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xml:lang="en" lang="en" dir="ltr"> Pages 145-154 - Thomas Pynchon Wiki | Gravity's Rainbow

Pages 145-154

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.

Page 147

Page 147.34 - Where are the five-digit groups coming from... no one up in London quite knows how to decrypt?

The number groups appear to be an encrypted message that uses a one-time pad. One-time pad encryption uses identical sets of randomly generated numbers shared between sender and receiver to securely encrypt one way messages over an insecure medium like telegraph or radio. They are commonly used in espionage because a properly used one-time pad message is mathematically impossible to crack, even with today's supercomputers, hence London's inability to crack the messages.

Ciphers encrypted with one-time pads often use five digit groups, though letters or four-digit groups are used as well. They are normally used for covert, one way communication with field agents, as the pad is easily concealed and requires little training and no special equipment to use. [1]

Page 152

152.8 Neukölln
neighborhood in the southeastern part of Berlin; has one of the highest percentage of immigrants in the city

152.11-12 More than any mere "Kreis" [ . . . ] full mandalas
Correspondent Igor Zabel offers the following gloss on Weisenberger's note, which makes sense in the context of the passage:

"Kreis is not 'cross' but 'circle', here also in the sense of a social circle. We should, therefore, understand the passage in the sense that the social structure of the visitors was so complex that they formed not only a circle but also whole mandalas while sitting around the table during the séances."

152.16 Walter Asch
The last name derives from "asche": cinders, ashes. He is the first character whose zodical sign is mentioned: Taurus.

152.19 Wimpe, the IG-man

Popeye & Wimpy
The name does suggest the word "wimpy," as Weisenburger suggests, but it also evokes Popeye’s hamburger-mooching pal J. Wellington Wimpy. However, correspondent Alex Johnston notes that the actual German pronunciation ("Vimpe") would not have such connotations at all.

152.21 Lieutenant Weissmann
Weissmann ("white man"), who turns out to be Capt. Blicero, is the decadent character associated with one of the manifestations of the Lady V. in Pynchon’s first novel in the section "Mondaugen's Story." See note at 161.22.

Page 154

154.23 "Die Faust Hoch"
Literally, "the fist high" or "the high fist." As in "hebt die Faust hoch" -- "raise the fist high." Clearly a Labor-Communist-revolutionary workers magazine. Now a rap group.



1
Beyond the Zero

3-7, 7-16, 17-19, 20-29, 29-37, 37-42, 42-47, 47-53, 53-60, 60-71, 71-72, 72-83, 83-92, 92-113, 114-120, 120-136, 136-144, 145-154, 154-167, 167-174, 174-177

2
Un Perm' au Casino Herman Goering

181-189, 189-205, 205-226, 226-236, 236-244, 244-249, 249-269, 269-278

3
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

4
The Counterforce

617-626, 626-640, 640-655, 656-663, 663-673, 674-700, 700-706, 706-717, 717-724, 724-733, 733-735, 735-760

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