names of towns with hot springs; obviously, this one is fictional and a pun
Badass, U.S.S. John E.
388-89; US destroyer on which Seaman Bodine is stationed; Runcible Spoon Contest, 594; 623
391; U.S. Army Air Force: Base Accounting and Finance Office
480; "the season of the plum rains [...] when all the plums are ripening" in Japan; Tsuyu (Baiu=plum rain)("Rainy Season"). Although this is Japan's "Rainy Season" (Tsuyu or Baiu), it is actually the second wet period (Winter Monsoon being the first). It typically begins in early June in Western Japan and ends in July. (Both dates are later in Northern Japan.) A stationary rain front forms over Japan between the very warm, moist tropical air to the south and the cooler, drier air to the north of the front. Wikipedia entry
352; seaport capital of Azerbaydzhanskaya SSR, Soviet Union, on the west coast of the Caspian Sea; 353; Blobadjian "pursued through the black end of Baku by a passel of screaming Arabists" 354
Bakunin, Mikhael Aleksandrovich (1814-76)
386; A Russian anarchist who eventually settled in England, Mikhail Bakunin, as the leader of anarchism, was the opponent of Karl Marx in the Communist International. He believed that "the withering away of the state" effect by communism was an essential step towards anarchism. In 1866, he founded International Brotherhood, or the Alliance of Revolutionary Socialists; "19th century European anarchist Mason" 587; See also Proudhon and Friscia
42; a close-fitting woolen covering for the head and ears
Baldwin, Stanley (1867-1947)
An English Conservative statesman, Baldwin, after university, became vice-chairman of his family's iron and steel business. He became premier in 1923. In the 1930s he was reluctant to re-arm Britain and was thus criticized for not recognizing the Nazi threat; Byron's Guerrilla Strike Force is "gonna get [him] right in the face" 647
See lawn sports
Bataafsche Petroleum Maatschappij, N.V.
240; Royal Dutch Shell headquarters being used for a radio guidance transmitter
Battle of Britain
40-41; (June 1940-April 1941), series of intense raids directed against Great Britain by the German air force after the fall of France during World War II. Britain sustained 57 consecutive nights of air raids, but the RAF prevailed through superior tactics and cracking German secret codes.
Battle of the Bulge
Led by Gerd von Rundstedt this German offensive began with a surprise attack in Luxembourg on December 16, 1944. Hitler hoped to revitalize the Western Front troops. The Germans were eventually beaten back in early January 1945 after suffering over 100,000 casualties and the loss of 1000 aircraft. It was called "Battle of the Bulge" because of the bulge it created in American lines along the Western Front. It disrupted the Western Allies' military timetable for several months; "the chaplains out in the Bulge are manly, haggard, hard drinkers" 135; 246; Red Cross "charging fifteen cents for coffee and donuts at" 600
582; "-style furniture" at the Tracys' home; The Bauhaus School was a design school in existence in Germany 1919 - 1933, established by Walter Gropius. Radically breaking with the past, the Bauhaus Masters and their students ushered in our modern times. The aesthetic was austere and functional. Wikipedia entry
Major German company (dyes, aspirin), headed by Duisberg, that in 1904 was organized along with Badische Anilin und Soda Fabrik and the AGFA Company (film), into a cartel; 742; in Leverkusen; defectors from, at Der Platz, 746; [www.bayer.de/en/index_en.html Bayer Website]
450; German: Bund Deutscher Mädel = German Girls League; German girls 14 years or older joined this Nazi youth group which included a year of farm or domestic service. Their motto was "Frisch, Fromm, Frölich, Frei".
29: British Double Summer Time (-0200 offset from Greenwich Mean Time); same idea as Daylight Saving Time in the USA, but the clocks are advanced 2 hours, instead 1 hour, during the summer months.
