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.
121.13-14 ...watching Maria Montez and Jon Hall...
The duo made a series of six Technicolor adventure films: Arabian Nights (1942), White Savage (1943), Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (1944), Cobra Woman (1944), Gypsy Wildcat (1944), and Sudan (1945).
126.19 this seventh Christmas of the War
Although Weisenburger declares this a mistake ("a miscount"), upon closer inspection it's actually quite intentional, a sly device to underscore Roger's and Jessica's confusion. They're at sixes and sevens, you see...
Tannoy Ltd is an English manufacturer of loudspeakers and public-address (PA) systems. It became a household name as a result of supplying PA systems to the armed forces during World War II, and to Butlins and Pontins holiday camps after the war.
128.14 join the waits
Leicester's ancient tradition of Town Waits official musicians who supported the Lord Mayor at civic events, entertained townspeople and feted visitors. The waits were originally guards or watchmen who walked round the town at night looking out for fires or other trouble. They rang bells to tell people the time, or called out '2 o'clock and all's well'. They also played music for the Lord Mayor's guests on big occasions, and entertained the general public. This became their main job. By 1900 the waits' instruments were a cornet, a euphonium, a tenor horn and a trombone. From then, the waits mostly played popular requests for a small fee, which was given to charity. By the 1940s, a request would cost about half a crown (12p). The Leicester Waits were disbanded around 1947. ; Picture
129.9 Tallis, Thomas (c. 1505–1585)
An English composer. Tallis flourished as a church musician in 16th century Tudor England.
129.9 Purcell, Henry (c. 1659-1695)
An English organist and Baroque composer of secular and sacred music.
129.9 Suso, Heinrich (1295-1336)
German mystic and preacher (Heinrich Seuse in German). His composition In Dulci Jubilo is a German/Latin macaronic carol (Pynchon (mis)dates it as "fifteenth century"); the first verse (of four), can be translated as follows:
|Original text||English translation|
|In dulci jubilo,||In sweet rejoicing|
|Nun singet und seid froh!||now sing and be glad!|
|Alle unsre Wonne||All our joy|
|Liegt in praesepio;||lies in the manger;|
|Sie leuchtet wie die Sonne||It shines like the sun|
|Matris in gremio.||in the mother's lap.|
|Alpha es et O!||You are the alpha and omega!|
130.10-27 ...thousands of old used toothpaste tubes...emptied and returned to the War...
War with a minty smile? Menthol to cover the stench of the dead? Toothpaste tubes were made of pewter, a valuable material worth recycling.
131.1 ...ein Volk ein Führer...
German: 'one people, one leader'
131.11 Rundstedt offensive
1944's Ardennes offensive, or Battle of the Bulge, was directed by the German field marshal Gerd von Rundstedt (1875-1953).
132.11 Mr. Morrison
Herbert Stanley Morrison (1888-1965), British Labour statesman who played a leading role in London local government for 25 years. At this point he was Home Secretary in Churchill's coalition government.
An English brand of pain relievers suggested for 'symptomatic pain generally, rheumatism, fibrositis, lumbago, headache, dysmenorrhoea, dental pain'.
The anthem of the Italian National Fascist Party; Italian for 'youth'
An opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi. The Italian libretto was written by Francesco Maria Piave based on the play Le roi s'amuse by Victor Hugo. It was first performed at La Fenice in Venice on March 11, 1851. It is considered by many to be the first of the operatic masterpieces of Verdi's middle-to-late career.
132.21 La bohème
An opera in four acts by Giacomo Puccini. The world premiere performance of La bohème was in Turin on February 1, 1896 at the Teatro Regio and was conducted by the young Arturo Toscanini.
Italian: 'that is', 'i.e.'
132.31 mano morto
Italian: dead hand (should be mano morta)
China-Burma-India theatre of WWII
134.38-39 ...your mother hoping to hang that Gold Star...
The group American Gold Star Mothers was formed after WWI. The name derives from the custom of families of servicemen hanging a banner called a Service Flag in their front window. It had a star for each family member in the military. Living servicemen were represented by a blue star, and those who had lost their lives were represented by a gold star.
134.40 Home Service programme
The domestic arm of the BBC, as opposed to Overseas Service and European Service.
135.5 Miraculous Medal
aka the Medal of the Immaculate Conception; created after a vision of the Virgin Mary; often worn by Catholics (and even non-Catholics) as protection through Mary's intercession
135.33 ...when the 88 fell...
135.7 a German 88 mm shell
Latin: senatus populusque Romanus = the senate and the people of Rome; refers to the government of the ancient Roman Republic
135.39 ...tippin' those Toledos...
Scales from the company Toledo Scale, founded in Columbus, OH in 1901; now known as Mettler Toledo
136.6-7 O Jesu parvule
First two lines of second verse of In Dulci Jubilo (see 129.9 Suso above)
|Original text||English translation|
|O Jesu parvule||O little Jesus|
|Nach dir ist mir so weh...||For thee I long alway...|
136.27 ...Mosquitoes and Lancasters...
Two types of British bomber during WWII.
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