Beal, Mary F. (b. 1937)
612; American novelist
Beardsley, Aubry (1872-1898)
An English illustrator, Beardsley is known for his (often erotically charged) illustrations for Oscar Wilde's Salome, Alexander Pope's Rape of the Lock and other black-and-white works. Along with Oscar Wilde, he was considered a leader of "The Decadents" of the 1890s; 71; 634; Wikipedia entry
Beaton, Cecil (1904-80)
78; Beaton was an English photographer of fashion and high-society celebrities (including royalty), as well as a designer of costumes and sets for ballet; his "photograph of Margot Asquith"
Beatriz the Bulb
653; another long-living bulb hunted by Phoebus, believed to be in the Amazon
Beaver, "Old" Jeremy the
36; 121; boyfriend of Jessica Swanlake; works for Operation Backfire in Cuxhaven; is the War, 177; meets Mexico at Gross Suckling Conference, 709
538; at the Double-Agent Convention, "comprising the offices of all the Committees"
Beaverbrook, Lord William Maxwell (1879-1964)
615; Max Beaverbrook was a Canadian-born British newspaper magnate and politician. He became rich as a stockbroker by 1910. He moved to Britain in 1910 and was private secretary to premier Bonar Law, minister of information under Lloyd George, and minister of supply under Churchill. As a newspaper magnate, he founded the Sunday Express in 1921 and bought the Evening Standard in 1929; "it isn't as if the election put [him] out of a job or something"
"Lost, again and again, past poor dam-busted and drowned Becket" 471
Beethoven, Ludwig von (1770-1827)
German composer whose harmonic and formal innovations pushed the boundaries of the music of his day; "Rossini's overture to La Gazza Ladra (which, as we shall see later, in Berlin, marks a high point in music which everybody ignored, preferring Beethoven, who never got further than statements of intention)" 273; "a raging debate with Säure over who is better, Beethoven or Rossini [...] "'I'm not so much for Beethoven qua Beethoven," Gustav argues, "but as he represents the German dialectic, the incorporation of more and more notes into the scale, culminating with dodecaphonic democracy, where all notes get an equal hearing. Beethoven was one of the architects of musical freedom--he submitted to the demands of history, despite his deafness. While Rossini was retiring at the age of 36, womanizing and getting fat, Beethoven was living a life filled with tragedy and grandeur.'" 440; "All you feel like listening to Beethoven is going out and invading Poland." 440 (this pre-dates Woody Allen's use of the same joke in his movie Manhattan (1979)); "Nor as grand as Bach, or Beethoven-or-Brahms/(bubububoo[oo] oo [sung to opening of Beethoven 5th, with full band]" 685
383; U-boat's positivist engineer; 613
Battle fought outside Paris for approximately three weeks in June 1918, between the U.S. Marines and the Germans. The Marines prevailed, but only after the death of over 1000 men; "[Lyle Bland] lay there, more terrified than he'd ever been, even at Belleau Wood" 588
Benito the Bulb
649; "at an all-girl opium den in Charlottenburg [...] who's always planning an escape"
Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament (after the Hebrew word meaning "in the beginning"); 77
Beria, Lavrenti Pavlovich (1899-1953)
Sometimes called the "Himmler of Russia," Beria was a ruthless and ambitious Soviet secret police chief. Stalin appointed him minister of internal affairs in 1938, and he served as vice-president of the State Committee for Defense during WWII. He attempted to seize power when Stalin died, but was foiled and executed; "Beria's top man, the sinister N. Ripov himself" 719
660; aka Enzian
Bernie the Bulb
649; "at an all-girl opium den in Charlottenburg [...] who has all kinds of urolagnia jokes"
In 1931, psychologist Robert Bernreuter began refining his "Bernreuter Personality Inventory," a pioneer multiphastic test of traits that became the standard against which other personality tests were measured and is still used worldwide for counseling and personnel selection; "as revied by Flanagan in '35" 81
Bessarabia is the territory in the eastern part of Moldavia (now Romania), between the Prut and Dniester rivers, near the Russian border; Background regarding "1878 during the intrigues over" 119
Bevin, Mr. Ernest (1881-1951)
106; Considered the pioneer of modern trade unionism, Bevin became minister of labor and nation service in Churchill's coalition government. He became foreign secretary in the Labour government (1945-51).Labor Minister
393; daughter of Greta Erdmann & Miklos Thanatz; "I think Bianca is [Schlepzig's] child." 395; 457; disappears, 480; mapped on to Gottfried, 484, 672;"Bianca's a knockout, alright: 11 or 12 [...] " 463; going overboard, 491; "a clever child" 494; body discovered, 531; mapped on to Ilse, 576-77; "her dead flesh" 576; 672;
491; passenger aboard the Anubis "dreaming by the fo'c'sle of Bucharest four years ago, the January terror, the Iron Guard on the radio screaming Long Live Death"
65; college buddy of Slothrop's who appears in toilet episode
Big and Little Anita
129; character conjured by the presence of the black man in choir at the Advent service attended by Roger and Jessica
60; dance in Slothrop's Sodium Amytal session
Bingen is a city in southwestern Germany, with a port at the confluence of the Rhine and Nahe rivers, near the whirlpool known as Binger Loch. It joined the Hanseatic League in 1254; "the helical contrails in the sky" 452
616; Sir Marcus Scammony's estate
595; dope dealer at the old Krupp works where Badass is docked
Bismarck, Otto Edward Leopold von (1815-98)
165; As a Prussian statesman, Bismarck rose to eventually become president of the cabinet. Under his leadership, Prussia humiliated Austria in the "Seven Weeks' War which lead to the reorganization of Germany under the leadership of Prussia. After provoking the Franco-Prussian war (1870-71) and eventually dictating the peace terms to France, Bismarck was made a prince and chancellor (the "Iron Chancellor") of the new German empire. He also represented Germany at the Congress of Berlin in 1878; "impressive re-enactment of Bismarck's elevation, at the spring equinox of 1871, to prince and imperial chancellor" 419;
black & white
The Rocket described as "black-and-white bad news" 209; "Dominus Blicero" 30; white - 342, 398, 501, 506, 508, 519, 524, 549, 551; 579; bleaching 364; black - 350, 354; "feelings about blackness tied to feelings about shit" 276; white=death, 372; white woman with ring of keys, 374; Caligari gloves - bone white, 385; Slothrop's sodium amytal dreams, 390; 392; "we live. . .beneath the black mud" 483; "A white land" 486; 488; black polymer costume, 488; baseball, 508; boneblack, 509; Egg, 510; "black apes" 513; 650; 657; 666; 688; white albatross, 713; 722; 723; 741; death a whitening, 750 [inversion: black=life; white=death]
Blackett, P.M.S. (1897-1974)
12; 1932 (independent of Carl Anderson) he discovered the positron. He also pioneered research on cosmic radiation and, in 1948, won the Nobel prize for physics; "You can't run a war on gusts of emotion"
Bladdery, St. John
594; English Commando in First International Runcible Spoon Fight
591; Lyle's son; 652
284; "Uncle" Lyle to Slothrop; lived in Boston; involved with Hugo Stinnes; 306; Marvy-GE-Morgan money-Harvard interlock with, 332; and the Masons, 580; specialized in psychological studies in '30s, 581; becomes Mason, 587; journeying "underneath history" 589; leaves body, 591; "last transmural journey" 630; "who was likely to take over the Slothrop surveillance, now that Bland was gone" 630
Bland, Lyle Jr.
652; Lyle's son
Blavatsky, Helena Petrovna (1831-91)
269; A Russian-born American psychic and mystic. She founded the Theosophical Society in New York in 1875 and later continued her work in India. Although her psychic powers were widely acclaimed, they did not withstand the scrutiny of the Society for Psychical Research, though this had little effect on her following; the Blavatskian wing in Psi section. Her day of death (May 8) is commemorated as White Lotus Day.
483; "Italian stuntman" who doubled for Erdmann in Jugend Herauf! - Erdmann "wouldn't go to bed with him, unless he wore that wig!"
91; "and his young nurse Ivy"; performs lobotomies at White Visitation
According to McGovern, a cotton-mill town near Nordhausen where most of the rocket specialists and their families were resettled after Peenemünde was abandoned; "Across the Western Front, up in the Harz in Bleicheröde, Wernher von Braun, lately wrecked arm in a plaster cast, prepares to celebrate his 33rd birthday." 236-37; "Enzian of Bleicheröde" 314; "In the mountains around Nordhausen and Bleicheröde, down in abandoned mine shafts, live the Schwarzkommando." 315; "There are several underground communities now near Nordhausen/Bleicheröde. Around here they are known collectively as the Erdschweinhöhle." 315; "The Rocket had to be produced out of a place called Nordhausen. The town adjoining was named Bleicheröde as a validation, a bit of redundancy so that the message would not be lost." 322; "Enzian's found the name Bleicheröde close enough to "Blicker," the nickname the early Germans gave to Death. They saw him white bleaching and blankness." 322; "the names of death-towns unreel, and surely Bleicheröde or Blicero will be spoken any minute now...." 695; "is he Blicker, Bleicheröde, Bleacher, Blicero, extending, rarefying the Caucasian pallor to an abolition of pigment, of melanin, of spectrum, of separateness from shade to shade" 759
Blicero, Capt. See Weissmann
424; in Poland; site of A4 testing in 1943; SS project run by Kammler
5; rooms with Pirate and friend of Tantivy; microfilms Slothrop's map (then gives film to Mexico who takes it to Pointsman), 17; 34; 181; gives Slothrop a crab to distract the octopus, 186-87; discussed, 192-93
353; party representative in the G Committee (WLA); death of, 354-55; Etymological Musings
Blohm & Voss
521; Hamburg shipbuilding company that expanded into building military aircraft for the German war effort
735-36; guide on elevator; "of Carbon City, Illinois"
151; reported to psychiatric "for his rainbowed Valkyrie over Peenemünde"
170; Basal Metabolic Rates: the amount of energy expended while at rest in a neutrally temperate environment.
369; Doper's Dream; was on the Destroyer John E. Badass docked in Cuxhaven; spikes coffee on Badass with Oneirine, 389; First Int'l Runcible Spoon Fight, 394; "specializes in supporting roles" 684; My Doper's Cadenza, 685; foam-rubber phalli, 708; "just a freckleface kid from Albert Lea, Minnesota" 710; Krupp, 711; "surprise roast" 714; "beginning. . .to let Slothrop go" 741-42; "Pig" Bodine is also a major character in V.; Pig's ancestor, Fender-Belly Bodine, shows up in Mason & Dixon.
338; Russian: bol'she = "more"; The Bolsheviks were the members of the Russian Social Democratic Party who sided with Lenin in the split after the party congress of 1903. They were the majority and the Mensheviks (in favor of bourgeois reform) were the minority party. The Bolsheviks seized power after the Revolution of 1917 and became the Communist Party; "the godless Mesopotamian Bolshevik" 383; "Lucky the Bolshies didn't get it, huh, Charles?" 448; "The lion [...] He takes, he holds! He is not a Bolshevik or Jew" 577; See also Lenin; Stalin
403; Herero tribe; 1922 uprising, 403
47, 75, 87-88, 139, 140; [What Book?]; See also Pavlov, Ivan Petrovich
Book of Memorabilia
739; pertaining to Slothrop's dispersal
This unsuccessful actor assassinated President Abraham Lincoln, apparently to avenge the defeat of the Confederates in the Civil War; his mustache, 210
6; bachelor officers' quarters
Borges, Jorge Luis (1899-1986)
264; Argentinian writer of fiction/fantasy; dedicated poem to G. I. Portales, 383; The Modern Word's Borges Section (the best!) Wikipedia Entry; "The Game of Chess" See also Rivadavia.
her message in cylinder delivered by rocket, 20; "the operative" 72; an ice-queen, her hair secured with "an old, tarnished silver crown [...] frozen on top in a hundred vortices" 92; "A woman with some background in mathematics, and with reasons" 97; was in Blicero's Hansel & Gretel game with Gottfried in the house "west of Duindigt racecourse" 94-99, 101-04; turned in Jews to keep the Germans from suspecting her, 97, 105; spying for allies, 104-05; "Her only debt outstanding is to Captain Prentice" 104; "stepped back into the void" 106; quits the game, 107; Pirate takes her to White Visitation, 106; secretly filmed, 92-113; "quits the game" 104; octopus incident, 185-89; "Meet me in my room" 191; with Slothrop in her room, 194-98; escapes to Arnhem [MAP] [actually to Scheveningen: 535-36], 195; "Wired into the Slothropian Run-together they briefed her on." 196; futureless look, 208, 209; roulette wheel metaphor, 209; "A rain-witch." 221; "a noseless mask of the Other Order of Being, of Katje's being--the lifeless non-face that is the only face of hers he really knows, or will ever remember" 222; "mask of no luck, no future--her face's rest state" 225; disappears, 226; "on her wheel" 257; with Pointsman, 273-74; "under the Wheel of Fortune" 277; 281-83; "a red tulip between Slothrop's toes. A reminder of Katje" 281; discovers film used with Grigori, 533; looking for Pirate, 536; with Pirate again ("she has lost her surface"), 545; her little brother Louis, 546; going to Nordhausen, 620; loss of "futureless look" 656; "she's not of our moment, our time, at all" 656; Golden Bitch, 658; Principle of Maximizing Risk, 659; "Shouldn't I be going all the way in?" 662; "her masochism" 662; travelling with Enzian, 729
546; Katje's little brother
254; Borsalino hats are a quality-made felt hat with broad brim manufactured in Italy. The company has been in existence since 1857. "Borsalini" is Pynchon's plural.
Bounce, Capt. Hillary
240; works for Shell Int'l Petroleum; had dealings with IG Farben in '32; teaches Slothrop about propulsion at Casino; at de la Perlimpinpin's party, 245; 253
23; Bovril is cow extract, and its main use is as a flavouring for soups, and as a drink when you put a teaspoon of the stuff in a mug of boiling water; 
132; In England, the first weekday after Christmas, observed by the giving of Christmas boxes to service workers; 174
Bracken, Brendan (1901-58)
615; First a successful journalist, Irishman Bracken was elected to the British in 1929, was minister of information (1941-45) and was first Lord of the Admiralty in the 1945 "caretaker" government; "it isn't as if the election put [him] out of a job or something"
752; "Philip Marlowe will [...] feel homesick for the lacework balconies of the"
726; "a Victorian kind [...] as between quaternions and vector analysis in the 1880s, the nostalgia of Aether" 727
German rocket engineer who came to the U.S. after the war; "Nature does not know extinction" 1; arm in a cast in the Harz, 237; "They've already rounded up von Braun and 500 others, and interned them at Garmisch" 273; Geli's owl, 291; "how close Wernher von Braun's birthday is to the Spring Equinox" 361, 588; "the Prussian aristocrat" 402; "a palace revolt against" 416; "I couldn't go with von Braun, not to the Americans" 456
547; mentioned in Pirate's and Katje's How I Came To Love the People
Brenda the Bulb
649; mother of Bernie "who talks of hashish hush puppies"
584; a pinball wizard, one of "the great thumbs of Koekuk and Puyallup, Oyster Bay, Inglewood"
6; German: "end of burning"; end of rocket's ascent when fuel is cut-off and it gives way to gravity; "a ritual of love" 222-23; "Rocket's. . .feminine counterpart" 223; 239; "The moving vehicle is frozen, in space, to become architecture, and timeless. It was never launched. It will never fall" 301; "for every firing site" 302; "of the Sun" (Sound-Shadow), 711; 759
British Military Intelligence
British Ministry of Supply
615; discarded back issues scattered about Mossmoon's and Scammony's club
329; mountain 20 miles NW of Mittelwerke in the Harz Mountains; "plexus of German evil"; place where God-shadows ("Brockengespenstphänomen" - p.331) occur at sunrise, 330; specter, 759
544; "who got burned"; one whom Pirate had to betray "in the course of business for the Firm"
449; song about
353; "infamous Ukrainian doper [...] of the glottal K Committee"
in Uzbekistan, this city is one of the most ancient in Central Asia. According to the decree of the 4th Assembly of all-Bukhara Soviets (11-17 October, 1923), certain degrees of autonomy and administrative rights were granted to areas inhabited by Turkmens, and local dialects (eg Tajiki) were to be replaced by Turkish as the official language; "reformed Arabic scripts [...] ratified at ~ in 1923" 354; Website
Bukharin, Nikolai Ivanovich (1888-1938)
Bukharin was a Russian Communist leader and theoretician, and a member of the Bolshevik wing of the Social Democratic party. In 1924 he was made a full member of the politburo. As Stalin rose to power in the 1920s, Bukharin was advocating policies which were not in line with Stalin's, eg slow agricultural collectivization and industrialization. A victim of Stalin's purges, in 1938 he was tried publicly for treason and was executed (shot). In the Gorbachev era, Bukharin was rehabilitated and posthumously reinstated (1988) as a party member; "evidence linking [Porkyevitch] to the Bukharin conspiracy" 189
anemone bulbs, 104; at Rathenau seance, 165; "staring bulb" 194; " a bare bulb will hollow out a region of light...the light bulb is the chisel that delivers it from its inertia and has become one of the great secret ikons of the Humility", "light bulbs...were the first to go" 299; " only their bulbs shining conditionally" 300; "small neon bulbs" 303; dream of bulb/Weissmann, 426-27; Weissmann's soul, 427; sentient bulbs, 464; 506; Mutter: what Germans call female threads of light bulb sockets, 299, 653; "Azos looking down the empty back Bakelite streets, Nitralampen and Wotan Gs at night soccer matches, Just-Wolframs, Monowatts and Siriuses" 650; "an electrical tidal wave" 665; bulbshine, 697; See also Byron the Bulb
nickname for an Englishman or Englishmen collectively; "our cousin" 697
Bummer, Emil ("Säure" [German: acid])
365; 434-43; papyromancy, 442, 641; wheelerdealer in Berlin; no stomping on bugs, 621; "Ass-backwards" 683; "Der Platz" 686; "optimum hashpipe design" 745
159; wiped out by Attila the Hun (as depicted in Fritz Lang's Die Nibelungen); in what is now Eastern France [MAP]; held together by "precious structure of magic and incest" 578-79
Busch, Wilhelm (1832-1908)
501; This German cartoonist and writer created Max und Moritz (the prototypes for the Katzenjammer Kids--see page 757) and Herr und Frau Knopp; "a Wilhelm Busch cartoon face"; "a Wilhelm Busch original" 568
German rocket scientist; 452
Business Advisory Council
581; "set up by Swope of General Electric"; 587;
487; a flammable gaseous hydrocarbon used in making synthetic rubbers
"a bulb over his head burning all night long. He dreamed that the bulb was a representative of Weissmann, a creature whose bright filament was its soul" 426-27; "a theatre marquee whose sentient bulbs may have looked on [...] witnesses to grave and historical encounters" 464; "The Story of" 647-55; "Someday he will know everything, and be just as impotent as before" 654; "electrical tidal wave" 665; "young Jack may have had one of them Immortal Lightbulbs then go on overhead" 688; screwed into Gustav's kazoo hashpipe, 745
Ancient Greek city on the Sea of Marmara which was the capital of the Byzantine (or Greek) Empire, in what is now NW Turkey. From 7th century BC to 3rd century AD, Byzantium was a thriving center for the arts, especially architecture (its chief features: circle, dome and round arch). It was renamed Constantinople in 330AD when Constantine captured it and established it as the new capital for the Turkish Empire; it was renamed Istanbul in 1930; Vikings sailing to, 549; "Sailing to Byzantium" by W.B. Yeats "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" by They Might Be Giants